Being a woman can often be a veritable minefield requiring the adaptability of water, the diplomacy of a politician sitting on the fence, sensitivity enough not to offend and yet, a thick enough skin not to BE offended. This state of womanhood is compounded in pregnancy and often even more so in motherhood. There’s nothing quite as strong, and yet nothing quite as vulnerable, as a new mom. You would hope as a society we would be geared towards the protecting of these women as they go about ensuring the survival of the species.
And yet we all know that ain’t the way it is.
I could expand upon the many ways that society “does women wrong”, but that’s not really what this post is about. This post is more a call to arms. A challenge to lift up those women around us. A plea for us all to show a little compassion and to stop making other women, and especially new moms, feel judged.
Mommy-shaming has many faces and that what makes it so very dangerous. From the bestie without babies that looks at you in horror when she comes over and you have a babe on the boob and Netflix on rapid rotation and feels this the appropriate time to remind you how you felt about babies and screen time pre-birth, to the kindly older neighbour peering over the fence as you strap your two week old baby into the car who says ever so sweetly – “oh in my day we never took babies out before 6 weeks old…” not realizing that you would give anything to be on the couch with babe in arms, but that you’ve got a meeting to get to and bills to pay. And then there’s the other mommies who compare your babies every time you meet. Are they judging? Is there something wrong / right with your baby? Or are they also just looking for affirmation that they are not totally screwing it up?
All these potentially explosive situations are made even more dangerous due to the fact that mommies are tired. Sleep deprived. Hormonal. And emotional. And scared.
I have never been this scared in my life. Scared every day for the safety of my babe. Scared to look in the mirror and see someone who looks vaguely like someone I used to know. And scared to be getting it all wrong and screwing up my boy for life. And I am pretty darn sure I’m not the only one feeling this way?
It’s so easy to allow the misinterpreted comments and the perceived judgements to create spaces between us. And it’s not long and these spaces fill with negativity, impacting on our every day lives and tainting our experiences a slight shade of grey. Should we not rather take these spaces between us, where we don’t see eye to eye, and create a safe place for discussion. A space for upliftment and a community of care.
Let’s fill the spaces between us with love. And flowers and understanding.
Let us as women, treat women the way we would like to be treated.
And let’s build a generation who wants to see all women prosper. And let us rejoice in the success of others and not take it as a judgement upon ourselves.
Individually we are one drop. Together we are the ocean.
Get out there and show the world your magic!