Please don’t make me use my teacher voice. Internet world. Mom world. Women world. Society in general. Please. Please don’t make me use my teacher voice! You know the voice I am talking about. The voice us teachers use to get everyone’s attention and make our point. It isn’t our favorite voice to use, but we use it to keep disorder to a mild roar and bring everyone back together. Sadly, I think it is about time to break out the teacher voice.
My husband and I just brought home a brand new son! He is amazing and we have loved every minute we have had with him and his big sister, but there is a whole other emotion and image that a new mom deals with.
The postpartum body.
It is tough. You carry a baby for over nine months. You stretch, grow, and change. If you’ve been there, you know it isn’t just your belly that does that. So, when I went to the store hoping to find a pair of shorts that would fit because I am too small to fit into maternity pants without it looking frumpy and too big to fit into my pre-pregnancy pants, I was hoping for a little more compassion from the sales clerk. I took sizes I normally would have cringed at, but pushed past that because I just had a beautiful baby. The size I needed they didn’t have and instead of checking their stock to see if they maybe did have a pair or asking if they can order online for me, I was met with a, “Oh, that’s too bad,” followed with a look that almost questioned why I would be shopping for myself.
Can you blame a gal for wanting to look good? So begins the mom shaming that so many of use face.
Body image is one part of the mom shaming, but now the hair. One of our writer’s recently wrote about what the New York Times had to say about mom hair. With pride, I will tell you that two after I was released from the hospital, I went and got my version of a mom cut. I told my hairstylist back in January that I would most likely call her shortly after he was born to chop off my hair and sure enough I did. Why? Because who has time to deal with hair when chasing a toddler and taking care of a baby?
So you have hair and body shaming on new moms, but there is oh so much more out there! If you breastfeed. If you feed formula. If you use cloth diapers. If you use disposable diapers. If you co-sleep. If you don’t co-sleep. As new mom’s we are just trying to make the best decisions for our little ones and ourselves. When is the mom shaming going to stop? When will we embrace each other with love and respect even when we don’t necessarily agree with their choices? I chose to breastfeed. You chose formula, awesome. Both our babies are getting fed. I chose disposable diapers. You chose cloth, awesome. Both our babies get their butt’s cleaned. You co-sleep, awesome. I wouldn’t sleep because of worrying about rolling over the wrong way, but once again our babies are getting sleep and love from their moms. Please, please stop the shaming and show love!
(End of teacher voice)
By the way mamas, you’re doing great!