You know what gets right on my jingle bells…
Just today three articles have appeared on my news feed, each with bullshit clickbait titles like ’20 hideous celebrity parents!’ or ‘XXX harms baby’, only for you to read the article and be left feeling like you yourself must be a horrendous parent because you do the exact thing they are doing.
I must add here, that not one of the parents they mentioned are doing anything horrendous to their children, it was the usual prolonged breastfeeding and sling wearing debate. There was no smacking around of babies, or hitting them up with cocaine that these titles might make you think. Instead all I got from the articles was a mediocre journalist clutching at straws for content and thinking bringing down loving parents was the genius of all viral ideas.
I wouldn’t even share the articles here, because they aren’t worth the interest. But it’s the fact that so many of them pop up in the media each day.
When did ‘parenting differently’ become ‘child abuse’?
When did ‘doing what is best for MY child’ become ‘doing the worst because you aren’t following the heard’?
And when did this become entertainment?
I sometimes wonder why motherhood seems so hard now compared to back when my Nan was a mum. When I last asked her that question she told me, ‘It’s always been hard, we just didn’t have thousands watching us, but we did have a street to help us’. She was completely right, growing up as a child I can remember that street, the kids that all played out and the numerous parents and grandparents that looked after us all. I’d head next door for juice and biscuits with two little old lady neighbors, a few doors down my aunt would be dishing out mash and corned beef to the masses, and then my Nan’s friends would be playing rounders with us in the street to get us out of our families hair for an hour.
We don’t have that now. My neighbors give me a look of disgust when I’m trying to rally my terrors into the car in the morning (Probably because we sound like a pack of wild animals), and would probably think I was abandoning them if I asked them to look out for my kids on the street for me. That street has now shrunk into 4 square walls called a home with only you and a child (or children) smashing up your nervous system in it.
Yet even though it feels like it’s only us, with the help of bake book it feels like the world is watching and judging. Finding parenting so difficult against the perfection of social media can make you feel like your failing. And then crap like the above pops up and you’ve decided parenting probably just isn’t for you.
But it is, and those four walls don’t need to be your village. I’ve realised this last few days, in the midst of all the parent shaming junk that’s on facebook, that the old street we had is in there hiding in the shadow’s. There are other parents just like you, who feel alone, who feel so bloody exhausted and are at the point where they feel like giving up. And I’ve found a few of them.
Opening up our Fighting the Mum Funk Closed Group in the last two days I’ve witnessed my street forming. Full of women who don’t judge one another for doing it differently, or having different thoughts, but have been nothing but supportive for each other and lifting one another up. The thing is us mum don’t really want to be judging each other. All we really bloody want is that village back. We want a second pair of eyes, we want someone to tell us they feel the pain and the joy, we just don’t want to be alone anymore!
So let’s start standing up to the shitty parenting judgement, ignore it all, don’t even open it up. And let’s start forming our villages instead.
If you need somewhere to start, come join the mummy warriors…