They say you shouldn’t judge anyone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.
I say you shouldn’t judge a fellow parent until you’ve been sleep deprived because of a tiny night owl for six months.
I’ve seen a couple of posts and pretty mean stuff online this week and it’s really got me down. Fellow parents judging others for having an opinion or for daring to complain that motherhood is quite tough at times. Why can’t we women stick together?
I know bullying existed before the invention of the internet and social media but I feel it gives bullies a greater feeling of confidence and as a result their behaviour gets even nastier. Things they would never dream of saying to someone’s face, they happily write online from behind the safety of a screen or smartphone without batting an eyelid.
These bullies exist on a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, parenting chat rooms and other little corners of the web. They take you by surprise with their sheer rage and bile they spew when responding to a post about why floral rompers are cute in the summer.
What these bullies don’t seem to realise is it’s fine to have an opinion. We don’t agree with everyone all the time, the world would be a massively dull place if we did.
Difference of opinion
But you can have a difference of opinion to someone else without being a total twat about it.
Instead of: “These lazy mums don’t know what the f**k they’re talking about, my baby’s sleeping through and she’s only two weeks old. They’re just attention-seeking idiots.”
Try: “I haven’t had these problems. It sounds really tough.”
Not so hard is it? Just because you’re not having the same experience as another mum, it doesn’t mean she’s done anything wrong. And why do you feel the need to tear a fellow woman down even more when she’s already having a hard time.
I was stunned at the abuse hurled at Toby and Roo blogger Harriet, who wrote a post about DNA engineering to prevent disabilities. All she was saying was she would want the power to cure her kids of a life-limiting or debilitating condition if she had the power. She wasn’t saying people with disabilities are less or shouldn’t be allowed to live.
As a result of the total misinterpretation the venom got out of control towards someone who never comes across as anything other than lovely when she interacts with others online.
Then I saw this from Life Love & Dirty Dishes from a new mum having a pop at us whining parents who complain about how hard our babies are. She was just two weeks in when she wrote it, so her baby hadn’t even had a chance to wake up properly following the ordeal of labour. Here it is:
I would like to see her follow-up remarks after another four weeks.
To the women who judge us fellow parents:
You’re absolutely right, we’re not perfect. Neither are you.
Every mum, every baby and every day is different.
Everyone vents their problems differently, some do it by chatting with their neighbour over the fence and some write about it online. If you don’t want to read it, don’t click it.
Some days a mum can work miracles on just four hours of sleep. Some days she can’t get off the sofa.
Some women have very supportive partners and families. Some are going it alone.
Don’t assume you know everything about parenting, even when you’re years into the game. You don’t.
And finally, what your mama said was true. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.
When women band together, support each other and realise that you can disagree without being a total d**k about it, then I think we really could run the world.
Above all, let’s just be a little bit kinder to each other.