In a recent post, Maggie Wilson Consunji, mom, beauty queen, actress, and entrepreneur, wrote: “Have you ever been told you can’t wear that or what are you wearing because you’re a mom! That moms shouldn’t be wearing shorts that short or tops that are cropped. That you’re not disciplining your child enough or worse, the right way. That you’re being too anal about what you feed your child. That you’re either too strict or too lax. And God forbid you decide to be a mom who works. God knows, I’ve been on the receiving end of another mom asking me who my son was because she didn’t see me around often at my son's school. I may not be there to pick him up or drop him off every day but I am there when it matters the most.”
We feel for her, and for the most part, people rallied around her. But as they say, haters gonna hate, and one in particular told her to quit complaining and just move on.
Indeed, all too often we find all sorts of reasons to hate, to judge, or to, at the very least, frown upon our fellow moms. We look at the mom who gave up on breastfeeding and ask why she didn't try harder. We look at the mom who is breastfeeding an older child and ask why she's still going at it. We look at the mom who pulled out all the stops for her child's first birthday party and say that maybe she could have just used the money for other purposes. We look at the mom who just gave birth and ask why she's not doing anything to lose her post-pregnancy weight. We look at the mom who's so svelte and ask why she has to flaunt her fitness.
At times, the mom shaming can be blatant with words thrown right at our faces. At times, they maybe subtle and cloaked with good intentions. Sometimes they come from strangers. But they hurt the most when they are uttered by family and friends. Apparently, having a platform to judge and vent and make our opinions known to a larger group of people has made us more opinionated.
But here's the truth: The only kind of mother that any of us need be is the one that we are right at this very moment.
You need not be the kind of mom that your mother is, that your friend is, or that your favorite mommy influencer is. You could only be singularly, spectacularly you!
Of course, we are only human and we may sometimes beat ourselves up after encountering unkind words, forgetting all that we have accomplished as mothers because of what somebody else told us about ourselves. In the same way, we may sometimes also be quick to judge. It is at those moments when we should bite our tongues, take a deep breath, and check ourselves. We are in no position to pass judgement on a fellow mom because we don't know what she's going through and we don't know how she's feeling. Heck, we may not even know who she is!
Motherhood is difficult enough on its own, and the sooner we moms realize that we are all in this together, the stronger we shall all be. Now, go and give a hug to a fellow mom today!