In today’s world, mothers have it harder than ever. With Pinterest boards, parenting hacks, a million warnings you could never keep track of and the watchful eye of far too many unwelcome critics, it’s no wonder mamas today are losing their minds.
Whether you put your kid on a leash or let them run wild, you’re going to be criticized. If you bottle-feed from birth, you’re exposing your child to harsh products when their bodies need the soft nutrients of breast milk. If you give your kid a candy bar, it’s probably the end of the world. And if you don’t make it to the gym six days a week, recover from pregnancy like a rubber band, and somehow go longer than 30 minutes without losing your cool with your kids, then your motherhood will be challenged.
Everyone is a critic these days, because our lives are on display for all to see. But as Laura Mazza wants others to realize this week, it is nobody’s place to judge another.
“Don’t judge me,” the ‘Mum on the Run’ penned to Facebook.
“If i complain about my children, don’t say i don’t love them.
If i say how perfect they are, don’t tell me I’m too braggy. You don’t see the hours I spend holding and loving them.
If I’m honest about motherhood, don’t say I’m ranting. You didn’t see how many years I couldn’t tell anyone how I felt because I was afraid.
Don’t judge the mother who is formula feeding. Don’t call her lazy. You don’t know if she struggled for months on end trying to make it work. You didn’t see her go to lactation consultants, eat lactation cookies. Spend money on lip ties and a pediatrician. You didn’t see her journey.
Don’t judge the mother who breastfeeds in public. You don’t know if today was the day she finally got the confidence to do it. You don’t know how hard she’s worked to keep that breastfeeding going. Don’t belittle the act of a mother feeding her baby.
Don’t judge the mother who tells off her kids in public. You don’t know if she’s the most patient woman in the world. You don’t know that she is always gentle but today she lost her shit because she’s tired and worn out.
Don’t call her a bad parent when you don’t see all she does.
Don’t judge the mother on her phone. You don’t know if she’s replying to important work emails. Working from her phone, looking up recipes that her kids will eat for dinner or talking to her mum that lives a million miles away.
Don’t judge the mum who works, she’s making a living for her child.
Don’t judge the mum who stays home, she’s doing the job of 20 for no pay.
Don’t judge the single mum. Shes doing fine on her own, and is doing the job of both parents . She left a bad relationship, she stood up for herself, she’s a role model to her children.
Don’t judge the mother eating fast food with her kids. You don’t know that she’s too exhausted to cook, that she wanted to keep her kids happy and get out of the house for a treat. You don’t know her struggles. She could grow an organic vegetable farm for all you know.
Don’t judge the mother who hasn’t lost her “baby weight”. She’s spent the year healing from birth, mentally and physically. Now isn’t the time for her to give up cake and eat kale.”
After laying it all out there—the judgements that we’re all guilty of dishing, if not receiving—Laura drives her point home by offering some sound advice for how we can lift mothers up, rather than berate them for “doing it wrong.”
“Every mother has her own story. She has walked down a tough path. You don’t know her challenges, her strengths, her weaknesses…Her life, you don’t know any of it. She judges herself every day, she strives for the best every day. So rather than judging, lend a smile to her, cut up her food when she breastfeeds, warm up the kettle for her formula, reassure her in her struggles and praise her victories.”
Moms are freaking superheroes. Unfortunately, most mamas don’t feel like one. Take some time today to help a mother in your life, and let’s break the culture of mom-shaming once and for all.
Because like Laura says, “before you criticize, accuse or abuse, you have to walk a mile in her shoes.”