Have you ever told a little white lie when talking to someone about motherhood for the fear of being judged? Agreed with their point of view in case they shamed you for thinking the opposite? We’ve all been there!
I was having a conversation with my best friend today, the topic of screen time came up and I felt like she was trying to justify the amount of time her boys spent even though I’m the least judgmental person when it comes to this subject plus I’m her friend, I’d support her no matter what decisions she made to get through life with kids.
And it got me thinking, why is it that we as women feel so pressured into fitting in and pleasing everyone else that we cannot be honest when it comes to the choices we make in our own lives? Who or what was it that made us feel this way?
I remember in early motherhood I would always bend the truth to “fit in” with other mums but why? Does it really matter if babies are bottle or breast fed, if a dummy is used to comfort or not, if cloth or disposable nappies were your preferred choice? Why can’t we just admit the truth without feeling the need to give some sort of exclamation to justify our decision?
Who remembers the weekly health check-ups you’d attend with your child up until about twelve months of age? These checks are to make sure your child is reaching the right milestones by the supposed ideal time. Who lied to the nurse at least once about how their child was going or even how they were going? I understand milestones are there as a guide when it comes to our child’s development but in some cases these appointments caused more stress and pressure when it came to motherhood as you compared your child to the so called “perfect” one.
Brayden didn’t walk as early as the rest of the babies in our mum’s group and of course that was hot topic in conversations with absolute strangers. ‘oh he’s a late bloomer’. ‘Isn’t he walking yet, how old is he again?’. ‘He might have learning difficulties?’ Of course there was nothing wrong with him. He was just taking his sweet arse time to walk when he was ready not when the text books or statistics state he should have been. And honestly as a mum there’s nothing better than sitting back sipping on a hot coffee, watching every other mum chase after their run away child whilst yours is quite happy to just crawl around still. Appreciate the days your child is not mobile yet! The days where you can turn your back for a second and know they can’t go anywhere are very short lived.
I guess when I think about this it’s all related to feeling embarrassed or shamed as a mum if your choices are different from others so if mum shaming stopped maybe we could all feel free to admit when we’ve served up frozen pies for dinner multiple nights in a row or screen time was the only thing that gave you a minute of peace today because god dam you deserved it! What if we all just started to speak freely about what we do, have a good laugh about it and fuck the haters! What if mums all band together to try to get through motherhood together and did whatever we had to or in some cases did nothing at all just to get by? Sounds like the ideal world to me, who’s with me?