Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Shops are brimming with cards, flowers and gifts and restaurants are throwing ‘special offers’ at us. But after all the marketing gimmicks and that little bit of extra attention (and chocolates and wine) we mums get, what next? Does being a mother and all that comes with it actually change? Does the Mom-shaming stop?
If I had to sum up Motherhood in a word, I’d say it’s complex. An emotional rollercoaster. You experience a love so strong and deep and powerful, it almost scares you. Yet, sometimes, you want to just run away and hide from those tiny objects of affection. One minute you are cuddling and kissing your toddler; the next you’re almost pulling your hair out in frustration. Motherhood makes you experience a gamut of emotions all in a span of ten minutes – from ultimate bliss and pride to loneliness and frustration.
And then it’s so bloody exhausting. Physically, there are constant night-wakings for approximately the first two years of your baby’s life (double that if you have a second child). There’s no 9-5; it’s more from sun up to sun down. Running behind crawling baby, then running after racing toddler, then running from school to swimming to ballet, then running errands… mums are always running!
Emotionally, the Momguilt will get you, irrespective of whether you are a SAHM or a working mum. You will be judged nonetheless – as a mother, a wife, a career woman, a woman.
Which just goes to prove that Motherhood is a tough nut to crack. And when the terrible Mom-shaming occurs, it makes things even more difficult. Society shaming mums, strangers shaming mums, and the worst kind – mums shaming other mums. Really? Do you have it so good that you can afford to defame another mum? Has your child never driven you up the wall? Hasn’t your toddler ever thrown a public tantrum? No sleepless nights your end???
These, according to me, are the most common targets of Mom-shaming – AND THEY SHOULD JUST STOP. NOW.
Why are mums who haven’t had a natural birth looked upon as weak / vain / selfish? Whether it’s by choice or need, so what? What’s consequential is that you’ve created and nurtured a healthy baby for nine months, does it really matter how he or she comes out?
Again, an extension of the C-section shaming. Ok, breast is best and all but sometimes, it doesn’t happen. Babies refuse to latch (mine is a case in point); cracked nipples and mastitis hurt like hell; mum is beyond exhausted and cannot feed for hours at a stretch every two hours every night. No – bottle-feeding DOES NOT make you a lesser mum.
SAHM v/s Working Mum
This one’s a bummer, either ways you are judged. If you go back to work, some will question how you call yourself a mother, leaving your precious one-year-old in the care of strangers? If you choose to be a SAHM, you’re looked upon as taking the easy path, not juggling work and baby. And not contributing to the pot. Serious, just STOP with it and let us be!
TV as a babysitter
I salute the moms who haven’t introduced their little ones to the TV/ i-pad/ phone, or who haven’t used one of these mediums as a babysitter. Serious, pat on the back to you. But hey, it’s NOT THE END OF THE WORLD OR YOUR TODDLER’S EYESIGHT if you do, as long as you are monitoring the screen-time and what your toddler is watching. When you have two hands, a toddler and a newborn, dinner to make and a whole lotta stuff to get done, this is THE BEST BABYSITTER EVER. Besides, we all need our ‘chill-out’ time – toddlers included!
Weight and looks
This one’s so frivilous, it drives me up the wall. Moms who haven’t got rid of their pregnancy weight are ‘lazy’. LAZY? Hello… do you know how exhausting it is to look after a newborn 24-7??? We cannot afford to be lazy. We’re just too tired to exercise when we’ve had 4 hours of sleep since ever.
And so what if I sport mom jeans and a mom bun? I don’t have time for make-up, excuse me, somedays I don’t even have time for a bath! So stop judging and shaming me, instead help me by babysitting for a few hours!
Meanwhile, here’s another post I wrote for Mother’s Day last year – What mums REALLY want on Mother’s Day. It’s another year, but I still want all these things…
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