We live in a society, where we constantly pre-judge everything – from how we dress, to socio-economic status, and commodities we own. Sadly, our society likes to judge mother’s choices for their children. Whether it is in public, on social media, or gossiping amongst each other – people think it is OK to mother shame, constantly judge, give unnecessary criticisms, asking a million questions, providing their opinions and views as a definitive answer. It is hard learning the ropes of motherhood, trying to get through the day, let alone the hour.
Thrown within the midst of it all, whilst trying to understand what is best for themselves and their child/ren – A random variable comes crashing through, to disturb what little wits a mother has left and ever so gracefully oblige them with their two cents.
Mothers are struggling daily at home and in public – there is always someone watching, judging, and gossiping about ‘that mother.’ That mother who is breast feeding in public or that mother who is bottle feeding. That mother who prefers to co-sleep. That mother that stays at home, or that mother who works full-time. That mother who uses dummies to comfort her baby. That mother who chooses to feed her baby solids before six months. The family going out for a meal at a restaurant. Then there is that mother who lets her toddler use an iPad. Also, that mother’s method of discipline, or lack thereof. Let’s not forget those young, old and single mothers. What about those mothers with children that have been born out of wedlock, or those who choose (or cannot choose) to have an only child. More so, those mothers with up to five children. The ignorance lives on, and on…and on.
Who right is it to judge a mother’s choices? Unless the child is in danger, maybe, just maybe it begs the question; why did the mother make that decision – perhaps it is deemed right for herself, and her child? Aside from the choices mother’s make, haven’t they got enough going on? The troubles these mother’s face daily could be anything from a colic baby, to a child with disabilities. We are blind to what lies beneath the frantic, messy haired, tired mother. What personal problems is she going through? Is it postpartum depression, problems with her partner, sleep deprivation or lack of family assistance? No matter what the situation is, it is unfair to make assumptions, and assume it is OK to express these opinions.
What is saddening is that a proportion of the judging and shaming movement are actual mother’s themselves. They form themselves as “A Mother Army,” an alliance, where anything a mother chooses is scrutinised. I’ve sat in cafes and seen mother’s stare, whispering to each other whilst my son is on his iPad. I have had dirty looks when I have given my son a chocolate bar, or they think I am younger than what I really am. It is hurtful. I too as a human being, and like everyone else, like every mother have feelings too. All in all, it is no-ones business what I do, and how old I had my child. My choices in how I bring up my child may differ to another mother’s – at the end of the day, my child is well dressed, well fed, and most importantly unconditionally loved.
Society needs to take a step back, and think before they judge and speak. It seems people have forgotten the saying which exudes respect, dignity and etiquette – If you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all. Simple. As. That.