If you spend any time on social media you will see countless articles explaining the different types of mom shaming. I think we all remember how much of an uproar the internet was over Hilary Duff kissing her son on the lips. If you talk to a mom friend I’m sure she can give you an example of a time she was judged for a decision she made. Women are passionate human beings, and you throw a kid in the mix things are bound to be a bit tense. I have not yet found a mom who is exactly like me, and in my mind I thought of this as a negative thing.
Our society sees each other’s differences as a weakness.
We took A to see Sesame Street Live with a couple who has a little girl around the same age as A. The mom and I get along well, but we definitely have some differences. I’m the mom that doesn’t use a bib, or clean A’s hands after every activity. She is the opposite, and normally I would feel a bit embarrassed being in this situation, but recently I’ve started to just embrace the hot mess mom that I am. As a human being I’ve always been a bit apologetic. I’m more likely to apologize instead of saying “thanks for understanding.” But A needs a mom who is less apologetic and embraces the mess.
Our children help shape the kind of mother we are.
A was not the baby that slept all day, or made sweet coos, played by herself, or smiled at every stranger. She taught me to adapt. She has shaped the mother I am today, just as I have shaped the child she is today…how beautiful is that??? I’m sitting here tearing up a bit just thinking about how organic and raw that is. Different parts of us have been passed down generations. Our mothers, aunts, cousins, grandmothers, and friends have had some impact on our lives. So the mom who uses a bib and cleans up every mess is not my enemy. She’s someone who can teach me to take a bit more care of certain shirts, and in turn I can teach her to give in a little.
I know a lot of people have had a strong opinion over the kind of mother I am to A. For instance my mother couldn’t understand my obsession with wearing A. But she wanted to be held ALL the time, so babywearing just made sense. And A’s clingy tendencies haven’t gone way, so I still wear her some days. My body is her calming technic, and wearing her gives that relief while keeping my hands free.
When I first had A I joined an online moms group, and eventually a facebook group was started. For months we all got to know each other, and we judged. I was one of them, and one day it all just became too much. I realized how toxic and wrong my actions were. A situation arose, I said my peace, and I left the group. I could no longer be a part of the group, and since then I’ve tried to steer clear from groups or people like that.
My point is whether you baby wear or use the stroller our differences aren’t something to divide us. If we continue the “mom shaming” narrative will we really be that surprised when our children show signs of bullying? Does it really matter if that mom didn’t baby led wean? It is time to change the narrative, to embrace our differences, and to build each other up.