You Can’t Sit With Us – Mean Girl Moms

You Can’t Sit With Us – Mean Girl Moms

I remember when I first found out I was pregnant, I saw some Facebook post a woman had shared of a mom who was on her cellphone while her kid wailed “hold me…” in the background as she texted away. The comments were brutal. I mean… brutal. So much that I felt like it was on the brink of cyber bullying. It genuinely scared me. I couldn’t help but wonder if this woman who shared the video even knew the mom. If she knew the circumstances the mother was going through before publicly shaming her on the internet. Don’t get me wrong, this mother could’ve been the worst, but she also could’ve been texting a friend asking for advice because her kid is going through a hard leap and won’t calm tf down. Was it okay for her to make a snap judgement based on thirty seconds of interaction? How many times have we walked passed that screaming kid in Target while the mom just moseys on ignoring them? Does it mean that the mother doesn’t care? No! It may just be that the mom is at her wits end and knows that buying into the tantrum might not be the best thing for HER child’s development. I can’t help but feel like social media is such an easy platform for judgement and shaming. We can hide behind the smokescreen of our cellphones and become armchair revolutionists, deciding how other people should live their lives.

One of my dear girlfriends Megan, is a social media influencer and fashion blogger. I wanted to preface everything I’m about to say with “She is one of the sweetest, hardest working moms I know.” But f*** that. I shouldn’t have to, because although that may be true it doesn’t matter. What matters is how she was portrayed on the internet, based on a five minute interaction with a complete stranger. Another mother, might I add.

Megan works with many boutiques and products and stays quite busy between her FT work and side hustle. She was hired to promote a product – sunscreen I believe – and headed down to the pool one evening with her little girl. Again, not that it matters but Meg had already spent the day with her daughter at the pool, her husband was cooking dinner, it was 7pm (almost bedtime) and she had a deadline. A deadline for her paid promotion. She ran down to the pool with baby girl in tow wearing matching swim suits, made a phone call or two, took some pics (looking ab fab by the way) and then headed back home about her business. Or so she thought. Fast forward a couple days/weeks and she’s being dissected on Good Morning America and USA Today. Another mother observed from a distance, and decided to make a social media post about what she has witnessed. A social media post that was shared 203,000 times. Let me say this… sure I’m biased because she’s on of my girlfriends. But if she hadn’t been I’m pretty sure I’d still feel the same.

Please find the USA Today article below which contains a link to the original Facebook Post.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/allthemoms/2019/06/27/mom-writes-viral-post-how-fake-social-media/1582218001/

Okay so here are MY takeaways from this…

1. If the main point of sharing this observation was to educate other mothers not to take things at face value, and to know that there’s more going on behind those Instagram posts… isn’t that a little hypocritical being that there actually WAS more behind that five minute interaction that Flint was not aware of?

2. If the objective of the post was to reassure other mothers to not feel insecure, is she not creating a platform for Megan to feel insecure?

3. Why shouldn’t moms who have perfect curls post Instagram posts? Pregnancy and motherhood can take away so much of our self esteem. We sacrifice our bodies for another human, let me be proud of mine if I’m still in love with it afterward. If my boobs still face upward and yours don’t am I supposed to hide mine in fear that it’ll hurt your feelings? Flint states, “…Mamas, don’t compare yourself. You ARE enough! You are amazing and the very best part is that you are REAL! Your dirty shirt and your messy house and your happy children are real and they are proof that you are doing it right!” I can’t help but feel as though the underlying message here is one of envy. I can understand that maybe her intent was to lift other women, but you don’t lift other women by pushing another woman down. Although Flint never outright said that Megan was less of a mother, the negative connotation of her words left readers very open to assumption.

4. The use of language in this post is a cry for attention. At one point Flint says, “Mama called a friend on her phone and began another conversation while Little One politely and repeatedly asked “Mama, can you come in the water with me, please?” She was ignored. “Mama, come play with me?” she asked 4 more times. Mama glanced over at her but never got off the phone. After 10 minutes Mama ended her call, collected the sunscreen that was never applied, the water toys that never touched the water, and then her daughter and left the pool.” If you’re going to be bold enough to discuss another mother’s interactions with their own offspring, I really feel as though you should be prepared for a massive rebuttal – especially if you put it on the World Wide Web. Flint must have some large cojones to suggest that this wasn’t a major mom shaming moment. The subtlety is lost on me, and I saw straight through this poor attempt to paint my friend as anything but a doting mother.

5. Messy hair and stained shirts don’t equate to being a good mom. Who knows what makes us great moms… I’m sure a lot of us are figuring it out. If being happy and happy in her skin sends a positive message to Megan’s daughter, is that not good parenting? Do we have to settle for constant dirty hair and smelly armpits to be considered a “good mom?” I’m not saying it’s not part of the package, which Meg is VERY aware of. While I am fully in support of exposing our postpartum bodies, stretch marks and all, let’s try to remember that not all PP bodies are covered in marks and that doesn’t make them any less postpartum. Your version of perfect does not reflect mine.

6. Megan was working. If she had been behind a desk and her daughter was wanting her attention, would Flint have been so quick to judge?

7. At one point in her rant, Flint states “Ugh!! She’ll (hypothetical mother who sees the post and is peanut butter and jealous) never know that how she spent her time that day was so much better in God’s eyes and in her children’s eyes than that “perfect Mama” at the pool.” So, you’re telling me that God prefers messy haired mamas than my friend? Noted. Give me a break! Who are you to determine that? Are you God? Sit down.

One day you might see me, either I’m in sweats at Target or in heels at a bar. I might be at a playground with my daughter, or ignoring her while she screams on the floor because she couldn’t get ice cream at 8am. Either way, mind ya business and move on. Listen, I’m all for “See Something Say Something,” but if that “Something” is a fraction of my relationship with my child that isn’t harmful, and you’re making a snap judgement then go on about your day, Karen. Ain’t nobody got time for that… really… I’m too busy being a great mom. Just like my dear friend, Megan.

Milk, Milk, Yellow Babe.

Milk, Milk, Yellow Babe.

Why do moms just give up trying with breastfeeding?

Isn’t breastfeeding so much cheaper?

Isn’t it healthier for the baby to breastfeed?

Don’t you think it’s a little selfish to not even try?

Does it really hurt that bad?

All questions I asked before giving birth to my daughter. All questions I asked before my daughter was bedridden for five days, around the clock laying on lights because she was jaundice. All questions I asked before my neck was so sore from leaning over to try to get her to latch after not holding her for five days. All questions I asked before my milk supply plummeted

I won’t pretend I’m not disappointed. I do feel as though the opportunity to breastfeed successfully was somewhat taken from me. But I also won’t lie when I say I hated it. I hated the way I felt. I’d pump and be angry. Angry that my SO got to sit there all normal-nippled, while I leaked into the ugliest misshapen nursing bra that I’d already washed 56 times. Angry that my back was becoming a question mark from leaning over a pump for an hour, just to get less than an ounce. Angry that I never knew how much she was getting to eat. Angry knowing that a bottle of formula would fill her hungry belly and knock her right out so I could sleep.

The reason I’m writing this is NOT to discredit breastfeeding moms. I want to make it VERY clear that moms who exclusively breast feed deserve the worlds biggest glass of guilt-free wine and 27 back rubs. Maybe toss in a chocolate bar or two. The reason I am writing this is because I was soooo naive and maybe I want to be a sounding board for moms who are sitting in their gliders and rocking chairs squeezing their boobs to death to get out one drop of breast milk. It’s okay to keep going. It’s also okay to quit.

My experience was very unique as Jo had at home light therapy for 5 days after leaving the hospital. This meant feeding her 2oz every 2 hours. From start to start. Meaning if I fed her, changed her, and took her temp at 2am she might not fall back to sleep until 3-3:15 allotting me 45 mins to fall back asleep before doing it all over again. Add in pumping to keep up my supply to match the demand and you had one zombified mama. I had no choice but to supplement. I felt defeated. I came to a point where I started to think about the kind of mom I wanted to be, one that was breastfeeding and miserable, or one that supplemented and was happy. Naturally over time my supply decreased more and more and after hours of ringing out my udders like a cow for a single drop of that liquid gold, I said f*** it. I quit. I was relieved. I could finally enjoy motherhood. I was no longer shackled by the tubes of my breast pump. I WAS FREE. Free to wear regular bras without nipple pads. Free to lay on my boobs in the night without waking up in a puddle of sticky booby juice. Free to have a glass of wine. I no longer had to squeeze my entire areola into the shape of a burger or taco to shove it into my babies mouth. Yes, I was free.

So with that being said, the next time you pass judgement to a mother who “gave up” breastfeeding remember this: In two years your snot nosed little angel is probably going to only want chicken nuggets and ice cream so shove your well-to-do “breast is best” nonsense, and let us feed our little ones how we see fit.

New Baby, Who Dis?

New Baby, Who Dis?

We have all had that nervous feeling, the first time someone hands you an infant. Well, imagine you’ve just pushed one of those things through your lady parts and now it’s your job to hold them forever! Well, maybe not forever…at least until they can hold their own head up or whatever, right? Point is, we all understand that while babies are super delish and we could just eat their little feet, they’re also terrifying milk monsters who shriek bloody murder and poop all over themselves. I find that opening up about the trials of motherhood, has only brought me closer to other parents who understand just how hard it can be at times. It’s also made me take a huge sigh of relief, knowing that I’m not the only parent who feels this way. That I’m not a bad parent!

November 21st 2019. It’s the moment I have always dreamed of. I’m laying there in my hospital bed numb from the waist down when the doctor hands me my daughter. I pull her goo-covered face up to mine and for the first time I get to look into my baby’s eyes. She looks up at me, and her eyes slowly open. They’re blue. BLUE. What the hell? This baby looks nothing like me. I JUST SUFFERED FOR 9 MONTHS AND LABORED FOR 34 HOURS FOR HER TO LOOK LIKE HER DAD? Albeit, he’s very handsome but I digress. I didn’t know how to feel. I knew I had a tiny human on my chest, and that she was my creation, but that was about it. I knew I loved her, but I couldn’t exactly understand how I loved her. Don’t get me wrong, she’s six weeks now and I’m completely obsessed, so much that BD (Baby Daddy) is somewhat concerned that I’m going to smother her with kisses while she sleeps. But, I didn’t feel like a mom. I didn’t feel like her mom. Was there some magical time when I supposed to feel it? Was this not it?

The following week was filled with tears and wondering if I’ll ever be able to wipe my hemorrhoid covered ass again. Still. No. Mommy. Feeling. Just a constant state of angst, crippling anxiety, and a massive sense of responsibility. I had the baby blues, and I had them bad. I knew PPD was a possibility for me since I already suffer from GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and depression, but nobody prepared me to feel this. Like a mother. It was a feeling I didn’t recognize. It wasn’t the happy-go-lucky feeling I expected to feel as a new mom. I felt guilty and as though my world was ending and beginning at the same time. I felt helpless when she cried, and ashamed when I couldn’t console her. It was daunting.

My daughter is six weeks old now, my circadian rhythm is calloused from sleep deprivation, I’m currently walking in circles around my kitchen with her strapped in the Baby Bjorn because she won’t go the f*** to sleep otherwise, and I’m learning. I’m learning every day how to stay sane, how to help her, how to help my partner, and how to help myself. It’s the hardest thing and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I have to learn to forgive myself, remind myself I’m not alone, and remember that I’ll be okay as long as I Eat, Pray, and Dont Shake the Baby.