You are one clued up mama. The decision on when and how to wean your baby was not one you took lightly.
You did all the necessary research, sought advice and took your baby’s needs as well as your own into consideration before coming up with a plan that works for you. You didn’t blindly follow the BLW manual, nor did you fill up your trolley with ready-made baby food at your local supermarket. You balanced carefully prepared meals with pre packed convenience in an attempt to preserve both your toddler’s health and your sanity.
You’ve got this. Or so you thought.
You assumed you were safely out of the Parenting Games arena having survived the most precarious of levels. The explosive discussions were supposedly over. Childbirth (natural vs. c-section), feeding (breast vs. bottle) and that most treacherous of turfs, sleeping (co-sleeping vs. cry it out). You thought those judgmental jerks would be worn out at the end of that gauntlet. What you didn’t know it was all in preparation, they were just gearing up for the weaning stage. The final frontier of controversy. Their last chance to dish out any disdain towards your chosen method. Post weaning the playing field very much levels off. This was the their last chance to engage in any perilous persiflage before they got too busy with independently walking toddlers and nursery car pools.
You thought you were safe, but in fact you were just about to enter a total minefield of incredulity. Welcome to the Weaning Games.
I remember the first time I pulled out my carefully prepared baby food at a playdate. We had discussed weaning last week and we were all pretty much in agreement that nothing would quite beat a home made puree when it came to our babies’ first taste of food.
I was not prepared for what was to come. There were stares, followed by an onslaught of questions, criticism and down right accusatory put downs.
“How long did THAT take you to prepare?”
“You do know the pouches are just as good right?”
“You know the same fruit you puree is the same fruit in those pouches, your baby is not getting any more wholesome nutrition than mine is.”
Damn! Thankfully, I was hardened by weeks of controversial exchanges about everything baby. I was now impermeable to criticism. I had unlocked the secret to weathering the storm when it came to all things parenting. Confidence and conviction in every decision you make are absolutely key. Wither in uncertainty and you are fair game to the factions.
A few weeks had passed and it was time for another playdate. Not much had gone to plan today and I had no homemade baby food to take with me. As we rushed to make it to the playground on time, I grabbed a packet of store bought baby food and headed out.
Just when I thought it was safe to pull out a pouch at the playground I was bombarded with gasps of horror and disgust. Judging by their reaction you’d think I’d pulled out a jar of caustic camel poop.
“The sugar content in those things is horrendous!”
“It only takes a few minutes to steam and mash some vegetables dear.”
“Have you thought of how long those packs have been on the shelf? Can’t be good for them you know.”
It was obvious, everyone had now abandoned the much revered ready-made pouches in favor of homemade meals. I clearly had not received the memo!
So here is the thing when it comes to weaning and all things parental. You have to do not only what feels right, but what feels comfortable. Because you see, if you are not comfortable with your choices the savages will tear you apart faster than you can twist a lid off an Ella’s pouch. Own your decision, whether it is based on method or madness. Only then will you be able to survive the course of parental persecution.