I write ‘Mummy shaming’ because dads are so often exempt it seems from what can feel like the endless bashing mums seem to get and mostly worryingly, from other mums, too. The whole thing baffles me.
Bringing up kids is hard enough without added pressure from others who, no doubt are also trying their best with their own kids, themselves.
That’s the thing about throwing stones, they end up springing right back and hurting the perpetrator far more than the target.
We need to live and let live, to respects others’ differences and circumstances and VITALLY we must acknowledge the importance of reaching out for help in all it’s forms and guises be it buying bike riding lessons or telling your GP you feel depressed post-baby BECAUSE ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE INTERRELATED…Because shaming others on any aspect of parenthood only serves to SILENCE parents.
When I was suffering a traumatic birth after my first son, Oliver, I felt like a total and utter FAILURE, as if I’d f***** up on the one job I was told I was born to be good at. It was all that stifling societal and media pressure placed on women to thrive at motherhood that led me to suffering for ten long months without speaking up about the pain I was enduring. The fact that just getting to the local shop with my kids was a battle. The intrusive thoughts, the black cloud above my head…the GUILT.
You do not need to be a martyr to be a good mum.
There is no such thing as a perfect parent.
It takes a village to raise a baby and a village to raise a mother and guess what, sadly those original villages, even as quickly as a decade ago have fragmented as people move away from their families or don’t have friends who can help, and with that comes the need for paid help be it childcare and beyond. Where is the shame in that?
Why must parents be chastised for finding their own parental groove their way (often lacking in choice due to a sexist and inflexible workplace), as they navigate choppy waters (and daggers thrown by others in the same boat)-I wonder if this analogy has gone a little bit far but stick with me.
Are we meant to be swimming teachers, drama teachers, home schoolers and more (nothing wrong with any of that either) in order to feel qualified as a parent?
My kids learn better from others and I say that as a former GCSE English teacher. Parents are not taking the easy way out or being lazy when they ask for help, it often comes after battles being lost and sleepless nights becoming too much.
Let’s stop dividing and start uniting. That’s the beauty of blogging and social media, we ALL feel less alone when we see the stories and experiences we ourselves are going through reflected back at us.
Breastfeed, bottle feed, wean early or late, stay at home mum, working mum, pick a nursery or childminder, school, homeschool…DO IT YOUR BLOODY WAY and DON’T SWEAT WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS however loudly they shout at you online or IRL.
I left this message for the naysayers and trolls on Instagram and have copied and pasted it below
‘Message to the trolls and naysayers: stop the mummy (and daddy) shaming, the trolling, the blaming, the online maiming, the judging, the bullying, the bitching and the bloody back stabbing. We’re all losing our shit and need as much support as possible. We all do. Simply BE who you’re (hopefully) teaching your kids to be. Rise up and be a role model already. You don’t like something online, look away and get the heck on with your life. Stop causing pain to others and seek out the good wherever you can because once you see it, it becomes abundant. ‘Hurt people hurt people’ as psychologist @hillaryliannamcbride so wisely states. Heal yourself so you can stop hurting others. Rant over. Peace and love to all. I love this community on Instagram and despite a troll harassing me (and others) they will not win. Love yourself. It’s the greatest gift to give yourself. Once you do, no one can stop you shining your light brightly. Whatever people say about my family and I we are happy in our skin and lives and that’s what matters’. Hillary has written a super guest post on how to deal with trolls if you fancy a read of it.
I was on ITV’s Good Morning Britain earlier this week debating whether hiring help is ‘lazy parenting’ and as you can no doubt tell, I certainly don’t this it is.
You can watch the debate below.
I’d love to read your thoughts on it.