I might not be a Mom yet, but I want to be and I’m excited for when I am hopefully blessed with children.
I am surrounded by babies and toddlers, thanks to all my incredible friends who have become Moms. Some of them have just become first time Mom’s and some of them are navigating having 2, even 3.
I am not affected by the fact that some of our conversations have become about nappies, breast-feeding, sleep deprivation and every other Mommy topic under the sun. In fact, even when I was far from even thinking of having children, I didn’t mind the change in conversation. I actually love it because I like to share in the excitement of my friend’s new miracles. I also have really awesome friends who were aware when the conversation was one-sided and changed the subject sometimes.
Admittedly, it’s far more intriguing to me now, and I might be paying a bit more attention than before, because I’ve entered the next chapter in my life, where my husband and I hope to become parents.
The reason I am writing this now, as a yet to be Mom, but someone who is around Mom’s all the time, is because I’ve observed something as an “outsider.”
My best analogy, to try and describe my position is this: You could say I’m on the border (Not-a-Mom Land) and I can see into the next country (Motherhood.) I can see what it must be like, but I haven’t crossed over, so I can’t exactly say that I’ve experienced the “country.” Does that analogy work? I hope so.
There is a something I’ve observed about Motherhood, that as an outsider, on the border, I can’t quite understand.
There are a number of Facebook Mommy Groups. They are closed groups, understandably and all my friends belong to one of them, at least, so this is how I’ve come to even know that these exist.
My understanding of these groups is mainly for support. It’s an online space for Mom’s to share their concerns, ask questions and possibly share which store is having a sale on nappies and bum cream.
I’d say that 80% of the time, the support is incredible and the groups work really well.
However, that 20% has sadly snuck in, and this is what I do not understand. My friends have shown me the comments left by other mothers that are just so rude, so judgmental and so unkind, that it made my head spin.
The way I see it is this: Every single one of you are in the same boat. You have all grown a child, given birth to him/her one of two ways, each have a birthing story, have experienced the miracle of life and are now doing your absolute best to look after this brand new baby. You can read every piece of literature out there, but at the end of the day, your maternal instinct is reliable too. You are all sleep deprived and have been pee’d on at some stage, so you should be able to empathize.
Instead of giving each a hi-5 and saying, “Well done for doing one of the hardest jobs around. I get it. You get it. Let’s give each other a break!” it’s, “You chose formula? Shame. Your poor child.” Or “You had a C-section? Too posh to push?” or “Why would you choose natural, your poor husband!”
I’m using silly examples, I realize, but my point is that I’ve never seen so many judgmental comments, when really; there isn’t anyone else, who understands better than you.
If you don’t have anything nice or supportive to say, don’t say it. Think about how you would feel if you were to receive a negative, unsupportive comment. Check your tone. I realize that typing things out loses tone, but how you use your words is vital.
The world is so unkind lately. We all need to show each other some love, compassion and kindness and it really does start with you.
You have been given one of the greatest privileges and I think every one of you Mom’s are Superwoman and you’re all doing the best you can. The next time someone writes something that might seem silly to you, they could just be sleep deprived, hormonal or worried – just like you might be too. Be kind.
Written by: Bailey Schneider of Vanilla Blonde www.vanillablonde.co.za