On supporting other moms

There’s one thing I’ve noticed about being a mom – that moms are judge-y. Not all moms. I seem to have picked a great group to be a part of here in Annapolis but women in general are judgey and when you’re a mom, and think that what you’re doing is the best and right way, they can sometimes get scathing and judgmental.

I don’t quite understand it really.

It’s like this with this article about the mom in California with three kiddos who is super duper fit and posted a picture of “what’s your excuse” with her in a skimpy top and her three kids.

(source)

Kudos to her for looking like that and finding/prioritizing the time to get her workouts in. I personally happen to like television (sometimes a touch too much I admit), but I do try to work out four or five times a week (three at the minimum per Gympact. Thank god for that app. Otherwise my butt would never leave the house) but you probably won’t see me working out for multiple hours a day.

However, that type of “fitspiration” as it is, seems to be a bit more condescending than anything and just unnecessary. Here’s the thing – everyone has their own story and their own priorities. Not every one cares about having a six pack. Not everyone cares about “having it all” and not everyone wants to be preached too. Want to be inspirational? A different quote rather than “what’s your excuse?” probably would have done the trick and came off as less condescending and wouldn’t have generated so many negative comments criticizing her self righteousness.

So really, it’s not the picture thats the problem – it’s the attitude. And it’s those type of holier than thou attitudes that give moms a bad rap. We’re not all preachy, condescending, my-way-or-the-highway mamas. In fact some of us are open minded and supportive and go out of our way to be such.

It’s like a conversation I recently had in one of our playgroups where I was commenting on how we’re done nursing. That Ethan just wasn’t having it anymore and after our emotional trip to South Carolina where feeding was a fight and he didn’t sleep (likely out of hunger) and now, we’re both a lot happier that he’s supplemented. We made it to six months and that was my goal. One mom commented that her goal is to nurse for 2+ years. Which seriously, is awesome. Not that I’d ever want to go that long but I do commend mothers who do because it’s what they feel is best for their child.

After play group however, I got a couple of facebook messages after saying that I was doing a great job with Ethan.  I wasn’t offended by this mom’s comment because I brush the dirt off my shoulder and I’m at peace with our decision to stop nursing (mostly). Some people get a little holier than thou and defensive about breastfeeding which is fine because there are a lot of people out there who are super negative and easily offended by nursing mamas, so I get it, I’ve been there.

But really, why can’t we support each other and trust that each mother knows what’s best for her and her children without the judgmental eyes, the irked tone, the “why would you do it that way” attitude? I just don’t get it and for our sake as mothers, can’t we all just get along??

I digress though, back to the Fitspo mama.  We can be supportive of one another without being a bunch of a-holes. We can give kudos to a mama who seemingly has it all together (she probably doesn’t have it all together, becuase no one’s perfect) and secretly wish we had that six pack after three kiddos (seriously. my scale has been going up lately. which is…not the direction it should be going in….thats another post for another time though).

But as mamas we need to accept the fact that we do the best we can and we make the decisions that are best for us and our families. Let’s just agree to not be catty bitches to one another when someone doesn’t do the same thing that we do or has something that we want. Whether someone’s breastfeeding longer than you, has more time to workout than you do, or somehow manages to have a clean house and perfectly dressed children or whatever it is you have a beef with.  Let’s cheer them on, let’s use these examples to look for ways we can improve our own lives – whether we want to work out more, have a cleaner house, or whatever it is that you want to do better.

To the mama’s who do “have it all” (or appear to) –  whether it’s having the baby that sleeps 10 hours every night since they were four weeks old, whether you have 6 pack abs or got back to running 8 minute miles 10 weeks after you gave birth – let’s not be condescending d-bags about what we have that others don’t. Don’t assume that every other mama wants to nurse till their baby is five years old, or that every mama wants to run 8 minute miles or that every mama wants those 6 pack abs while working three jobs and raising three kids. Everyone has a story and that doesn’t make their struggles any less meaningful than your own or that they’re not trying as hard to be the BEST MAMA EVER.  Because we’re all doing just that – we’re all just doing the best we can and looking for support in every way possible.

You can be motivational, you can motivate a community without being an a-hole about it.

 

 

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  • littledanic

    I think the key is that anyone who judges others clearly does not have it together. Otherwise she wouldn’t feel the need to shame others. Sure, she manages to fit in her workouts despite having 3 kids but so what? I could judge her and say that based on how her body looks, maybe she needs to spend less time at the gym and more time with her 3 children. It’s human nature to judge others I think-regardless of whether you’re a parent or not. It comes from a lack of self-esteem and the need to show others that LOOK I’M PERFECT.

    Because they clearly do not believe it themselves. I say this because secretly judging others is something I hate to admit I take part in, and I can tell you, it all comes from a place of jealousy and lack of self confidence in my own choices. I think if we all understand that about each other, then when someone does judge us it feels a little less harsh. My attitude is that it must be really difficult to live their life-to be in a place where you feel the need to shame others in that way. Then I don’t feel bad about myself anymore 🙂

  • littledanic

    Also: We can’t change the behaviors of others; only the way in which we react <3

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