Let me begin by telling you that this post comes from a place of extreme frustration! I reread it after typing it up and it’s really nothing short of a rant. But bare with me.
After viewing a recent Twitter rant some moms left on Chrissy Tiegen’s page I feel drawn to write this. Recently, model, Chrissy Tiegen & singer, John Legend had a baby girl. As most parents do, I’m sure they’re loving the snuggles, taking zillions of pictures, and falling more in love with her each day. I also bet they’re exhausted, confused at times, and trying their very hardest to be great parents. A big difference with them among other parents (or at least between my husband and I) is that they are very much in the public eye, however, causing them to easily be under scrutiny in certain situations. The thing they did that caused such an uproar was to go on a date WITHOUT their newborn baby. People questioned their love for their child, speculated who on Earth could be close enough to be trusted with their baby, shamed them again and again, and some even had the audacity to make overly personal and inappropriate statements about Chrissy’s recovering lady parts!
Well although I have no celebrity status I was offended and caught off guard by these downright MEAN responses! Why? Because many of the same things could have been said to my husband and I. Here I sit with our now 8 month old baby, thinking back on how we left her when she was ELEVEN DAYS old. For what you ask? Yup, a date night! No, we didn’t abandon her as people apparently look at it, we left her with her ever doting grandmother who had already experienced raising a child, two actually.
Your first weeks, heck, days, as a parent are fabulous but they are H A R D. Every single thing is brand new. It’s downright exhausting and while my happiest days of my life truly and deeply are my daughter’s first weeks of life, they were a struggle. Less than two weeks into parenthood I made the decision to have a date night because I could already tangibly feel how our relationship was shifting. My husband had been exhaustingly waiting on me hand and foot, our every conversation had been about different breastfeeding positions, nipple creams, whether I needed more water in my peri bottle, baby pee, baby poop, my poop. These topics, though my sweet husband took them on so openly, were not romantic. We were definitely testing out the “unconditional” parts of our marriage much more than ever before. We were tired and not only did we promise we’d still be husband and wife, not just Mom and Dad after baby, we also promised to date each other. We’d been going on weekly date nights for years. With that in mind and the fact that our newborn daughter was currently asleep on her grandmother’s chest and wouldn’t even know we were gone, I got a maxi skirt, t-shirt, sandals, and makeup on and we went on a date. I may have cried leaving the neighborhood and we may have only been gone for an hour but it was time we needed to reconnect. After all, our love is the very thing that created that beautiful daughter of ours to begin with!
So here’s a word of advice. Stop! Stop with the mom shaming! Stop trying to make moms feel guilty for something just because it would make you feel guilty. Whether it’s a celebrity or your best friend, let them navigate the parenting waters. Let parents parent and mind your own business!
And while you are welcome to comment on this post as you please, before you make any negative comments, sit back and think about how hard it is to be a parent. Parents are the only ones who know how hard it is yet they are typically the ones that are hardest on one another. And for anyone that isn’t a parent and makes negative comments, just do everyone a favor and stop. No offense, but you truly have no idea what you’re talking about until you’re going through the motions. Believe me, none of us did.
You can only take good care of your babies once you’ve taken good care of yourself first. Now go have a beautiful day and if that means leaving your little one with a caregiver for a bit, good for you!