When did the motherhood community become so ugly?
Before I was mother I assumed motherhood was a community where moms would encourage, support and offer help to fellow moms. A tight knit sisterhood where the love for our children joined us together. Lifetime friendships would be formed on the playground while our children had fun together. Judging didn't exist, well because we all have our own way of doing things.
The harsh reality of it is motherhood is a journey often traveled alone. A journey where you are judged for your every parenting decision big or small. You are questioned while pregnant if you are going to breastfeed. Some peoples motives pure and are just curious, others are ready to shove there opinion down your throat why breast is best. So many facts and questions are thrown your way. Are you making or buying baby food? Are you going to cloth diaper? That carrier is bad for their hips. Sleep training is bad or you aren't sleep training?
When did it become ok to publicly bash a mom? To make judgmental memes and share them for the world to see? Judgments are made in the form of "helpful" comments on photos when a child is strapped incorrectly, so now you see disclaimers made from mothers that she knows he/she is strapped incorrectly for a photo to avoid scrutiny.
Social media is a blessing and a curse for a mothers emotions. On one hand you feel love, support and encouragement from the snippets of someones life. On your worst days seeing a happy smiling face gives you hope that tomorrow will be better. But on the other hand that snippet into someones life can make you feel guilt. You find yourself questioning why your days don't go this way, why your house is not spotless like hers, why you aren't able to enjoy a hot cup of coffee while your kids play quietly or why you aren't making that amazing meal for your babe. What you don't see is the space beyond the parameters of that Instagram shot, you have no idea what is going on behind that mom. Her day may be in shambles but there was a moment of joy and she needed to share it to boost her spirits. I know I've had that day, that picture.
Want to know a little secret from a mother of a 19 month old? Motherhood is HARD. The sleepless nights wear on you physically and emotionally coupled with constantly being needed and you feel exhausted more days than you are willing to admit. Admitting to that can make you feel weak, like you have failed or that you are a bad mom. I have put on that happy face, pretending like my life is blissful, that it's easy and all comes naturally. When we gave birth we weren't given a manual how to live our the days beyond the hospital walls.
Seeing things online just gets me so fired up! Why has motherhood turned into a battle ground? Why do we feel so much guilt for not doing things like her?
Mama you are beautiful, you are strong, you are worthy! You are doing an amazing job raising your baby! No one knows how to care for them like you do because you know them like no other. You are their safe place, their everything, you are their mother! There is no need to feel guilt or shame for asking for help. I love this post that Andrea wrote, it truly does take a village. Not all days are picturesque or easy. Some days you feel like your on top of the world, buy maybe the next you are scrambling to keep things together. You know what? That is OK and completely typical of the day in the life of a mom.
If you are reading this post then you know that there is a beautiful blogging community among moms. I cherish this community so very much. We aren't alone in motherhood, we don't have to be at war. So today when you see a mama smile at her, lets bring back a sense of community in our real lives too!