Parenting Pressure: Am I A Bad Mom?

I faced a wailing toddler last night because she didn’t want to get her bum washed after she pooped. I tried everything that I can to woo her.

I asked her nicely, bribed her with the promise of milky time after I wash her bum, pretended to wash her Teddy Bear’s bum, put up my angry face, but nothing worked. I just looked at her point blank as if asking why, why won’t she come with me? The answer is very simple, she was too tired and all she wanted was to sleep. I can’t let that happen, so as much as I would want her to rest, I scooped her up and asked Ha (my brother’s partner) for help.

What followed was a tantrum storm, so I just allowed her to cry. I know that she had to deal with her emotions on her own. I explained to her in a sing-song manner that I had to wash her bum even if she was sleepy because it was the right thing to do. This produced a follow-up tantrum scream to which I answered a big warm hug. It was all that I can do to calm her down.

After this boo-ha-ha of an event I felt guilty, should I just have wiped her damn bottom instead of washing it? Should I have just bribed her with her favourite, Kinder Egg or perhaps an episode of Pocoyo? Thinking about offering her screen time, however, made me feel bad – because some might see it as a bad parenting decision. I felt the parenting pressure build up in my throat last night that I just decided to nurse my daughter to sleep.

Living Up to Today’s Parenting Standards

What I experienced last night was another episode of my “Am I a Bad Mom” guilt trip. Believe me, it wasn’t the first time that I went through the whole should I do this or that, I should have anticipated this and that phase. I know that I am not alone in this battle as well.

Case in point, I saw a post on a private Facebook Group about screen time for kids. Most moms commented that they didn’t allow their kids to watch TV or even hold gadgets. I felt a bit guilty (okay, A LOT) because I allow Bunny to watch TV and even play gadgets (must be supervised and under 30 minutes). It made me question my whole belief on whether kids should be exposed to technology. It was all thanks to E that I was slapped back to reality that it is okay. I just muttered under my breath, it is okay – to each her own.

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Aside from technology control, moms are now also pressured to feed their kids organic food or healthier food options. I originally wanted to feed Bunny all organic snacks and get her used to eating fruits and veggies.

Holy moly, it is HARD. I tried everything that I can to get that toddler to eat fruits and veggies but she has a mind of her own. Fine, some would say that I’m the adult but really have you ever tried making a picky eater consume food? I cried to E about it and we both resolved to just ensure that she consumes food every day.

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Another parenting issue I dealt with is choosing to breastfeed Bunny. Day in and day out I would hear people say that it’s great that I was able to breastfeed her. This complement could end there or have a follow up of, but wouldn’t you think it is best to switch her to formula, or aren’t you afraid that your boobs will look bad, or she’s too big to still be latching. This is a sensitive part for me, mostly I just smile and ignore but deep inside I am stopping myself from screaming. I honestly worked hard to continue breastfeeding my daughter for 2 years while working full time. Hearing discouraging and judgmental statements aren’t helpful, it’s just plain disrespectful.

My Own Parenting Style

To help relieve myself from the pressure I experience as a first time mom, I will now approach each situation in my own style.

I will accept criticism and pieces of advice with caution. I will only apply what I think is good for my daughter since I would always know what is best for her.

To other moms out there, I know that sometimes you question decisions that you have made for your child. There are times that you may have doubted your “mom instinct” but please don’t. There’s too much pressure coming from different areas of your life to be the best mom. The only thing that your child need though is you and your love. So the next time you question yourself if you are a bad mom, just take a breather, remind yourself that you are an amazing woman and mom-on!

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10 comments

  1. Sierra says:

    I’m not a parent but I can relate to this just as another person. Other people are always going to have their opinions but it doesn’t mean that they are right and that you are wrong, it just mens you do it differently.

  2. Ania Travels says:

    Every parent will have their own parenting style, doesn’t necessairly mean they’re all right/ring/bad/good. But you figure out what works for you and your baby and that’s all that matters, you’re already being a great mom

  3. Shawna says:

    Oh man…this is so easy to relate to. Mommin’ ain’t easy. Especially when you here 50,000 people telling you what is right and 50,000 telling you what is wrong; and none of the answers are the same. There is no rule book. We do the best we can, we do it our way.

  4. Claire says:

    Honestly I don’t think there’s bad moms out there. It’s all about their caring style. Everyone is different. Of course there are times where you think you are doing something wrong (like being too overprotective or stuff like that) but don’t ever think that you are not too good enough or else 🙂

  5. Ali Rost says:

    This post really hit home for me. While I’m a grandma now, it seems like just yesterday when the kids were little. Everyone seemed to offer advice, and after a while I started to doubt what I felt in my gut was the right thing for us. I vowed I would never offer advice to moms unless asked and have stuck to it. At the end of the day, everyone is simply trying their best. x

  6. Eloise says:

    Yes there’s always going to be pressure to fit the standard and to be judged on every little thing a parent does… is that right? No! because no one here is better than another, we all make mistakes, we have different beliefs and ways to do things… it doesn’t mean it’s bad. matter of fact it makes us all unique in our own ways otherwise everyone would be the same if they were brought up to fit one standard of living. You know your child best, not the person living down the street. Just do your best and if your child seems happy and healthy MOST of the time than you’ve got nothing to worry about ; ) PS: some screen time isn’t bad, it’s been around for generations!

  7. Jade Braham says:

    I’m not a parent and don’t plan to be for some time so I really have no constructive advice/comments. But from what you’ve written and the happy look of your childs face in the photographs i think you’re doing a brilliant job!

  8. MELANIE EDJOURIAN says:

    I have three children. I must say there is a lot of pressure on mums. I have had the same problem with a child wanting to sleep that needs a nappy change. My advice, do it and fast and then cuddle them until they fall asleep xx

  9. Claire Santiago says:

    When it comes to eating behavior, I don’t have problems with my kids. They all eat fruits and veggies and seafoods. But of course, no motherhood is perfect and there are a lot of troubles coming our way. When, I feel pressured, I take a deep breath, close my eyes for some seconds and cover my ears, That way, I can find solutions…

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