By MeOhMy Founder Siobhan (@meohmymum)
I've written about this before, and (unfortunately) I'll probably write about it again.
Mums judging other mums. There's no place for it. It's got to STOP.
In the same week, I had several groups of mums who I thought were 'fellow mamas in the trenches with me' judging me for my motherhood skills.
To the women who rolled their eyes and stared as I dragged my tantruming 2 year old kicking and screaming across the sand at the beach the other day, with my other 11 month old babe on my hip, and did nothing to sympathise or help...F YOU. You should be ashamed.
To the women who said I was a horrible mother for inadvertently turning away from my children for a few seconds in the bath the other day, really?? I'm sure you've done something similar, or thought about it, or know someone who has. I was just brave enough to admit it, acknowledge my mistake and apologise profusely, going public in an effort to warn other mums.
I'm just doing my best, like we all are. We're all in this together.
In public, when you're on an outing and the shit hits the fan with your child, all it takes is one mum to reach out and say "are you ok?" or "how can I help?". That could change a situation from being absolutely horrible to ok. Good, even.
Online, I've had an overwhelming amount of support. It's absolutely amazing, and I can't thank those mums enough. But there are the trolls...always the trolls...who think it's their place to really just 'put me in my place'.
As I've said before, I think it's inherent (to some extent) that women bitch about other women. Women compete, get jealous, judge someone for their hair, clothes, makeup, behaviour... you name it and I'm sure we've all experienced it at some point in our lives.
I remember being bullied at school for being 'the new girl'. It stressed me so much that my hair started falling out in clumps and I had to change schools. Then I had to get braces, I cut my hair short and died it red then ended up putting on a bit of weight at Uni...I was certainly the ugly duckling, that's for sure!
Yes, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and I definitely grew from those experiences. But, as adults and WOMEN, aren't we above all that?
Here's the news flash - yes, we've all (myself included) had one thought or another about a fellow mum or about what they're doing. We might talk about it to our husband or close friend. But that's where it should end. Keep your judgement private, NOT PUBLIC.
There are those that stare with judgement on their faces in public ("oh, my child would NEVER do that!"). Then there are those that 'troll' online. Both, in my book, are bad. It's like the keyboard warriors don't realise there's an actual person there that they're criticising. Or they don't care. I guess they think they can hide behind the keyboard?
I know this is all part and parcel of this whole blogging gig. I'm well aware of that, and obviously know that with sharing my world so publicly there are risks. And I accept them.
But I share in the hope that it helps other mums find common ground, realise they're not alone, and (in the case of this post) to highlight a particular issue.
I DO NOT share in order to get judged. No one deserves that.
Aren't we all adults? This isn't high school, people! Do you realise you're basically bullying? What sort of example are you setting for your kids?
I see it all the time. Breast vs bottle (who cares if I stopped breastfeeding my baby girl at four months?). Toddlers shouldn't have dummies (so what if my son only just ditched the dummy?). Why is it (apparently) MY fault that my child wants to jump off rocks at the beach while his sister plays quietly on the sand (and I'm trying to save him from hurting himself!)? How does staring judgementally or commenting negatively help?
A little kindness goes a long way.
Let's support EVERY single mum for what she does (as long as it's healthy for the child, of course). She knows what's right for her baby, her family and her. We all make mistakes, like my bath incident, learn from them and move on.
Yep, I'm a bit idealistic. A lot, in fact. But hey, reach for the stars and maybe one day we'll hit the moon.
Behave as you want your daughter or son to behave. Be nice, and that's what you'll get back.
To all the public judgey-mcjudgey mamas, pull your heads in. Right now.
It starts with us.