I follow a few mothers on social media: Aaryn Williams, Emily Norris, The Modern Mumma and Sophie Cachia to name some. It always amazes me how much mom-shaming these women cop from other mothers. The comments that they post are absolutely disgusting to say the least. I don’t know why people feel the need to do it. Why can’t we just be happy for other people? If it bothers them so much, just don’t watch or read the blog! The people behind the nasty criticism are totally unaware of what this type of scrutiny and condescension does to the other person on the receiving end. Most importantly, how are we going to teach our kids about bullying if we do not lead by example?
I am beyond exhausted listening and reading all of the mom-shaming. I know that everybody to some degree has judged other mothers whether it’s in real life at the playground or over the internet on Facebook. I am guilty of it. We all are, to a certain extent. However, I would never go as far as some of the women I’ve witnessed.
Mom-shaming trends that need to stop:
1. Choosing to send your child to childcare
There are many reasons why people choose to send their kids to childcare. It could be because they don’t have any other family members to turn to. They may need to return back to work. Or maybe it’s purely because they want to provide a more sociable environment for their kids. Whatever the reason, this doesn’t make a mother, a bad one.
I remember a time I posted on Facebook for childcare recommendations. I had 90% supportive and very helpful responses. But one in particular really hit home. She bluntly said, “Have you ever thought about just staying at home and looking after your own kids?” She also referred to women “dumping” their kids in childcare just to fulfil their career desires. In a few minutes, my post went viral with mothers writing very hurtful comments to each other.
It’s an individual choice. I feel guilty having to work and sending my little one to childcare. But unfortunately, we can’t afford to be on one income.
2. Bottle-feeding versus breastfeeding
When I was pregnant, the nurses at the hospital asked me whether I wanted to breastfeed. It wasn’t really a question and if I had said I wanted to bottle-feed then I probably wouldn’t hear the end of it. Luckily, I had already made up my mind to breastfeed. However on Day 5 after birth (the worst day of my life), I was very close to giving it all up and it took everything inside of me to persevere the pain of sore nipples. Thankfully, everything worked out.
Many of you already know that I had alot of issues with breastfeeding. Some that will unfortunately make me choose bottle-feeding next time round. There is so much unnecessary pressure to breastfeed. Every mother understands the benefits of breastfeeding, however, some just can’t, some don’t have enough milk supply and some bottle-feed as they have to return to work early.
We shouldn’t have to feel guilty for the choices that we make. Every mother wants the best for their baby, we don’t just give birth and say, “We only want what’s second best for our baby.”
3. Opting for a cesarean birth over natural birth
I wanted a cesarean birth before I gave birth to Madeleine. This was purely because I was scared. I didn’t know whether or not I was capable of giving birth virginally. I ended up going through the public system here in Australia. In the public system, you were not allowed to opt for a cesarean birth unless there was a reason to. This was because studies have shown that a cesarean birth usually comes with more risks for both the mother and baby. I ended up giving birth naturally and healed so quickly.
On Instagram (the worst place for mom-shaming, second to that is YouTube), people refer to mothers who have given birth through a cesarean as “a mother who’s too posh to push”. Well excuse me ladies, some people don’t have a choice! Mind your own business, as long as the baby comes out healthy and the mother makes a recovery. Who cares?!
4. Working mums versus stay-at-home mums
As I’ve mentioned above, another mother shamed me for living the high life a.k.a going back to work over being a stay-at-home mum to take care of my daughter.
I don’t choose to go to work; I have to work. The bills don’t just pay themselves. Every minute I’m at work, I think about my daughter. What is she doing now? I wonder if she’s eaten? I wonder if she’s had her nap? I already feel guilty enough for leaving her. I certainly don’t need another mother to add to this guilt!
This has got me fired up. My start to motherhood hasn’t been easy. I definitely struggled and mother’s group has been terrific for that. I always wondered why some mothers feel the need to add to this pressure. Friendly advice do exist and I appreciate that so much! But, some of the nasty comments are dreadful. Why can’t we be supportive towards one another?