There was major outrage last week over David Beckham allowing his daughter to have a pacifier. He hit back with this question to his 10 million Instagram followers. “Why do people feel they have the right to criticise a parent about their own children without having any facts?” He said he was just doing what any parent would do to help a child feel better.
Sarah Harris, a British TV host, was blasted for bleaching her hair while she was pregnant. She says, “I’m only half way through my first pregnancy and I’ve already been stung… Giving up soft cheese is one thing but I work in morning television – coffee is a necessity.”
As a parent, you’ve probably had more than your share of unsolicited advice. It happens to all of us and most of us have probably given a bit of our own advice. Harris wrote an article, “Please Save Me from the Sancto-Mummies.” She wrote about her own feelings when she saw an article of a mom breastfeeding her friend’s child.
“Like many, I found the photo of an American mum breastfeeding her baby son and her friend’s 18-month-old boy at the same time uncomfortable to look at. It just didn’t seem right. Then I read her backstory: the woman started sharing her milk with her friend’s hungry child, after he’d had a terrible reaction to powdered baby formula.
So what exactly was the problem here?
The boy was simply being fed by a woman who cared for him. He appeared safe and happy.
This was an act of love.
“It made me realize that all this arguing over the decisions of well-intentioned parents is distracting us from the conversations we should be having. Why don’t we save the serious scrutiny for the parents who really deserve it? Like those who physically or sexually abuse their children or expose their kids to serious neglect and harm?”
People seem to be emboldened on social media, especially when it comes to untouchable people. Doesn’t it seem like it is so easy to give opinions on people and circumstances we don’t know and will probably never meet? I am guilty, I admit, I’ve rushed to judgement without knowing the details.
Thank you to Sarah Harris for reminding us that we need to take a step back and try not to judge or question parents who don’t do things the way we would do them. Yes, we will probably have strong feelings about the mom who shares a pic of her two year old and a beer bottle or the parents who forgot their child at a rest stop, but perhaps we can relax a little on the parents that have good intentions?