This month I have been the victim of some anonymous abuse online. People judging me for choices I have made that result in my child going to a private nursery. Now, I have a thick skin, and I’m comfortable with my choices and my life, so all these comments did was provide me something to screen shot to my friends with a “hark at this nonsense” caption. I read them, spammed them, moved on.
This week, I’ve had a couple of conversations with people that have made me question just how judgey we can be, as parents, as friends, as a society. One with a friend, who won’t go to the gym until she’s “lost loads of weight” because she doesn’t want to be judged as the fat bird in the corner. And a fellow blogger, herself a victim of anonymous messages berating her for daring to moan about her children.
Do you know what? Come judge me when you are living in my circumstance. So;
To the mamma feeding her baby in public. I see you. I was lucky enough to be able to choose to breastfeed all my children (after the nasogastric tubes did their bit), but I’m also in a position where my braincells are advanced enough to accept that someone woman don’t have a choice, and also that some woman just don’t want to breastfeed. Fine, great. Do you know what having a baby spend 13 weeks in neonatal taught me? That if a baby is being fed, regardless of whether its breast milk, formula milk, or donated milk, then that’s enough. So to the mamma wondering if she’s a failure for choosing formula over breast – you’re not. Funnily enough, that’s your baby you’re holding. It’s your body that brought her into the world. It is your choice as to how your baby is fed. To the mamma stressing about having to breastfeed her baby in public – please stop. What you’re doing is amazing and natural and if anyone dares to tell you otherwise then just roll your eyes and carrying on being amazing. To the mamma who can’t breastfeed, for whatever reason, even though you desperately wanted to – cut yourself some slack. You will do a million more things for your baby that are just as important as this. Seriously, it’s not worth loosing sleep or sanity over.
To the mamma (or dad, or anyone) who thinks they are ‘too fat’ or ‘too out of shape’ to go to the gym. I see you. Please, please, please believe me – you are not ‘too’ anything. Go to the gym, or go for a run, go to Zumba, whatever. Do NOT let anything, or anyone tell you that you’re too fat or too unfit. Stop looking at ‘those’ girls on Social Media. They’re all photoshopped, they don’t look like that when they wake up in the morning. I know some pretty cool people, who also happen to be pretty fit. Guess what? At some point, all of them have been out of shape, or partied too much, or were injured. They weren’t where they are now. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the very fact you are even thinking about going to the gym is amazing.
To the mamma who’s child threw a wobbly in Asda today, or drew all over the sofa with Sharpie, or fed their tea to the cat. I see you. We all have moments where we want the ground to swallow us up and where we question why on earth we decided that bringing children into the world was a good idea. I was having dinner once in a pub full of people when my 4-year old announced “I know what the F word is, it’s FUCK” really really loudly. Yeah, mortified. Also, I left the girls with my Mum once and #1 asked where I was going, to which I replied I was going to get my eyebrows done (true story) and she said “are you lying Mummy, are you going get ‘down there’ done?”. IN FRONT OF MY MUM!! We all have ‘bloody kids’ moments. Children are the most unpredictable things in the world, and they don’t come with instructions or a mute button.
To the mamma who is worrying she is getting it all wrong. I see you. You’re not getting it wrong. Your children are loved, and fed, and tomorrow is a new day. I see you but I promise you, I’m not judging you.
This week has made me think that maybe our days would feel a lot easier if we just stopped being so judgemental of each other. It’s made me realise that if I’ve never been in a certain situation then it’s not my place to judge it, and if I have been in it then I’ve only been in it in MY circumstance, not anyone else’s. It’s really none of my business.
Be kind. Keep smiling. Don’t worry if you lose it in public, we’ve all been there. And we’re all still surviving, mostly smiling.
Shout out to Laura at Five Little Doves for the inspiration x