Not too long ago, photographer Abbie Fox found herself in the spotlight after her Fed is Best project went viral. The photos were a reminder that whether it's through formula or breastfeeding, any way a mother chooses to feed her baby is beautiful.
The Las Vegas-based photographer is back with a new project, this time shedding light on an all-too common problem: Mommy shaming.
Through a series of powerful photos featuring kids holding signs with “hot button” parenting topics, she shines a light on the harsh comments and judgments that moms often endure for the personal choices they make for their families.
“When I was a first time mom I would cry for things people said to me, and the main culprit were other moms. ‘Why we can't just get along?’ is a question I ask all of the time. If our kids are healthy, happy, and thriving, who cares if our parenting styles are different,” she says in a Facebook post. “We are all doing our best to keep these little humans alive, all while keeping our sanity. We all have our differences in parenting and need to realize that everyone is raised differently and have different values and things that are important to us. We need to spread a little more love around.”
With more than 30,000 shares and over 1,000 comments, the post is clearly resonating with moms. The pictures capture topics new moms are familiar with, including the debate over breastfeeding versus formula.
“Amen! I formula fed by choice too!” one commenter shares. “My son was a happy/healthy baby! This is the biggest issue I was mom-shamed over constantly.”
Fox also depicts the mom guilt many working parents suffer from when they have to leave their baby with a nanny or at a daycare while they’re at work.
“Love! I’m a working mama and had to leave my baby when he was 4-months-old. I was lucky to have that long with him,” one mom relates. “I’m pregnant again and got very lucky that I’ll have all summer off with this one! It takes my husband and I both to raise our family the way we want to.”
Another topic Fox tackles: cesareans. 1 in 3 births happen via c-sections. And guess what? That’s okay!
“My first was an elective c-section. It worked well for us, but I always got grief over it,” one mom says. “Everyone has their reasons for how they birth their babies and it’s really none of your business.”
Sleep is always a hot button issue, and different parents use different tactics to help baby develop healthy habits. While the “cry it out” method may not work for one family, it may be the perfect solution for the next.
“I love the CIO method. Have used it on all six of mine and they are all loved, confident, and happy,” one mama shares.
And of course there’s the issue of coffee. According to doctors, pregnant women can safely consume small amounts of caffeine. If one mama wants to cut it off altogether, that’s totally cool, but that doesn’t mean she should pass judgment on another mom’s few sips of joe.
Every parent is different. Hopefully Fox’s photos will remind others to think twice before they give their unnecessary two cents. After all, we all love our kids, and we’re doing the best we can.