There's no winning when it comes to being a mother, is there? No matter what decisions you make, someone is unhappy - your child, your mother-in-law or even some stranger on Instagram.
I recently wrote a piece about the dangers of co-sleeping and what precautions mothers should take if they want to co-sleep with their children. The same day I wrote it, I found an old photo my dad had captured of my sweet mother. She was asleep with my two baby brothers ... breaking nearly every co-sleeping rule I had just written about.
I think it's the sweetest, most tender photo I've ever seen of my mother. It made me rethink all the "rules" I had just written about; because even though she was breaking them, she's still an incredible mother - the best I could dream of.
Everyone seems to have their own parenthood guidelines, but it's impossible to follow one rule without breaking another. Some people think co-sleeping is the only way to go, while others disagree.
Here's a list of 14 ways to be the world's worst mom in 2017:
1. Don't breastfeed
Breastfeeding is how a mommy and her baby bond. It's the healthiest food your baby can get to help them grow big and strong.
2. Or ... do breastfeed
When you breastfeed, you're essentially feeding your baby everything you're eating. You're even transmitting diseases. Baby formula is the best way to play it safe.
Pillows, blankets, soft mattresses and rolling bodies are a death trap for your baby. Keep them in a separate crib to avoid the risk of SIDS.
4. Make your baby sleep alone
Babies sleep better when they're close to their mamas, and it's easier for you to feed your baby at night.
5. Go to work
Babies need their mommies to stay at home and take care of them. Your family should be your no. 1 priority.
6. Be a stay-at-home mom
Your children deserve to live comfortably, and they won't be able to do that if your whole family is living off of your husband's paycheck. If you go to work, you'll be able to make more money to support the family.
7. Feed your baby store-bought baby food
Store-bought baby food is full of toxins and chemicals. Your baby only deserves the best food, which is more likely to be found in a home-grown garden.
8. Make your own baby food
While you're spending all that time pureéing veggies and freezing blended fruit mixes, you're missing out on valuable time with your child. Spend that quality time developing a relationship with your baby instead of focusing so much on making the perfect meals.
9. Vaccinate your child
Do you even know what's in those needles they're poking your baby with? And all at once, too? Nope. You might as well just take your baby outside and rub some dirt and pollen on them.
10. Don't vaccinate your child
Measles? Polio? Tetanus? No, thank you. Keep your baby (and babies around them) safe by vaccinating them. Doctors know what they're doing. Trust them (and the vaccine statistics) to keep your baby healthy.
11. Take your baby outside
Do you know how many germs your baby is exposed to when you take them outside? People sneezing, pollens flying, children who never wash their hands. It's best to keep them in your own home where you can better control the environment.
12. Keep your baby inside
Babies need some sunlight! And a bit of germs here and there is good for them - it helps build their immune system.
13. Take a ton of pictures
When you're that mom posting 20 pictures of your baby on Instagram a day, are you really doing it to treasure these moments, or are you doing it for social media fame? Put your camera away and give your baby the attention they so desire from you.
14. Don't take many pictures
This is the youngest your child will ever be, and the oldest they've ever been. Take pictures of their first steps, because they're never going to have a "first step" again, and you'll want to treasure these memories one day.
Moms have so much pressure to be the perfect nurturer for their children, and it seems they can never avoid harsh scrutiny.
Every family is different, and moms come in all shapes and sizes. Love your family, and do what you feel is best for them.