Where did this online nonsense originate?
I've been a mum for three short, but at the same time, incredibly long years. Consequently, I've heard enough comments on being a mum than I care to remember. I'm not talking passers by advising 'that's a cry for milk that is', or 'he must be cold without a hat on'. With time and experience, such statements go over my head. No, I'm talking about all of this online nonsense with people commenting on how other mums choose to parent.
Mind your own business!
It has left me contemplating, what value does this really add? In reality, it does not matter how you bring up your children. In fact, it's no one else's business, unless your child is in danger that is an obvious. As long as they are loved and you are doing your best, surely that is all that matters?
Gin or chocolate, take your pick.
I really don't care if you enjoy a glass of gin or eat a multi pack of chocolate every night. I don't care if your little ones eat fast food every day of the week or if you make organic, home-made meals three times a day. If the sheer thought of breastfeeding has never appealed or if you openly breastfeed in public, I really don't mind. The truth is, I can only assume that you are doing the best you can at a particular moment in time. We all have good and bad days and remember, none of us, if the truth be known, know what is going on behind the scenes. Makes that judgment a little unrealistic, heh?
We all have our own parenting focuses and challenges crammed into the enormity of the things we need to do in our daily routines. Weaning, sleep deprivation, teething, the lot. Whether a single mum, mum to 6 kids, rich, poor, full time working mum or stay at home mum, it's largely the same for us all.
Being a mum is hard. No actually it's not hard, it's flippin tough. But life for everyone can be difficult. Working in an uninspiring job you hate, battling to lose weight or dealing with a serious family illness. It's all simply a chapter of life, right? Did I miss the part when it suddenly became acceptable to start commenting on how other people choose to mother their children? Moreover, did I miss the bit when we did this to dads too? Hmm, funny that isn't it?
In summary, with my glass overflowing like usual, how about we focus our energy and efforts to intentionally support and inspire other mums? What a nicer world that would be. Do me a favour and choose a mum and go tell her that she rocks and is doing a flippin fabulous job in the process! If you are feeling extra keen, tell her why and throw in a hug, or even a bottle of wine whilst you are at it! Notice a mum with a toddler having a meltdown in the supermarket? Go over and tell her that you have been in her shoes. She will love you for it. And she will remember it forever, trust me.
PS - to all those mummy bloggers out there, I say a bit fat well done to you! As a photographer who tries to blog just once a week and post daily on social media I know how time consuming that is with kids. You are helping more people than any number of followers, likes or comments will ever tell you. You rock!