This is a post for beleaguered parents, and specifically mums. Recently, I’ve seen a trend of articles that start off acknowledging how other people can be really judgemental of your parenting when you’re in public. That’s fair enough. There does seem to be more of that happening or maybe it just seems more prevalent because social media makes it easier for us to share those experiences.
But then the article veers into how other women can and should be helping during these times. Like an article I read by a woman recently effectively shamed herself and everyone else on a flight because another mum lost her cool with her toddler and smacked him. The writer took part of the blame for that smacking by saying she should have helped the mum before it got to that stage. Now, that I can’t get on board with. If you get stressed by other people’s reactions and you allow that to change the way you choose to parent, that’s not on anyone else.
These articles seem to implore women to become other mums’ rescuers. We all have a lot of stuff going on. All the time. Constantly. So I see no need to put further more pressure on other women by saying that they are responsible for another mother’s parenting. Nuh-uh. I’m not having that. I've got a better idea. Let's be our own goddamn rescuer. By not letting other people's opinions and judgements change one single thing about the way we choose to parent. That's not to say support isn't welcome, because it is. A smile, a nod, an eye roll at the ludicrous comments, an offer to help, are all things that can make us feel so much better. But it isn't incumbent on other people to constantly be doing those things to stop you having a ‘nightmare' journey/meal out/coffee.
Because the lesson here should be to care less about those judgemental shits and their tutting, eye rolling and mummy shaming comments (from breast feeding in public, kids having a tantrum in public, babies crying on planes or whatever other stuff has seemingly become areas where we as women have to be constantly on the lookout for ways to support other beleaguered women). Instead of asking other women to support us against the judgement of others, how about we train ourselves to care less about that judgement?