When I found out I was going to enter the world of motherhood, I assumed I would be welcomed with open arms by fellow moms out there. We are all on the same page, raising a child right? But boy was I wrong. I didn’t realize I was entering a new world full of “I am better at this than you” attitudes. A world where putting me down for my decisions as a mother could be so easily stated. A place where judging another mom happened as quickly as newborn diapers needed changing. A place full of MOM BULLIES.
You all know who I am talking about. Mom know it alls. Moms who do no wrong. Moms who feel the need to pick you and your parenting style apart. Moms who are a member of every mom group online, in real life and who know absolutely every fucking child event in your city. And moms who love making you feel bad for the way you are raising your kid.
This really all began when I was pregnant. I HATE PREGNANCY. I love birth, I love being a mom, but my body does horribly when pregnant. My first, I threw up the entire 9 months. It was not a good experience at all. I cried daily and had about a good 3 weeks spread out over the whole pregnancy. The worst part about it was, I felt like I could not talk to any other moms about it. Thank god my husband let me cry on his shoulder because I needed it desperately. Every time I tried to talk to other moms about how awful this experience was and how insanely guilty I felt for feeling that way, I was pretty much told I was an awful human and that I should feel guilty.
After my first was born I did love the ideas and thoughts that were thrown at me. And they literally were thrown at me at every angle. Within weeks, the mom bullying began. It all started with breast-feeding, or in my case, not breast-feeding. Viv and I could not figure that shit out. It was a miserable experience for both of us and she was not gaining weight. Matt and I decided me pumping and bottle feeding and supplementing with formula was the best thing for our family’s survival (I say survival, because when you have a newborn…survival is all you can ask for.) Man, every single fucking time I wiped out a bottle in front of another mom I was shamed. It was so bad, that I would make up excuses for leaving and just fed her in the car. Just so I would not have to hear, “Breast is best.” When I would explain that I was up all through the night pumping away and never resting while she did because I was hooked up to a machine just so I could bottle feed her breast milk, then I would hear, “Bottles aren’t helping bonding.” It was a constant state of worrying about who was watching me while I fed my child.
Matt and I put her in her crib at night at 6 weeks. We heard it again, women telling me at story time that she was going to become insecure and not feel loved because she didn’t have human contact through the night. I would explain that when she woke, I would wake with her and tend to her, but I wanted her to be an independent sleeper…..still some women just scolded. She should be on top of me, next to me, touching me at all times. I would always just explain that every family is different and try to move on, but those bullies love to press. It got to the point where I just didn’t like these mom things.
Although it was nobodies business, I still felt the need to justify my reasons for expanding my family so soon. BUT WHY? Why did these women, most of whom I barely knew, care about what was going on in my life and with my kids?
It is crazy to me that people can be so absorbed with someone else. My actions as a mom do not reflect their actions as a mom, so why the fuck do they care? My kids get told no. My kids get sent to their room. My kids watch TV, some days a lot. My kids eat junk food. My kids are safe and happy and that is all that matters. There is no reason to push your views, your ideas, your ways of parenting on mine.
Moms can be the meanest, most judgemental, insecure group of females I have ever encountered…but why? We are all fighting the same battle, so let’s stop picking on each other and tag team this motherhood shit together. That woman you are bullying and degrading is just parenting a little differently than you. But at 8 pm you both want the same thing, bedtime, a break and a breath to yourself. We all want to reflect on our day and think about the positive experience our kid had, not the mean mommy who picked on us.
I think it is about time we all ease up on each other and start supporting a bit more. If you see a mom shaking a bottle of formula, offer to hold the baby while she preps. Don’t glare her down. She is doing her very best. If you see some dirty, tantruming kids, bring them over a lollipop, their mom is trying so hard and needs your help, not your dirty looks. And when some mommy is opening up about a certain parenting style you don’t agree with, just listen to them, be open-minded and save your backlash for later to your husband. Lord knows he is probably used to the bullying too.