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Even among moms, the judging of other moms and their choices is rampant, and social pressures contribute. Let’s say no to mom shaming, for every mother is different.
It’s really unfortunate to see how a vision of perfect motherhood ruins the sheer joys of being a mother. We live in a society where people fling judgement without any second thought. The societal rules of pregnancy are meant to prepare women as a mother for life – a life where every choice is sacrifice, where putting another’s well-being before your own is paramount.
Motherhood is supposed to be all about love and joy, then why do so many moms experience regret, shame, or guilt? Clearly owing to the societal norms of being a ‘perfect mother’. Norms which tells us that vaginal delivery is the best, breastfeeding is a must, a working mom doesn’t love or prioritize her kids, an epidural is a strict NO-NO,… and the list goes on and on.
A woman is judged at every point in time, from being pregnant to being a new mother.
A pregnant woman who has a visibly small baby bump is judged for not intaking an appropriate diet, and as a result causing harm to the baby. Hey, wait a minute, think twice – can’t there be any biological reason to it? Or maybe it’s the way it should be as per her body structure & metabolism!
A normal delivery has become a “larger than life” issue. As the baby is born the first question which comes flying is “Normal delivery or C-section?”, and then if by any chance the answer is C-section, then the judgments begin. Maybe she was not fit enough, or she might have opted for it to take the easy way out.
Come on, give me a break! Most women wish to have a normal delivery until the circumstances become adverse, and even if they do go in for a C-Section by choice, it is their choice! And believe me these things do not go as per planned. Maybe the baby is in breech position, or their is something else. Or citing my case, all was going as per planned, dilation was excellent and I was pushing hard to get my baby into this world, but after my struggle in OT for 6 hours, the doctor discovered that the baby was unable to descend as his head was stuck in my pelvic bone, hence, after all our efforts we had to go for an unplanned emergency C-section. And yes, I was not that happy about it!
Epidural or not to epidural? As per old wives’ tales, it might give a wicked headache/backache for life, or hamper your bonding with the baby, or it might not work at all. These old wives’ tales go to the extent saying that to experience complete motherhood one must go through the labour pain, only then can the mother enjoy the true joys of motherhood!
The obsession for breastfeeding is blatant. It’s a well-known fact that nothing can surpass the benefits of mother’s milk, and in fact all mothers secretly wish to feed their wholesome milk to their babies, but many women who have trouble producing milk come under undue societal pressures and become obsessed about breastfeeding, and in turn go on to starve their babies literally. They may also blame themselves and suffer from guilt.
There can be many reasons a woman does not breastfeed – she may be unable to breastfeed her baby. Maybe the baby is not able to nurse, there may be cracked nipples, plugged ducts, or the new mother may need to return to work. Or it may simply be the mother’s choice! So, let’s appreciate her efforts to raise a healthy baby, whatever her circumstances.
The war between working moms and stay-at-home moms is an eternal mom-shaming issue. Mothers slam other moms because they choose to continue their career after having a baby, and then there are those moms who lash back, saying that stay-at-home-moms have a meaningless life except for catering to kids.
It doesn’t matter which side of this fence you’re on — we’ve all been trolled. Maybe that working mom has no other choice, she may really want to be at home with her kids, but due to financial issues she cannot call it quits. Maybe she is passionate about her work and will be a better mother if she works too. Everyone makes the decisions that works best for them and their family. So, stop being judgmental and just let it go!
Motherhood is uniquely individual experience. As a first-time mom, I’ve come to this simple realization: If you are worried that you’re not a good parent, trust me, that makes you an amazing parent. Whatever it is, trust me a mother will do everything she can for her child.
So, take a step back, pat yourself on the back for being such an awesome mother, and then walk up to another parent and say, “You’re doing a great job. Well done” No, seriously, do it, we need to start helping and stop shaming each other.
Stop making yourself crazy over the vision of perfect parenting. Believe me, it’s a myth! What works for each mother is exactly perfect for her baby. Mothers should understand, support & love each other, and not tear each other down. So, let’s not be harsh and let’s respect choices of each individual and contribute to stopping MOM-Shaming.
And to all the slammers I would say “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”
Image source: Flickr, for representational purposes only.