There are so many things we seem to be unable to say now-a-days. Or do. Or express.
This week has been testing on many levels; for example I’ve had the day from hell today with a baby who has refused to nap and even now as I determinedly sit here and try to blog now I can still hear him whinging at 7.30pm! I was on countdown to bedtime this afternoon; one of the many things I’ve been advised as a mother that I shouldn’t admit to.
There is a constant fear of offending or irritating someone. For a start I know how lucky I am to be at home with Josh every day. I am grateful for being a stay at home Mum even though it is, dare I say FUCKING HARD WORK!!!!!!!!! And if you don’t agree, by all means be my guest and give it a go for a day then tell me it’s easy! But today, with a baby who wouldn’t nap and who has no realisation that if he just had a sleep he’d feel so much better and Mummy wouldn’t lose her shit, I was counting down to bed time just so I’d have this time – time to shower, time to eat, time to work, and yes time to have a much needed glass of wine!!!!! Time for me. Does that make me selfish? Apparently so according to some. Apparently admitting to feeling this way deems it necessary for others to tell me I don’t know how lucky I’ve got it. Guilt creeps in, I think about my girlfriends who are back at work; do they resent me because I’ve uttered those words. Don’t we feel enough guilt as it is without putting more upon ourselves.
I’ve experienced a fair amount of negativity recently. Posting a picture of yourself in your bikini results in people telling you that you really shouldn’t post these things as you’ll upset women who aren’t the same size as you; women will resent you, not identify with you. Posting a meme saying that I’m as much of a real woman as a woman who’s a size 12; apparently no I’m not and I should shut the fuck up. Posting selfies is self indulgent. Posting coupley stuff is sickly. If you write about how hard it is being a stay at home Mum you’re told you’ve no idea how lucky you’ve got it. If you write about how hard it is going to work when you’d rather be at home you get told you’re selfish for leaving your child all day.
Seriously – we can’t fucking win!
It drives me mental. I love blogging because this is my space to write and, thankfully, I know several of you enjoy reading my musings, vents and thoughts. We are all entitled to our own opinions. There is no need to be intentionally offensive or controversial. But if you have something to say that is constructive, thought provoking, or something that others may relate to positively then speak up.
To the pregnant woman on Facebook posting constant bump updates – I love seeing how excited you are about becoming a Mum. Share that excitement; it’s amazing. You’re not boring me – it’s beautiful.
To the Mum posting daily pictures of your baby – it makes my heart happy to see how proud and loving of your baby you are. Continue to be proud of being a Mama. Shout that shit from the rooftops honey! You waited 9 months to do this!
To the couple constantly positing “sappy shit” about each other online; thank you for being a reminder to the next generation that happy marriages do exist and it’s not all drama like EastEnders.
To the girl posting selfies; thank you for showing others that it’s ok to feel beautiful now and then! A bit of self confidence is very sexy.
Can we stop being annoyed by anything and everything and instead start boosting each other. I feel like that really is the essence of Beauty Baby and Me and I hope that’s something that is becoming apparent with my writing.
In the world of motherhood there is a lot of tearing each other down. Case in point I got asked this week by a friend why I was putting Josh into nursery for one morning a week when I’m a Stay at Home. I corrected them and said I actually WORK at home as a PA, as well as being with Josh. I was met with a somewhat patronising smile – she may as well have said “Yeah, cause being at home all day is a real “job”! I knew immediately what she was thinking. I wasn’t expecting her to then question my intelligence; saying I’d end up braindead if I was just a stay at home Mum all day. At this point I made my excuses and started chatting to another friend cause I wasn’t up for this shit. Having recently read a blog post that seemed to echo these sentiments it got me thinking and I have to stand up for us SAHMs and say I don’t think I’m any less intellectually stimulated than I was when I was working in an office; I spend my day juggling A LOT of plates.
But as I’ve said, I bit my tongue. I let it go and decided to vent to you lucky people instead. But this is one of those classic situations where I should have used my smart mouth to its advantage! I wish I’d said to her I’d never judge or mock her for being a working Mum, a career girl. I’d never doubt her ability as a parent just because she’s not at home all day. But it was ok for her to sow that seed of doubt in my mind. She’s my friend and she should support me as much as I support her.
It made me think of a brilliant point my friend Charlie made in her fantastic blog post; people have no qualms about saying to a slender person “Oh you’re so skinny, you want to put on some weight”. This is apparently acceptable. Yet no one would ever be rude enough to say “Oh you’re filling out there, get yourself a diet”! If you did you’d be pretty mean, so why is it ok for someone to say something of such a similar stance to someone slim.
Double standards drive me nuts. I feel it about so many things. For example the old classic, breastfeeding v bottle feeding. There is a huge amount of social support for those who bottle feed; people accept it and don’t judge (and nor should they) when they see someone bottle feeding. Yet when it comes to breastfeeding there seems to be a real stigma that women are pressured into it and therefore it seems to have an almost negative association. I remember having people say to me “why are you still breastfeeding, give yourself a break and give him a bottle”. I didn’t – that was my choice and anyone who reads this blog knows how strongly I felt about breastfeeding for as long as possible. But can you imagine if the tables had been turned and I’d been bottle feeding and had someone say to me “why don’t you stop using the bottle and get that baby on the boob”. There’d have been uproar; “how dare they judge you, how dare they tell you what to do”.
Everyone is different, everyone has different opinions. Thank goodness as the world would be very boring if we all felt and thought the same. But it’s the way people deliver them that can be crucial. Some people are cutting, passive aggressive and judgemental. I read things sometimes that I am astonished by. I don’t know if people write these things for effect, in the hope of rousing debates and ruffling feathers, or if they think it’s OK to be judgemental and at times, hurtful. To mock others, other Mums, other writers, other women is not ok. Yes say what you want to say but delivery is everything.
I am all for us having opinions. That was the point of this post – we should be able to say what we want to say. But it’s that age old womanly thing of “It’s not what you said, it’s the way you say it”. Valid, true and important. Have an opinion – be a strong woman and stand up for yourself and stand by what you believe in. But do consider others feelings. Be supportive. Build each other up.
We’re never going to run the world if we’re too busy tearing each other down.
Have a voice. Be kind. Do Beyoncé proud!