Military Special Needs Network

Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent

In Search of: Judgment Free Zone

Older woman in glassesNew moms are pretty fragile. Like the babies we have just given birth to, we are unsure, out of our element and inundated with information. We face judgement from every corner of the room: our labor was nowhere near as difficult as this person’s labor, you think your episiotomy was rough – wait ’til you hear about hers! How long will you nurse for? You are nursing, right? SAHM (stay at home mom) or working mom? Diaper hierarchies, all-natural hemp/bamboo clothing, swaddling, and papoosing …and this is all in the first couple of weeks of childbirth! Make no mistake about it, Mommy Wars are real. They are real, and ugly, and hurtful.

In truth, judgments about our parenting style and skills begin while baby is in utero. We’re judged on our weight gain – either too much or too little. On our diet. The medical team we see, and the delivery style we choose. This blame game continues with the actual act of giving birth. Did you induce with Pitocin? Have a c-section? Epidural?

Think that’s bad? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet: give birth to a special needs child. It’s like playing the Special Needs Mom Blame Game Travel Bingo. Put a chip on the squares for any of the following ways in which you have been blamed for causing your child’s disability or diagnosis

Look, I could go on and on. I really could. This doesn’t touch environmental studies at all. This is purely all the stuff that mother’s have very little control over but are squarely charged with causing their child’s disability because of them.

So when “researchers” come up with a new indicator of autism, I shudder. Since the dawn of time, mothers have shouldered the blame for their children being anything other than typical. Good ol’ Henry VIII blamed Anne Boleyn for the sex of their child, and had her executed because of it. While things are no longer quite that extreme, the blame for what went wrong is always there. It’s not even implied, but rather, is shouted at us from all directions.

This has to stop. There’s research, and then there’s finger pointing. The overwhelming guilt this causes is unnecessary and harmful to our relationships with our child and our spouse.

Our plans of a “perfect” family may be tossed out the window, and, although, we realize that our family may not be “perfect” in the eyes of the world, it is the perfect family for us.


One comment on “In Search of: Judgment Free Zone

  1. mamabro
    November 12, 2013

    Very well said! I wish all the judgement would go away and we would all support each other instead.

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