It is frustrating as a mother myself, seeing all the ‘mom-shaming’. [ And yet as frustrating as it is, I know that I am guilty of it but newsflash; you are too ] I am sure at some point, you have judged another mom at the playground, at the grocery store, or even on Facebook. As a mother, I’ve come to this simple realization: if you have worry that you’re not a good parent, that just makes you an amazing parent to begin with. It’s the parents who don’t worry that we should be worried about. So, take a step back, pat yourself on the back for being awesome, and then walk up to another parent and say, “You’re doing a great job.”, seriously, do it. We need to start helping and stop shaming each other. You’re a parent; and as a parent, you should understand just how hard it can be, let others knows you understand their struggles. [ this parenting shit ain’t easy, for anyone ]
What the outside world doesn’t see is how much a mom loves her children, because they are too focused on pointing out the bad. Mom shamers are nowhere to be found when moms are lovingly tucking their children into bed, caring about their safety in the car and protection, and doing everything humanly possible to provide for their little ones behind the scenes. But as soon as your child falls at the park and scrapes his knee, you see the side eye from other mothers. Moms are bound to run into embarrassing situations, unexpected and spur of the moment; those impromptu moments do not define you as a parent. [ I was mom shamed once harshly and it still bothers to this day, it hurt, and I will never forget it ].
Some of the mom shaming topics that trigger me personally as a mother are; breastfeeding [ in public ], working vs. staying at home, natural birth & c-section and ‘mom’ fashion. And these are just a few, I could be here all day ranting. [ I will share my triggers one by one without going off completely, I promise. ]
Breastfeeding; some people have more milk than the average dairy farm and your baby becomes a boob monster from the minute he latches [ this was the story of my life ] but sometimes it is easy to forget that not everyone has this luxury with their newborn. And even when some moms don’t say it, some can be really upset when you whip your boob out to feed your child. [ whether they want to tell you or not ] A lot of my friends had a hard time breastfeeding for whatever the case may be; they just couldn’t, it was to painful, didn’t want to or other medical reasons. Sometimes breast feeding isn’t the option for everyone. Despite the bottle, boob war; a mother will do anything she can for her child. Bottle or breast, the child is being fed, so keep your opinions to yourself, especially because you don’t always know someone’s reason. [ I mean, google will tell you everything and everyone’s opinion anyways, you don’t even need to go out. ] A mother knows what her options are [ it is pounded into our heads for the nine months of pregnancy ], so just support her with whatever happens and whatever she decides. Simply, enough with the “breast is best” comments. FOOD IS BEST, a HEALTHY BABY IS BEST. And for the love of all things holy, let a woman be when she is breastfeeding in public. You eat in public [ unattractively stuffing your face ], babies have different sources, no need to stare; IT IS JUST A BOOB. [ You make us uncomfortable when you stare, and we personally don’t like to sit on a toilet in a dirty pubic washroom and breast feed. ]
Caesarean or natural birth; having a c-section specically doesn’t make me less of a mother, or have less of a connection with my children. I had a lot of complications during delivery and couldn’t deliver my babies naturally. I am so grateful I could even have my children, but my body doesn’t work like many other women. I am too small and my babies were too big. Delivery might have been a little different for me, and the initial connection was different, but I was pregnant with a child. I am a mother. And today I am no different than you when it comes to being a birth parent to my child just the same as you are to yours.
Its super [ not ] nice of all of you who have the amazing capability to look in from the outside and decide you have a better solution for what I am going through [ at that specific moment you catch between my child and me ]. But this is a friendly reminder that you probably have no idea about what is going on when my kid is melting down in the middle of the aisle. It is easy for the public to judge a mom based on the only moment they have seen them, but there are dozens of reasons a mom might choose to parent her children in a certain way. So, in conclusion you don’t know how to stop the dramatic throw down, and even if you did it’s really none of your business. [ sometimes kids can’t be reasoned with, and they usually decide that in public, over the worst things possible. ] Its my choice, as their parent to decide how to handle them. Most moms are doing the best they can. They are making choices, and they are living with the consequences, both positive and negative. They may not make the same choices others would make, but really, why do onlookers care? Don’t they have their own life to live? Their own story to create? Their own decisions to make? I think we can all admit that it’s really hard to raise children in the world today. Let’s not make it harder. Instead, we should be helping one another out.
Us mothers get slammed because we either work too much, we don’t spend enough time with our kids or that we spend too much time nurturing our kids. It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you decide to reside; we all get slammed with hate. [ and for all the moms who have those gimmick stay at home, make lots of money while not doing anything; its not for anyone so stop shoving it in our faces, when I say no I mean NO! ] Sometimes the mothers that are working, have no choice; she probably wants to be at home with her kids all day, but in the end, someone must pay the bills. And that goes with saying for the mothers that want to escape and have some adult interaction, baby sitters and day care are too far out of reach. There is no need to frown upon a mother for her career or non-career choices, we make the decisions that work best for us and our family. Let us be. We got this.
EVERY mother is different. Postpartum is different, healing processes, life after baby; we are all different. We experience the transition differently. Some drop the baby weight in four weeks postpartum, some four years, some have an easy baby and can leave them in a car seat beside the manicure/pedicure, hair salon chair and have a stress-free visit for a spa day aside baby. But not all mothers have this luxury. When moms call other moms lazy because they can’t get out of their pajamas, or wear the same yoga pants for days on end, this just starts a mom shaming war. Any mom that claims they get beautiful every day is probably lying to you, or is a celebrity who has ten personal assistants who do it for them. [ I bet Beyonce wears sweatpants too, I bet she also has lazy days ] Don’t judge moms who can’t get themselves going as often as some others. If you are too cool to be seen with someone in mom jeans and a sweater, or no makeup; you might just find yourself eating lunch alone more often [ and you probably deserve it ].
There are, of course, things that are definitively terrible, like abuse and neglect. But for everyday, parenting decisions, most mothers are just doing their best to make the best out of what is often a very difficult situation; in a small human body form. It’s possible in some circumstances that maybe you do know better because you’ve read all the baby sleep books on the planet or figured out a foolproof way of dealing with a picky eater. But this doesn’t work for all households. Kids do as they please, and come and go as they want. You might feel like you have it all mastered and it’s the way it should be like they say in all the books; but in a blink of an eye it is the total opposite and you have to start from the beginning [ if your kid is perfect and none of this applies to you, please quit reading; and move your eyes some where else ].
There is a definite right way to offer friendly advice, and that is when someone asks for it. When you are slamming mothers with your unsolicited advice, you really aren’t helping. Your unwelcome [ probably harsh ] advice feels like daggers especially when you are a mother that is exhausted and unstable [ for the better part of the first year; if not longer ]. Most advice us mothers get, we take as an insult; because we are assuming you are judging us from what you form your advice from. No one wants to find themselves in a moment of less than stellar parenting, but it happens to all of us. And believe me, we’re already judging ourselves harder than any of you possibly could.
So please; for all the love you have for your own children or belongings; don’t pile onto what we already have going, and if you happen to say something make it kind words of harmony or support. Instead of judging and shaming another mother, lend a helping hand. Not in a condescending way but out of kindness and compassion for the situation she is in. Let’s face it: criticizing moms is easy, and what some mothers do isn’t what you do. But we all do what is best for OUR kids, let people parent their own kids and you parent yours. Non-parents have no trouble casting an irritated eye on a mother whose toddler is acting out in some public place, and people with older kids often take this chance to ponder the many ways in which they would have done it differently or become the old and the wise in raising children, they know all the know how. [ please be my guest; take my kid and calm him down mid temper tantrum in the granola bar aisle; I will finish my shopping. I’d really like to see you try. ]
My house is never spotless. I have friends [ with kids ] whose houses are spotless. Are they better mothers than me? Nope. Am I a better mother than them? Nope. Mothering is hard, balancing life and kids is hard; and we are already hard on ourselves, we don’t need your help to feel inadequate for our own children and that we are doing it wrong. Being a mom is a stressful, tiring, important job. It takes patience, poise, grace under pressure, and a whole lot of heart. We all have our own story, and don’t let anyone write it for you.
… And remember before you criticize, accuse, or abuse, you have to walk a mile in her shoes.