As I sit here, living in my imperfect world, I find myself thinking about the the judgemental assholes around me. As we become more engrossed in social media, the more stories we share, the more pictures we share, the more personal information we share, hoping that our posts will go viral and the world will come back with comments of love, respect and support.
Recently, a child wandered into a gorilla enclosure at the zoo, a young boy was pulled by an alligator into a lagoon in Florida and the world reacted. Imagine the helplessness and horror these parents were experiencing. Imagine the grief of watching your child being dragged into the water by an alligator or a gorilla tossing your child around like a rag doll.
Instantly, the world jumped on these parents.
"Why wasn't she watching her child?"
"Where were the parents?"
"They are so neglectful."
"They will go to hell."
"Arrest the parents."
They must of been pretty shitty parents for taking their children to the zoo and to Disney World. What is wrong with you society? Sitting behind your computer screen, spewing out venom.
Hundreds of comments shaming the parents. Have you ever turned away for a second, turned back around and your child was gone? Damn right you have done it. We all have. Our hearts race and we vow to never do that again....only to have it happen the following week. When we hover over our children, we are accused of being a helicopter parent, if we step back and give our children some independence, we are accused of being neglectful. What the fuck? Seriously. Children are impulsive and unpredictable little beings. We work our asses off to make sure that they are fed, watered, loved and taken care of. Some days, the best we can do is to give our children leftover cheerios found stuck between the seats in the vehicle, or a box of Kraft Dinner, or 4 movies in a row on the IPad. Some days, all I say is "NO" over and over again and other days, I am the "YES" mom. Some days, all I do is kiss and hug my children and other days, I just want space, a vacation and a 60 of rum.
Yes, I am also guilty. I can admit it. I have shamed and criticized moms while at the playground and on social media. I tend to shame them in my own head, rather than confronting or writing a nasty comment. A stranger pulls out their cell phone, takes a video or snaps a picture of a mom doing something that they think goes against the grain, goes against what they see as appropriate. It gets posted online and the criticism and chastising begins. The victim, unknowing of the post that is soon to go viral.
1) None of us are perfect.
2) We are doing our best.
3) Maybe you should mind your own business.
4) You made yourself look like a judgmental a-hole.
5) Invasion of privacy is not cool.
Motherhood is hard, so why are we doing this to each other? Why do we feel that it is our right to shame other moms?
Breastfeeding in public. You are the best. Put your tits away.
Organic food. You must love your child. Go hump a tree.
Pinterest parties. You are the best. If Pinterest said that it's the right way, we all know, this must be the only way. Stop competing with other moms.
Weight gain. You must be happy and in love. You're fat and unhealthy.
Baby wearing. You have such a beautiful bond with your child. You're a follower of trends.
Formula fed. Great work...gives you some independence. You didn't try hard enough to breastfeed.
Working mom. Way to go! You're a horrible mom.
Stay at home mom. You are amazing. You're lazy as shit.
Shaming. Shaming. Shaming.
Let's get back to the days when we supported one another. Let's get back to when we used kindness and love to carry each other through our days. We work hard. We try hard. We want to be acknowledged by others. Tell a stranger that they are doing great work. Pay them a compliment. Tell your friends that they've got this! It's hard raising children. Stop shaming and start praising. AMEN!