Monday, 5 November 2018

Why Do People 'Mum Shame'?

Why do people mum shame? You see it al the time, in the school playground, in the supermarket when your kid is throwing the biggest tantrum ever and even worse, it's on the internet all of the time.  Everybody on this planet is different, life would be boring as hell if we all acted the same and bought our kids up in the same way. I am a mum and I have been for 26 years now, it seems such a long time and I have been a mum for more than I haven't been a mum. But you know what? I still make mistakes. You would think that I would be experienced and know what I was doing by now, but I still make my mistakes and slip up with things - that's all part of life.

Every parent makes a choice to bring up their child in their own way, I just seem to be winging it, but it works. Recently I was mum shamed for going on holiday on my own and leaving my child at home in England. The whole conversation knocked me for six and left me feeling like a bad parent. Even though it was said by a person who was drunk at the time, it still hurt my feelings. The thing is that when you say something about the way another person parents, you need to take a step back and think to yourself 'Hang on, I don't know this persons story',

Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash
Every time you shame a mum, you take a little bit away from them. You take away their confidence, their happiness and their positive mental health. It's almost as if you crush them like an insect under your foot as you walk. You make them feel useless and a failure. It takes a few minutes to undo all of the confidence that a young parent has taken months to build. They question themselves every day as to whether they are doing the right thing, but to hear it from someone else - it hurts like a knife twisting in your heart.

Obviously, if you're taking time to shame a mum, then you must be the perfect mum yourself! Just because you're doing something different to another mother, it doesn't mean that you are doing it right either. Just because one parent does something that you would never do, it doesn't deserve the bitterness of shaming that you do.

Photo by M.T ElGassier on Unsplash

Mum shaming has been around for years, of course, I remember when my older kids were little and a woman in the town I live in was shaming me for taking my children abroad, even though she believed I lived on benefits. She told a few people how wrong it was that I was able to do this. But she was a gossip and she didn't even get the fact right before she shamed me for the decisions that I was making. She Shamed me for spending £1500 in 5 days in New York with my kids. BUT she didn't know that my kids went without toys, comics, sweets and luxuries for a whole year to save the money that we spent over there. She never bothered to ask me how I managed to save up. I was pulling in all the extra hours that I could get to pay for the holiday, but she never bothered to ask. She just saw a single mum with three kids, so I must be on benefits. These days mum shaming is worse because it spreads over the internet on your social media channels.

Mum shaming is not something you should be doing, mum shaming is bullying another mum who could be ready for a breakdown. You could be mum shaming that mum that is a victim of domestic abuse, or you could be mum shaming that mum who struggles to get out of bed every single morning. So how about we stop it? How about we encourage mums? We are all winging this parenting crap and every night we go to bed and think to ourselves, that we have managed to get through another day of keeping our kids alive. So let's not shame other mothers.

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