Well, it has finally happened. I was publicly mom-shamed. Oh and not just mom-shamed but wife-shamed as well. The joys!
Recently, I decided to get brave over on Facebook and shared an in-the-moment video of what our camper looks like in real life. There was no prepping, no planning, and quite frankly, I was just impressed to see all three kids were dressed at the time. That, my mommy friends, is real life with toddlers.
I went to bed feeling pretty well about our family and our chaos. Only one person had something negative to say and while it didn’t bring me down, it kind of ate away at me through the night. The following morning though, I awoke to a conversation, more like a stream of comments, as a group of women tore apart our camper, my parenting skills, my wife skills, and my husband’s personality.
“You know, if you kept the dishes done as they become dirty, you wouldn’t have such a messy kitchen.”
“That top bunk is full of junk. How can they live like that?!”
“You talk about downsizing but you look like hoarders to me.”
“I could never live in a camper full-time because of this. They’re meant for weekends.”
“It may be hard work but a wife should never have a home that messy.”
“If your husband had any respect for you then his clothes wouldn’t be in the floor.”
“If I had ever had children, you can bet their room would have been better kept.”
How did they feel justified in the acts they were committing into the wee hours of the morning? Did they really think their suggestions (Ha. I’ll call them that to be polite.) would make a difference in our lives? If so, maybe they should have reconsidered the format and presentation of their opinions. In a time when we as parents are so quick to jump on our youth for bullying and shaming, this gaggle was in essence doing the exact same thing!
Yes! You read that last one right. An older lady who never chose to have children, actually believes that she would have been able to keep their floor clean consistently instead of just at nap and bedtime as I do.
(Note: She commented that the work required of childrearing is why she never wanted them. I wasn’t jumping to conclusions about it being choice.)
Now, can I also share that not a single woman in the 15-20 involved in this conversation had three or more children? If so, it is probably worth mentioning that only one had a child under the age of 15 and he was 8. Our family, on the other hand, had three children in three years and absolutely love our decision to do so! We also travel full-time to keep our family together (hence the camper) which means part of each day is also spent homeschooling and exploring real life.
If I were easily offended or hurt by online comments such as these, I would probably be bottled up, rarely sharing anything ever again. How are rude comments helping new parents, young families, or stay at home wives/husbands? Ridicule is not what we need to hear when we open up about our lives. We wonder why so many mothers are suffering in silence as they battle the daily grind of life while struggling through depression and thoughts of not being adequate as a wife.
This has to stop! Bullying either online or in person is wrong. We can all agree to that, right? So why is mom-shaming (or any similar event) still so freely occurring, even amongst us parents who would be the first to stand up and say “leave that child alone” at the playground? Or do you just pretend you would while in your mommy chat circles? Change doesn’t come from being a keyboard warrior on one page while tearing someone down on another thread. It will never happen if we aren’t willing to stick together to defend, support, and encourage each other.
So, my request to you is this.
The next time you see someone taking hits from an online group of know-it-alls, stand up and say something. Perhaps tell them what they are obviously doing right or send them a little bit of cheer. You may just be the difference they need with the kind words they desperately want to hear.
Want to see the video that started it all? Well, now you can!