Take a deep breath.
Sometimes, the negative opinions of others can make you feel like you’re not good enough. Afterall, the purpose of mum shaming is meant to make you feel ashamed.
It could be random strangers, family, friends, or even other mums. The comments could take aim at anything from your “inability” to lose baby weight, bottle feeding, breastfeeding, your child being too thin, your baby being big, your child not eating right, you looking tired, and the list goes on. It almost seems like it never ends, doesn’t it?
The truth is, mum shaming is rooted in deep negativity and as toxic as it is, it probably does not end. However, it is important to recognise that these are opinions and they are neither factual nor accurate representations of you and your life. There are certain things mums should not tolerate, and chief of all, is judgement.
For Grace, a mum of two, gaining weight during pregnancy and not losing it immediately after, soon became a topic of conversation.
However, it was not just any conversation. It was hurtful and left Grace feeling worthless. She no longer wanted to leave her house, which subsequently increased mum shaming comments she faced to accusations that she was ignoring her friends and being cold.
In reality, Grace’s self esteem had plummeted and she no longer felt like herself. Not feeling understood also left her feeling lonely.
With mums already having enough on their plate, why would anyone think it would be a good idea to sprinkle some mum shaming?
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Mums do not need to be shamed, they need to be supported and understood. It is a moral obligation to uplift a mum rather than put her down.
If you feel as though you disagree on something solely because that is your opinion, then it is absolutely okay to feel that way. But you know what else would be helpful? If you recognise that your opinion is more harmful than beneficial to the mum, then try to practice the art of keeping things to yourself.
Mums are valuable. They don’t deserve to be shamed.
Comparing baby weight or commenting on why a mum looks too thin when she should be gaining more weight at this stage in her life, should not be your priority.
While mum is busy making sure her child(ren)’s needs are being met, the shaming only takes her away from her goals. There needs to be more support and less negativity. If anyone needs to be lifted, it is mums. It is, and always will be mums. It is time to drop the shaming and pick up a bouquet of compliments. Afterall, it has a much nicer scent and a sweeter effect.
Chereen Shurafa is a Doha based community counsellor, writer, and certified change coach. She is the founder of “Dear Chereen”, an online platform dedicated to mindfulness, mental health, and inspiration.
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