I came to realise a few things: Nobody judges mothers more than other mothers.
Mums who work often look down on mums who chose not to. We hear terms like trophy wives – women who have nothing else to do than keeping their husband and kids happy. With feminism on the rise, stay-at-home-mums are looked down upon, because we live in a time where a woman is supposed to have it all: the career, the husband, the 2-3 kids, while enjoying hobbies, organising social events, having enough “me-time”, and while looking slim and stunning.
On the other end of the spectrum we hear stay-at-home-mums saying things like: “I didn’t have kids in order to abandon them all day long”, considering mums who chose make time for their careers monsters for leaving their kids at kindergarten, school or with a nanny.
Mums who breastfeed are hear judging those that decided against it, and mums choosing to breastfeed for longer than the average time are judged as well.
Did you decide to have a C-section or an epidural? Rest assured that many mums will also have a strong opinion about that.
You decided not to have kids, or – God forbid – have an abortion? Don’t even say it out loud. I am 37 years old and for some weird reason I didn’t feel like having kids (yet). It might come late, or it might never come. But I had to hear things from mothers like, “That’s very selfish, not to have kids” or “Are you not scared of dying alone?” or “You will regret it later”, and always “Having kids was the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me.”
Mums judge each other based on what they give their kids to eat, and that, as I came to learn, is a whole new topic. When a kid acts out, it always surely is the mum’s fault, and one go-to-explanation is that she fed her kids crap and fizzy drinks.
Mums build cliques at school and judge other mums who are less involved in school activities, or too much involved. The school ground serves as a gossip battle field.
Younger mums gossip about the women who only became mums in their end thirties or forties, and older mums don’t take younger mums seriously.
Daughters, once they have their own kids, experience a renaissance of judgement against their mothers and on how they were brought up. I’ve witnessed cases where mums use the complete opposite educational methods just to prove a point to their mothers. And the mothers, on the other hand, judge their daughters and impose their own views on education or belittle the more “modern” ways of educating kids. I witnessed mothers and daughters loosing touch because of these differences.
I witnessed all of these scenarios. And here is my request: Stop judging other mums!
Being a mum must be one of the hardest things you ever experience, together with the most rewarding one too. Just as you struggle being a mum sometimes, so do other women.
I firmly believe that every mother on this planet is trying the best she can, with what she has learned, based on her experiences, values and beliefs. We are all a product of our past, in fact we carry our female ancestors’ stories with us.
This world doesn’t need us women judging other women. This world needs us women to support one another. To listen to one another. To hold space for one another. To empower one another.
A woman should have the right to say, “My kid sucks” and, “Being a mum sucks,” when she feels like saying it. Because it’s true. We don’t have to have it all figured out all the time. Society expects women to be these wonderful mothers all of the time who never struggle. But who are these women? Do they exist? I don’t know any, neither would I want to meet anyone who says “I’m a perfect mother, wife, I have a Harvard degree and earn shit loads of money, and yes, my job is my life purpose, thank you for asking, I’m the perfect friend, sister, daughter and I have my shit together every day and all day long.” Did I just hear you yawn? I know I did.
No, you don’t have to have it together all of the time. You don’t even need to have it together most of the time. Motherhood might suck. And that’s ok. And that’s something that could unite all mothers – daring to be open about their struggles and not fearing judgement from the very women who should be the first to understand them – other mums.
Even though I’m not a mum, I want you to know that I love all mums.
I deeply appreciate what you go through, all your beautiful struggles, the difficult decisions you take, the endless patience you have. I especially love all single mums who work so much harder and have to be a Dad and a Mum at the same time in many cases. Just sending you all lots of love today. Pass it on. Let it be contagious. Give a fellow mum a compliment today. Call your own mum. Stop striving for perfection. You are beautiful.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS-Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve.
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