Lately, I’ve just become fed up.
Fed up with others telling me how to live my life, and how you should live yours.
As moms, we are inundated with “mommy-shamers” who tell us every day we are doing this Mom thing all wrong. It’s my gut instinct to just ignore this unwarranted advice – actually, my gut instinct is to tell them to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, but that’s not very nice. So, I’ve compiled a list of things I’ve actually heard from some well-meaning people. I’ve also read a few things as I spend a lot of time on Facebook.
In no particular order:
- We need to just get over our postpartum because we are clearly just not strong enough to power through our hormonal changes and the feelings that come along with a newborn. Oh, you can’t bear to get out of bed? Well, you just need to put a positive spin on life, darlin’!
- You should breastfeed because “breast is best”! And if you aren’t breastfeeding, you just don’t love your child enough. Never mind that she was unable to produce any milk and her baby was starving. She pumped and pumped, but nothing was produced. Fed is best, thank you very much.
- We definitely should be using cloth diapers to save the planet and your baby’s tender tushy. Well, since I have a 15-year-old child with special needs still in pull-ups, I believe I’ll continue to carry on with the paper pants since I am unable to change him in a public restroom. You get me a changing table long and strong enough to hold him and we’ll talk about cloth diapers.
- Don’t use your cell phone while at the park, even if you’re using it to talk to a friend you haven’t spoken to in ages and you need your “friend therapy” session, or you’re a work from home mom, or you’re setting up doctor appointments, or just catching up on Facebook. Your child might need you to see her go down the slide for the 500th time that day and you wouldn’t want to miss it or allow her to see that she isn’t the center of the entire universe. Let her grow up thinking everyone will be entertained by everything she does – all the time.
- Taking the wee ones out for the day? Better bring a coat and blankey for them. Wouldn’t want them to catch a cold. Of course, if it’s a warm day, you shouldn’t cover them up because they might succumb to heat exhaustion. Better figure out which one it is! Wouldn’t want that nice old lady at the bank leering at you because of it.
- Don’t co-sleep, or not co-sleep. Your baby needs you, but not that much! Why would you ever put your precious baby in his own crib? But if you don’t, you’re just asking for some kind of danger to befall your child. Sleeping is best, in whatever form that comes in. If you need to sleep in a recliner so your baby can get some relief from colic, or you can catnap while your toddler naps, have at it. Whatever sleep looks like in your home, get to it, Mama. You need your rest!
- You should only feed your child organic foods! Never Little Debbie snacks. I mean, who would want to eat that delicious lard-like cream-centered Swiss Cake roll?
- OMG, you vaccinate your kids? You mean, you don’t?! Can’t win here either in the mommy wars.
- You work outside the home?! Gasp! How can you leave Junior and go to work every day? Don’t you know you’re wrecking your child’s feeling of security with your wanton abandonment? Seriously, how can you let someone else raise your child?!
- Oh, you’re just a stay at home mom? What are you, lazy? What do you DO all day long? Watch Soaps and eat bonbons? I’m sure you’ll be returning to the workforce to be productive again when your kindergartener goes off to school, right?
- You should never kiss your kids on the lips because germs. Everyone knows the mouths of babies and toddlers carry more germs than rats. Also, kissing is only for a married man and woman and you shouldn’t introduce your innocent children to that.
Public school or private school? It seems every damn decision you make as a mom is going to be judged by another person, usually another woman. Why they feel entitled to give an opinion about your children is beyond me.
We do it to celebrity moms and us regular moms alike. We find it easy to degrade women every day. From what they were wearing (You’re a mom now, you should dress like a mom!) to how they rear their children. Everyone has an opinion on what you should be doing or how you should be raising your kids.
But here’s the thing. We don’t have to listen to those opinions, ladies! And we don’t have to be a party to it, either.
Why do we tear down the women in our own lives? To make ourselves feel better and feel superior to those other moms because we’re doing everything right and they aren’t? I laugh in the face of this foolishness! I don’t know about you, but I’m not doing everything right. I fail at this momming thing daily.
What gives us the right to negate her love for her children because a mom chose to wear yoga pants to drop off her kids at school and everybody knows she doesn’t go to yoga class? It’s not your business what that mom does. The only time it should be a concern is if a child is in actual harm’s way.
A quick search on Twitter, Facebook, and Google show that mom-shaming is a popular pastime for many. Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one, and most of them stink.
You don’t know what is going on in someone’s home. You don’t know if what you’re seeing is a once in a while thing or an everyday occurrence. And even if it is an everyday occurrence, it’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
Now, giving advice when asked is a totally different thing. If you’re asked for your opinion, feel free to give it. You know mommin’ ain’t easy. We’re all just trying to do our best. And oftentimes, I will ask for advice from my friends who are seasoned moms. Who better to turn to for information when you just can’t figure it out on your own? Those ladies are the ones to whom I lamented my sleepiness during the newborn stage, and the shoulders I leaned on when we were going through so many diagnostic tests for my son. The people I call to share good news or the funny things my kid says.
In the end, It’s not our business to decide what is right and wrong for any household we are not currently living in. Until you are paying the bills, your opinion will hold no weight for me. To quote my daughter, “You’re not the boss of me!”