OK, I’m no Britney Spears fan. And there’s no doubt that she needs to spend a little more time reading that infant car seat manual. But I just thank God that when I became a mother, there were no momma-razzis following me around 24/7, lying in wait and praying that I would violate some mommy rule that I was supposed to know but didn’t.
While this isn’t directly related to the current Mommy Wars topic, there’s a connection — how we as a society have become so critical of any decisions that other mothers make — the judgment of the ‘Oh, I’d NEVER do THAT‘ crowd is daunting no matter your level or obscurity or celebrity.
Sure, Britney needs a little time with What to Expect the First Year, as well as the Britax use and installation guide, and maybe she should rethink wearing platform shoes while carrying a Diet Coke and a baby at the same time. But I shudder to think who would have tried to call the social workers the day my daughter, then only a bit over 12 months old, started to choke on a frozen bagel.
Despite my reluctance to let my daughter teethe on it, specifically because I was worried about a choking hazard, I was cajoled and assured by another mom that these mini-treats had been sanctioned for this age group by a nurse friend of hers. Sure enough, a few minutes later, as I was chatting, my daughter, who was sitting on my lap, started to turn red and couldn’t get any air. Fortunately, even though I hadn’t had any CPR training at the time, my sister-in-law had clued me into the ‘turn the kid over your knee and slap the back’ approach. Thank goodness it worked. But as I was trying to do this and panicking in slow motion, I was trying to figure out how I was going to explain to my husband that I had been stupid enough to go against my better judgment and to let our daughter choke to death before we even really got to know her. Luckily, we were able to dislodge the bagel bit quickly and she was fine (and is now a healthy six year old).
In that horror-filled moment, I realized just how many things I didn’t know about being a mother, and wondered how I would ever figure it all out without harming my daughter in serious some way. But (so far) I’ve managed to last through the subsequent years without another episode like that. Only 12 more to go!
Sure, Britney definitely needs to spend some time taking a few lessons from a baby nurse. But she probably deserves a little more slack from us. Unfortunately, I am sure there are plenty of mothers out there who have done worse than she has and their kids have made it to adulthood relatively unscathed. So let’s give Britney a little more space to make her mommy mistakes. She’ll figure it out eventually — the rest of us did.