Have you ever heard the phrase, "mom-shaming"? What is it? According to Urbandictionary.com, "Criticizing or degrading a mother for her parenting choices because they differ from the choices the shamer would make." Have you been on the receiving end or even done it to someone else? I will admit I have done it. Also received it. It isn't kind and doesn't make anyone feel very good.
We live in a world of perfect lives on social media. Most of the time, all you see is the picture-perfect side of life, things that happen during the day without the stark reality of the dark side.
When someone, such as a mom comes to facebook to vent about something that happened to them, they are labelled "drama mama", or something just a mean.
Not that long ago, we had a scare at my children's elementary school. The school was on high alert due to an incident in the area. The school went on lock down due to a domestic issue at a home near-by. It was an issue between a husband and wife who had children attending this school. To protect all these children, they locked down the schools in the area, especially this school to keep everyone safe. Better to be safe, then sorry. Right after that, yet another school shooting happened in another part of the country. I had anxiety about sending my kids to school. I know I wasn't alone because other parents expressed the same concerns. I went to the school and spoke with the principal. I wanted to now what the procedures were if such a thing (school shooting) happened in our school system.
I will admit, I cried. The whole time I was there I kept thinking, "hold it together, you don't want to look like a freak". Why did I feel that way? Because our society is all too adept at mom-shaming. If we are too sensitive or not sensitive enough, someone is bound to tell us. If we chose to have a c-section over a natural birth, someone is going to have a problem with that? Homeschool or public/private school? Whatever the topic, we all have an opinion. The question is.... should we or do we need to voice it?
If you have ever met me, you know that I LOVE my children more than anything. I have 5 boys who are my life. 3 of them attend this elementary school and if something happened.... I don't even want to think about it. All 3 could be hurt. Or worse.
I wanted advice from friends, so I asked on FB how others handle this and deal with their fears and feelings. Right away, a FRIEND typed "drama mama". Wait, what? I am drama now because this is a REAL - LIFE issue that can affect anyone at any time... that makes me full of drama? If I can't ask my friends for advice, who can I?
If you are out and about and see a mom, or dad for that matter, struggling, instead of judging the situation, offer to help. Trust me, NO ONE wants to be bagging groceries or trying to get things done with a screaming child. Take a few minutes out of your day and offer kindness. Everyone, no matter their race, social standing, amount of money, whatever... can have a bad day or trying time with their children.
Remember it takes a village to raise a child. No one can do it alone. Not even the best of moms. There is no shame in asking for help or advice. There is no shame in asking for a break and having some time to recharge yourself, "your batteries". It makes you a better parent in my opinion. No one can be "on call" with their kids 24/7 and make it out with any sort of sanity. Let me tell you, I have tried.
So, the next time someone in your circle of friends is asking for advice, think about your response. If it is going to be catty or unkind..... wait until later when you are in a different mindset. No one, especially that vulnerable mom who put herself out there needs to hear anything but kindness and support.
Ladies, we need to build each other up. We need to find our strength to help even if we are in a similar position at the time. One act of kindness can turn into many. It all starts with us. YOU may be the reason someone decided not to end it all. You may be the reason someone decided to help another. It only takes one person to start a revolution. Will that person, be you?
If you are having an issue and need advice, I am always here for you. I may not have experience with what you are going through, but I am a great listener. No judgement. I will hold space for you as you work out what is best for all involved. Remember it is always darkest before the dawn. Nothing lasts forever, not even sadness. You can reach me at