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This post is different than my usual. So please hang in there.
Although, this is not a funny, disturbing story of motherhood. It is a real, disturbing problem with motherhood.
Mom-shaming. We have all done it, myself included. We see a mom doing something that we wouldn’t do, or maybe in a situation we wouldn’t be in, and we instantly judge her. Sometimes we think judgmental thoughts to ourselves, sometimes we say something to the mom, or maybe we post on social media shaming her to the world.
Why? Why do we do this? Why, as women, do we not encourage each other and lift each other up? Why can’t we help a mom in need instead of shaming her?
We pretend to know everyone’s story. That mom at Target with a screaming three year old, having a full melt down in the middle of the store must not discipline her child. What if that three year old is autistic and is very overwhelmed by the amount of people in the store? What if his dad was just deployed overseas and he is having trouble coping with dad’s absence? Or maybe he is just being a three year old and simply having a meltdown! We don’t know.
So instead of rolling our eyes at this mom, or telling her you would never let your child act like that in public, why not offer her a helping hand? Why not offer her a compliment? Why not buy her a cup of coffee? Why can’t we lift her up? Why can’t we tell her she’s doing a great job, and we completely understand what she’s going through?
Does mom-shaming make us feel better about ourselves? In our own minds, do we think we are perfect parents? Do we put other moms down so we feel superior or so our friends think we are cool? Ask yourself, why do I do this? I bet you won’t like the answer. I know I didn’t.
This is my challenge to all moms, myself included. Let’s end mom-shaming. Let’s end it altogether. The moment that negative thought enters your mind, I challenge you to put a stop to it. Think to yourself, why am I thinking this? Why am I judging her? What if it were me? What would I want someone else to think or do for me? Then help her. Smile at her. Offer a helping hand. Offer to pray with her. Buy her a cup of coffee. (My way of solving all of the world’s problems is over a cup of coffee.) Talk to her. Try to understand what she is going through or why she is doing what she is doing.
My challenge to all of us is to spread love, not hate. Stop the dirty looks. Stop the mean comments. Stop whispering to your BFF about what you would do differently. Just stop. Then go beyond that and do something kind. No matter how big or how small a gesture, just do it.
I want to hear your stories. Will you accept the challenge? How will you end mom-shaming? How will you stop the hate?
Please comment below on a situation where you accepted the challenge, tell me how you stopped the hate. Brag about it. Inspire others to do the same.
Today, M had her 4 month check up. Lucky for me my mother-in-law works at the doctor’s office, so I get a little help. We arrive and it’s already going to be a shitty day. I hate shots. While we are waiting, I’m notified that the people who do dental/vision screening are here and they can screen my son, E, with my MIL while I take baby M to her appointment. PERFECT. WAIT. NO. Did I brush his teeth today? Oh well, it’s her problem now. She can be embarrassed when he opens his mouth and all of the flowers in the room wilt.
Finally, the appointment gets rolling. Everything is going great. Then my MIL comes in with E and some lady and tells me his teeth are perfect (thank God) but, he has astigmatism in one eye (son of a Biotch!) SERIOUSLY? He needs to see an eye doctor for an exam. What is it with this kid?! We were finally done with his cardiologist and now we have baby doctor appointments, dental appointments, and this? Don’t they know how hard it is to go anywhere with two kids? What am I made of money and endless amounts patience? I can promise you that I am not.
When I get home, I go into mom mode, checking insurance and calling doctors. I need to find out who, in our tiny town works best with toddlers who haven’t sat still in two weeks. The awesome lady at the office I chose gets us an appointment for the very next day, easy peasy. Then it hits me. I have to go to the eye doctor tomorrow with both kids by myself. Maybe my husband can go? No, he’s mentioned he’s crazy busy at work. Mom? Yes, mom always comes through. Crap! She’ll be out of town. MIL, please? Nope, busy at work.
I imagine myself sitting there tomorrow, sweating from hauling two kids inside, trying to fill out insurance papers as I single handedly try to corral E who is acting like a Tasmanian devil who snorted crack. Meanwhile, the baby is screaming and I’m trying to pop a boob in her mouth without all of these people noticing, I’m sure M will detach and I’ll just soak everyone in the waiting room with boob juice and then die of embarrassment.
“We are ready for E, do you have his paperwork?”
“Paperwork? Ya it’s almost done.” I noticed I only wrote the first four letters of his six letter name. That should be sufficient. Hells bells.
That’s just the beginning and I haven’t even started day dreaming (day nightmaring?) about actually seeing the doctor yet.
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So, the sleeping arrangements at our house don’t make any sense. I have two children; a two-year old boy who we will call “E” and a 4 month old girl who we will call “M.” They each have their own beds in their own rooms. Neither of them use those beds. E has pretty much always slept with us. He is a major mama’s boy. My poor husband, hasn’t had a good nights sleep (or snuggle with his wife) in over two years.
E likes to sleep on my face, literally. He has this need to constantly be touching me at night. I’m sure this is my fault, but I thought it started out has him being funny, then it never stopped. Every single night. My face is his security blanket. Too top it off, now he’s going through a phase where he stays up until 1:00am climbing the walls like a monkey on crack.
M likes to sleep next to me (optimum boobie access) which makes it pretty convenient for me as well. My main problem with this arrangement is my wild child keeps waking up my cranky baby. So Daddy (bless his heart) takes M into the living room and puts her in the swing and sleeps on the couch.
Once Daddy and baby are gone, E and I go through our night-time songs, kissing every stinky toe, and the 812 sips of water he suddenly needs before he finally quiets down. At this point, it’s probably around 2:00am. I don’t know for sure. I’m always too tired to check. I just want some damn sleep.
I feel myself falling asleep, drifting of into what is probably some sort of coma. God knows I could use that much sleep! (Have you seen the dark bags under my eyes?) All of the sudden, I am awoken to E crawling on my face yelling, “MOMMY, I NEED HELP! HELP ME!!!”
I jump up like a bat out of hell.
“WHAT’S WRONG?!?” “WHAT? TELL ME NOW!”
“Mommy, help me pick my booger, I can’t get it.”
Are you freaking kidding me?? You woke me up from the four hours of sleep tonight that I might get, for a BOOGER?
“Oh, look I got it.” He says as he examines this booger as if he had just struck gold.
Then the wheels must have started turning in his tiny little brain and he must have thought to himself, What can I really do to top this off? To really send mom over the edge? Oh, I know. Then he does it.
“Here Mommy” he says ever so sweetly while wiping this big juicy booger on my arm.
You know what I did about it? NOTHING. I’m not getting out of bed to wash off this gargantuan booger, only to discover I’m only covered in more of his bodily fluids. I’m going to use those few minutes to go back to sleep, and worry about it in the morning. Is it gross? Yes. It is lazy on my part? Probably. Do I care? No. A little booger never hurt anyone right?
That, my friends, is the disturbing truth about being a mom.
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Before becoming a mother I had this idea in my head of what motherhood would look like. I.WAS.WRONG
I imagined a life of sunshine, rainbows, and unicorn farts. I pictured endless hugs and kisses, beautiful family photos where everyone smiled, amazing vacations, being a super sexy milf with my super stylish GAP babies, and a marriage that was the envy of all.
After being pregnant, twice, I have realized that I was completely crazy. Not just crazy, but bat sh*t crazy! Sure, there are occasionally the “sunshine and rainbow” moments where your sweet two year old walks up to you and gives you a hug and a kiss and says, “Mommy, I love you. You are my best friend.” But I’m here to tell you about the other 98% of motherhood that no one tells you about; the exhausting, dirty, boogery, messy, smelly, and embarrassing parts of motherhood. I want all of my fellow mamas to know it’s okay to not be perfect, and it’s okay to talk about the gross stuff. It’s okay to talk about the real stuff. We can laugh at the job we are doing being moms while we are on our fourth glass of wine. If you want me to talk about your cracking, bleeding nipples, you got it. If you want me to talk about the newest, most popular DIY cleaning product, that is non-toxic and is made from the tears of angels with just a dash of Vinegar, well…NO. I’m here to tell you that Febreze is so amazing that you’ll never know that my kid peed all over that couch you are sitting on, just a few hours ago.
My goal is to bring a smile to every moms’ face, maybe even a little laugh. (Just a little laugh. I don’t want you all peeing-I know how that goes.) I look forward to writing for you all, and I appreciate feedback!