Where has this negative culture come from when it comes to Mums? Some people seem so ready to tear another Mum down, and for what reason? What can they possibly have to gain from doing so?
I wholeheartedly agree that we mothers need to support each other. After all, we are all in the same boat - the long nights, kissing boo-boos, arguing about vegetables, and constantly asking them to put their shoes on, take them off, or put them away!
Here is why I believe that Mum support should be our main objective...
Why We Need Mum Support Not Mum Hating
Pressure From Society
Unfortunately there is a lot of pressure to do things in a certain way when it comes to modern parenting. In years gone by parenting was about feeding the kids, putting a roof over the head, clothing them and kicking them outside to play with their mates.
But these days it is expected that mothers prepare elaborate meals, ferry their children to countless after school activities, attend to their every need, navigate the dangerous waters of having their children in the online world, while still holding down a job and volunteering for the PTA.
That pressure can be crippling. Trying to live up to an unrealistic ideal is impossible. We should band together to change the ideal instead of judging each other for not living up to it when no possibly can.
There Is No Perfect
There is an incredible amount of pressure on Mums these days. We are meant to look perfect, act perfect, and raise perfect children while we hold down the perfect job and have the perfect amount of time to spend with our families.
Newsflash… there is no universal perfect. Only the perfect that works for your family.
If you have a full time job then you are supporting your family, if you are a stay at home mum then you are spending time with your kids, if you have had spaghetti on toast every night this week because you are so darn tired, then at least your family is fed.
Everyone’s family is different and what works for one may not work for another. The sooner we stop comparing ourselves to the way others do things, the better.
It Takes More Energy To Be Negative
Something as simple as a smile can change the world. By smiling at other Mums as you see them around your community, you can brighten days and form bonds. And how much energy does a smile take?
Far less than the energy needed to stand around and gossip about someone. Or to carry a negative energy around all day. Positivity can breed more positivity, just like negativity can breed more negativity. Which side do you want to be advocating for?
You Don’t Know What Is Going On In Their Life
I once saw a meme that said we should be kind to everyone we meet because you don’t know who has just lost a fight with a toddler.
I laughed at the meme, but then I thought about the truth behind it. You don’t know what people have going on in their life. After all, no one lives a charmed life, we all have our struggles to deal with.
Why would you add to someone's troubles by trying to bring them down further? We should automatically create a culture of support instead. You just don't know who might need it today, tomorrow, or in 3 weeks time.
It Is Not A Competition
As I just mentioned, there is no universal perfect. There is only what is perfect for your family. Children are tiny humans with their own personalities and skills. They will all achieve milestones at a different time, and that is alright.
There is no need to compare your children to anyone else’s . There is also no need to compare parenting styles, as what works for one family won’t work for another. When it comes to parenting, you are winning if your children are happy, healthy and loved. You are not winning by comparing your family to someone else’s!
Famous Does Not Equal Perfect
I think the root of the problem lies with celebrities. A culture has developed where it has become acceptable to insult celebrities. To pick apart what they are doing and to judge them for it. To criticise how they look, the way they behave, how they choose to parent, and any number of other judgements.
It seems safe to insult them because their lives are so far removed from our own. But celebrities are people too, they still cry when people say mean things. And if we become accustomed to bringing celebrities down, it is just a small jump to judging our own peers in the same way.
Social Media Should Be Used For Good And Not Evil
We live in a world where it has become commonplace to share our lives with the world online. But the lives that are shared are not always an accurate representation. We only share the life that we want people to see. Behind the perfectly staged lounge is a basket of unfolded washing or a kitchen that looks like a bombsite.
It is important to remember that no one’s life is perfect. Yes, all of the photos on a Facebook or Instagram page are of smiling, happy faces. But those smiling, happy faces will have days where they are sad, or sick, or grumpy, or unmotivated too.
Also remember that social media is not a place to be a keyboard warrior. If you would not say something to someone’s face, then why is it acceptable to say it online? If we can keep all of our online interactions positive, then social media would be far more of a positive place!
Supporting other mothers is something that I feel really strongly about. I think that we already have enough to worry about in busy modern life without throwing negativity into the mix as well!
Remember to be kind as much as you possibly can. Mum support is the way forward, not Mum hating!