As a new mother, it’s easy to feel like every decision you make is scrutinized; by family, friends, even strangers you encounter. For Jordan Lloyd, winner of the 11th season of Big Brother, this has been especially true. Her public rise to fame on the 24/7 recorded show has put her in the spotlight as a fierce competitor, and most recently, a mom. She’s learned to tune out negativity on social media, turn to those she trusts for advice, and have faith in her own instincts as she navigates motherhood.
Because she and her husband Jeff met, fell in love, and eventually even got engaged on the show, fans and followers have felt invested in their story from the start. While most have been supportive, some have felt compelled to offer unsolicited advice - even judgment. “People had opinions on EVERYTHING!” Jordan recalls, laughing. “From feeding choices to baby names!” On good days, she says, it’s easy to brush off, but in difficult moments those words had more impact than she’d like to admit. Thankfully, she was able to lean on family, especially her mom and sister, whom she called daily in the first months of motherhood, for the support and encouragement she really needed.
Over time, Jordan has learned to trust her instincts as a mother. “It’s so easy to look at other moms on social media and feel like they’re doing so much better than you, like they have it all together,” she says. “I just try to be open and honest and real.” For her, this meant sharing her struggle with and treatment for postpartum depression as well as breastfeeding frustrations with her boys, Lawson who’s 2 ½, and 8 month old Layton. Though she longed to breastfeed them both, she says, her body could never quite produce what they needed. When she began supplementing with formula, there were plenty of critics who questioned her decisions - even her efforts as a mother. “It helped me open my eyes and say, ‘I’m not going to pay attention to anything else around me, I’m not listening to comments on social media. I’m going to ask my mom and my sister, because I know they love me and aren’t going to judge me for the choices that I make.”
Her experience has taught her how important it is to be unequivocally supportive of other mothers. “All you’re trying to do is be the best parent ever and care for your child,” she says. “You don’t need [negative] comments coming from everywhere else.” And while it might be tempting to keep her life, especially the messy, unfiltered moments, more private, Jordan knows the power of using her platform to lift others up, even if it opens her up to criticism: “The biggest compliment for me is ‘You make me feel so normal and you make motherhood feel so real.’”
Receiving negative comments about parenting decisions is something that many moms can relate to. Jordan’s story of leaning on her circle during those tough times is the final feature in a series from the Similac Promises Project, a campaign that aims to promote positivity over judgment, and lifts up other parents instead of tearing them down. In order to create this community of support, we want to hear from you. Tag a friend and make your promise of support and solidarity to other parents on social media using hashtag #PromisesProject. Share your own journey and let other parents know you see and support them, because it could be just what they need to hear.