So We're Body Shaming Babies Now?
Body shaming. Apparently it doesn't show favoritism. It's rampant and now even spilling over on to our sweet babies. There is absolutely no wonder we struggle so much with our self image as children, teens, and into adulthood. We are already set up with the dialogue of being too chunky, too skinny, too short, too SOMETHING from the moment some people lay eyes on us.
A mom recently shared with me what people were saying to her baby who is in the higher percentile on the growth chart. Some of the comments may seem more mild while others down right cruel, but we don't know how any of them will impact a new parent who may already have some doubts with the unknowns of parenting or question if what they are doing is the right thing for their baby.
When a mom is told she needs to space out baby's feedings or she'll have trouble finding clothes in the future that fit, it's easy to wonder "am I feeding my baby too much?" and become anxious that you're doing something wrong.
Flat out saying babies are going to have weight problems because they have extra chunky legs is in fact shaming. Telling a baby they need to lay off the food because they are getting too fat can be equally distressing.
I have often heard family, friends and even strangers tell a mom or dad not to worry because "once she starts walking, she will lose a lot of that fat from moving around more." Well, we weren't worried until you said what you did, so thanks.
It doesn't always make parents worry, but extremely frustrated. I'm sure they'd love to have a family get together without being questioned about their baby's eating habits or when to feed them what.
Why is this even happening? Why do we insist on commenting on peoples bodies? It only takes opening your eyes for half a second to see that every person in your eyesight has many differences.
Way too often we associate our body shape, size and details with our self worth and find it very difficult as we set out on our journey to accepting and loving our bodies.
It would be wonderful as pregnant women and new parents, if we could go out in public without hesitation because of the awkward, harmful attention we might receive.
I know I'm not the only one to tell you because there are also incredibly supportive people with common sense, but just in case you haven't heard it yet today...
You are an incredible parent and your baby is complete perfection. You spend day in and day out with your baby becoming instinctively aware of their needs. Their hunger cues, their sleepy cues, their different cries are where you thrive as their mom and dad. No one knows your baby the way you do and no one shares with them the bond you've developed.
Think about where you thrive as your baby's parent, lock that thought up inside your heart for when you do come across someone who has forgotten what it's like to need support.
And when they hit you with some shocking and uneducated comment, repeat it to yourself. Repeat it as many times as you need until all doubt and insecurity that might have creeped it's way to the surface of your mind, is gone. There is so much power in positive self talk and trusting your instinct and when people have come to a place of body shaming babies, we need to be prepared.