Family

30 things that mothers are always criticised for doing

You can't win!

If ever there was a group of people that you could apply the term 'damned if you do, damned if you don't', it's mums.

Bottle feed? Unnatural! Breastfeed? Inappropriate! Don't go back to work? You're failing feminism! Return to employment? You must hate your baby!

Whatever you do, someone will have something to say about it.

This week Prime Minister and new mum Jacinda Ardern was criticised for opting to travel to the Pacific Islands Forum two days later than her colleagues, to minimise time away from her baby, Neve.

Ardern, who returned to work five weeks ago after six weeks' maternity leave, will travel to Nauru today, while her delegation left on Monday.

She has defended her decision, saying the extra $100,000 it will cost for her Air Force flight won't add much to the total cost. She could not go for the longer period because Neve, 11 weeks, is too young to be given the appropriate vaccinations for the trip and would not be able to travel with her. Ardern is still breastfeeding Neve.

People are incensed about the extra expense and the situation has sparked heated debate. In the video at the top of this story watch social commentator Wendyl Nissen give The AM Show host Duncan Garner a run for his money in the stoush they had on the show about it yesterday.

Of course, this is one of many debates Jacinda Ardern will spark over the next few years - because everybody has an opinion about the way people raise their children and the decisions women make around work and family.

Grazia has responded by compiling a list of real-life criticisms that women have faced about their parenting. Read them here - this would just be the tip of the ice berg, too.

1) "I went back to work three weeks after giving birth to my third. Everyone had something to say about it, even when I told them the nanny brought her in every day so I could breastfeed."

2) "That I shouldn't be wearing deodorant in case she ingests it while feeding!"

3) "There's never any praise for the fact I'm still exclusively breastfeeding her at 5 months – only comments on how I could do it better!"

4) "If I do things that are 'against the rules' like moving her into her own room and starting weaning before 6 months, then I tend to keep it quiet to avoid negative comments!"

5) "I was told a restaurant is an unsuitable environment for a baby... Oh please!"

6) "I left my baby with my mum for the evening when she was a couple of weeks old, and people were very rude about it."

7) "I've been given looks when breastfeeding my baby in public but also given looks when getting out a bottle of ready-made formula to feed my niece. So it often feels like you can't win."

8) "My dad referred to labour as a 'performance'. If it was a performance, it was the Exorcist."

9) "My husband went back to work when my son was two weeks old, so I was left for 10 and a half hours a day, completely on my own, with a baby who only stopped screaming when he was being pushed in his pram – rocking didn't count. One evening, my husband arrived home and the baby was crying so he asked me if I'd fed him. HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA yes, I completely forgot to feed him today, that must be what it is."

10) "My sister said my son was crying 'crocodile tears'. He was six months old."

11) "I got told my car seat would strangle my baby!"

12) "I really struggled to breastfeed, and didn't hear the end of it when in I decided to opt for bottles. It was a hard enough decision without the judgment!"

13) "Someone told me I was changing his nappy too often once... weird"

14) "That I pick him up too often!"

15) "Everyone was a bit judgmental that I didn't pick his name straight away... I'm indecisive, OK?!"

16) "I made the really tough decision not to return to work after my maternity leave was up, and still get negative comments about it now... two years later!"

17) "That I shouldn't give her a dummy..."

18) "Spending too much on clothes for our first!"

19) "I got told I shouldn't bring my baby on aeroplanes... as if I wasn't stressed enough trying to calm him down on a six hour flight!"

20) "I've been told off several times for forgetting to cut my baby's nails"

21) "That I'm not supporting her head properly, even though I definitely am."

22) "I got told off for dressing her in a headband when she was a few weeks old. They said it would hurt her head..."

23) "I had an old man tell me I shouldn't buy her a blue duck because she is a girl."

24) "I'm a mum of twins, and trying to take two babies out in public on my own is a challenge. I have been stopped on numerous occasions by people who said things like 'why has she brought them to this restaurant if she can't keep them quiet'?"

25) "Being constantly asked if he was wearing suncream... he definitely was!"

26) "That I should put more layers on them, even when it's not cold!"

27) "I get told by so many people that I shouldn't post pictures of her on Instagram"

28) "That her name is too common!"

29) "That I'm TOO besotted with my baby. As if that's such a crime?"

30) "That I should wait longer to have another baby... like it's any of their business."

Via Grazia and Now To Love