Did you see her feed the baby with formula?
Did she stop breastfeeding in the first week?
She lets a maid watch her baby?
She isn’t considering cloth diapers?
She lets her sleep in a crib all by herself?
Is her baby still using diapers at this age?
iPad at his age? Does she think that’s safe for his development?
Welcome to war mumshies! Coming into motherhood is a whole new level of pressure that no one has prepared me for. Before being pregnant with my first born I always thought that motherhood has its course, a general outline of rules, a book of do’s and don’ts but I was wrong. There has never been and never will be a guide on motherhood and most moms just rely on their own mothers or in our generation, Google. The Mommy Wars is a real thing, moms are always judging one another for absolutely anything possible. I saw this first hand on Facebook when one mother posted about not vaccinating her daughter, all the moms on Facebook feasted on her soul as if she was there to be bluntly humiliated. But why do mothers do it? Why do we have to compare each of our experiences as mothers and judge the decisions of others?
- Boredom– I get it, I’ve been to the point of my motherhood life that a little bit of argument can make me feel better. I cannot count the times my son would ask me to be Ouellette and play pretend PJ Masks with him and I would wish I have something better to do. It would make perfect sense that the mothers of our mother’s generation would spend hours watching noontime shows or what Filipinos call teleserye, they find thrill while managing their daily routine lives. These noontime shows balance the cycle of mother’s routine lives, we are somehow sucked into the fake world of television and get mentally and emotionally involved with stories that are made by authors. How true is this scenario to mother’s receiving comfort and social interaction through the internet? We cannot deny how we love it when we read about spilled tea on Facebook, and how the comments section of endless bickering can be comforting to our minds. It is sad that while we rant and judge someone on the internet, we unconsciously hurt the mother being ridiculed emotionally because of something she is ignorant about.
- You need attention– a common child’s behavior can also be seen on adults given the circumstances. Remember when you were a kid, and your friend spilled juice all over herself and the first thing you tell your mom is “Look ma, I’m nice and clean!” you always want to project your greatness through the faults of others. This is a trait that is common to kids, and as parents, we eventually teach them to be more cautious and sensitive. I guess some things don’t always go away.
- You’re angry– I cannot express myself like I used to ever since I became a mother. Dating my husband was a breeze because we were so comfortable with each other and we can swear at anything without harming anyone’s feelings, but that is completely different once you become a parent. My husband and I cannot even say one curse word anymore to release tension because we are too scared that one of our kids will repeat it. There were so many times when I was exhausted from taking care of a newborn all night, waking up and cooking breakfast for my toddler at 8 in the morning just for him to have a tantrum and throw it all on the floor. Like a proper mother, I calmly pick up the fallen food and explain to my child how that was not right and it was rude of him to throw food after Mommy worked so hard to prepare it, little does my child knows that in my mind I was cursing and wishing for the day to end already. We have to be strong, let our anger out in a different way and that’s where we turn to the internet, find a helpless mother falsely accused of poisoning her son by giving formula milk rather than expressed breastmilk and rant. We rant and make them feel small so somehow our sad and angry self will be happy.
- You think you are perfect– one DIY project and you automatically change your Facebook description to DIY Mother, one perfectly potty trained toddler and you think you’ve won over the game of motherhood. We are all guilty of it, we think we are the best at what we do and we want everyone to know about it. But instead of keeping your invisible mommy trophies hidden for our own, we parade it on the internet and sneakily ask other mothers how their days are going. I understand that when we accomplish something, we want the whole world to know about it, but can we possibly do it in a manner that not one mother will feel insecure about their motherhood practices?
- Jealousy– even when we think we’ve accomplished so much in life, it is our natural instinct to want more. We judge the other mother who can buy the best rating stroller worth 5 times more than yours and making it seem like she is unpractical and reckless but deep inside we are jealous. We are jealous of that mother who can confidently post a bikini photo without having to use filters, we are jealous of that mother who can post a selfie with the caption “woke up like this” without looking like a zombie dying for another cup of coffee, we are jealous of other mothers who can make it look easy when we are struggling. Instead of focusing on your own struggles, and finding ways to make it easier, we judge them. Call them fat and shameless for posting sexy photos when they are on vacation with their family, we make up stories on how that mother uses 5 photo editing applications before posting a selfie of herself, we make up stories and judge so we can feel better of our sad situations. Why do we have to put others down for us to feel good about ourselves?
Throughout my years of being a mother, I have had my fair share of Mom shame. May it be a shame given to me or shame I’ve given to others, I’m not proud of what I’ve said or thought about other mothers but I understand where we are all are coming from. But I call on all mothers and mothers to be, we cannot continue shaming others because we think we are right. Leave those mommy groups on Facebook and call your best friend, ask if she is alright and offer some help. Look away from the mother who lets her son use the iPad while eating because for all we know she has been through a rough morning and only wants to have a hot meal without interruptions. Mothers go through so much stress and exhaustion and we have to stick together and not against one another for everyone to survive. You be you, I’ll be me. We can never please everyone but we can definitely stop shaming them. So go ahead and live your life, don’t be scared of other people’s eyes because everyone has their own fair share of shame and we just have to accept that.