Yesterday someone’s Facebook status made me sad. That someone mentioned how she had seen adverts in her local coffee shop for kids classes and that we need to stop hothousing our kids. A few weeks ago, I remember seeing another message about an NCT class having a coffee and how inconsiderate they were with their buggies. I wanted to reply to her status but stopped myself knowing no good could come of it, but it got me thinking. When did we shut the door on kindness and let in all this judgement?
I am the first to admit that the reason the above comments hit a nerve is because they are so close to home. I’m the mother who takes her little girl to swimming, sensory, baby signing and music lessons. I’m also the mother that is sometimes desperate for a coffee and gets in the way in a busy cafe. I’m the mother who is almost always 10 minutes late to anything and forgets arrangements more than a few times a week. It’s easy to judge me on the above things – some might say I do too many activities with her, all I see is how much she enjoys them. Some might say I should put her first and forget about my caffeine fix but the reality is you don’t want to know the ‘me’ without a coffee!
I was sad reading these opinions on Facebook about new mothers as it took me right back to when Emma was young. When the health visitor would come over and see me with sick all over my jumper that I had been wearing for days, unbrushed hair and clutching my coffee cup with a Kung Fu grip. She would ask me how long the milk bottle had been there before I fed Emma and if I knew how to sterilise bottles properly. I remembered how judged I felt every moment of the day, as the sleep deprivation clouded everything and all was left was a quivering lip and imminent tears. So blatant judgement, even in a passive aggressive way on social media, left me with a sour taste in my mouth.
I hope these messages I saw are just a few snapshot moments of judgement that don’t amount to anything bigger. I want to believe that the sisterhood is better than that – that we’re not all just judging each other’s lives and making grand opinions known public if it doesn’t tally with our own experiences. It’s such a depressing thought that it’s women on women and we can’t just ‘be’. I want to believe in the good of people, in the kindness of people.
So here’s to being a bit kinder, to those around us, to ourselves, to our family. Here’s to remembering that every day is not always easy and sometimes a smile here or there does actually make a big difference. Here’s to knowing that while it’s not possible to walk a mile in everybody’s shoes, it is possible to be mindful of how you express your opinions. Here’s to support and love every time.
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