In this day and age, you can be shamed for almost anything. Gone are the days where things were said behind your back, now it’s written there for all to see. It’s real, it’s hurtful, it’s detrimental to people’s health.
I think we can all agree that motherhood can be hard. We all have our own journey to make but many of the ups and downs will be similar along the way. Some will breeze through and some will struggle and stumble with every step. Some will be challenged mentally, some physically and sadly some won’t make it. We all deal with things differently, what may seem insignificant to some will be the be-all and end-all to others. We’re human beings… All unique.
Surely, when you become a mum you become more compassionate and more understanding, however, why are some so quick to judge others? Why is someone else’s journey more or less valid than yours? Why are their choices for THEIR family even important to YOU?
I’ve always believed in ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.’ The number of mums I’ve witnessed online being shamed for THEIR motherhood/family choices is quite shocking. Why do others feel it necessary to comment, to troll, to belittle, to judge other mums? If their child is safe, loved and fed what possible business is it of anyone else! If you don’t like or don’t agree with something move on and/or unfollow. Social media is clever like that, you choose what you want to see.
If they choose to breastfeed, bottle-feed or have to tube-feed as long as the baby is fed that’s all that matters. We ourselves are the hardest critics, we don’t need pressure or judgement from others too. There’s enough of that from the media and some health professionals etc.
If their baby sleeps through the night or not, if they use cloth nappies or disposables, if they wean early, if they breastfeed until their child is five-plus, if they do baby-led weaning, if they choose to medicate their SEN child. If they adopted their children, if they had IVF, if it took them ten years to get a baby or if they fell pregnant straight away. If they elected to have a c-section by choice, if they co-sleep, if they took all the pain relief during birth or they didn’t, if they baby-wear, if they let their kids eat unhealthy snacks.
If they have to work or they want to work, if they choose to be a stay at home mum, if they only cook fresh healthy meals for their family, if they take time alone. If their pre-pregnancy body snapped right back two weeks after birth, if they still don’t feel like themselves four years post-birth. If their child still has a dummy at three, if they buy second hand, if their child is potty trained at eighteen months, if they aren’t enjoying motherhood, if they are a celebrity mum and people assume they have lots of help with their kids, if they are on their phone a lot trying to work or just trying to regain some sanity by scrolling through social media.
If they have seven kids or if they have just one, if they shout a lot, if they have holidays without their kids, if they have a tidy house, if they have piles of washing up left from last night. If they have/had postnatal depression, if they suffer from anxiety, if they are loving every minute, if social media shows their life looks perfect, if they have the latest baby accessories or if they are reusing the ones from three kids ago. If they shower every day or if they’re lucky to get one a week, if they have brand new clothes or if they are still wearing maternity clothes six years later.
If they let their kids watch YouTube so they can get a moments peace, if their child appears naughty to the outside world but really they have ADHD, if their child has complex medical needs which others don’t understand or even if their child can speak four different languages by the time they start school… What does it matter to YOU what others do, choose or have? You have absolutely no idea what goes on behind closed doors, what silent struggles many have. That woman you are judging/shaming is still a mother like you, has still wiped someone else’s bum, has still cradled or cuddled their child with all the love in their being. They have most likely questioned their own ability at some point since becoming a mum, cried in the dark/the bathroom/the car/anywhere because they have been so tired/so unsure/so overwhelmed. Who are you to add to this?
Yes, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion and I’m well aware that we don’t have to agree all of the time. We aren’t perfect but we can try to be kinder to ourselves and each other. Build each other up not knock each other down. Women supporting women, mums supporting mums is a force to be reckoned with. Be that person who makes a positive difference. Be kind. Always.