Last week I was in NYC for my first work trip of the year. While I was incredibly stressed about leaving Mina at just 5 weeks old, I was excited to get back to my “normal routine,” not to mention get a couple nights of uninterrupted sleep!
On day two of my 72 hour trip, I posted this image on Instagram, sharing the outfit I wore for an important meeting, explaining how I was feeling better than I’ve felt in a long time, 5 weeks postpartum, thanks to the outfit. If you’re familiar with me and what I stand for, you know that I whole heartedly believe that clothing can increase one’s confidence, and that’s what I was referring to not having left the house in weeks since giving birth to my daughter, let alone wearing a figure-flaunting outfit I felt amazing in.
As I scrolled through the comments posted on the image, one struck a cord, saying why the rush and pressure, it’s just been 5 weeks.
I replied, explaining that I was not “rushing” and had no pressure from anyone – I simply feel it’s important to do what I love alongside being a mother, including things that help me continue to feel like myself and keep my sanity, including WORK.
She replied, saying she wasn’t judging, but working moms take 6 weeks off minimum or longer, which is time for rest and bonding.
I replied back, explaining that she was in fact judging, and that she should consider the mothers and parents in general who don’t have the luxury of taking time off of work for 6 weeks – those who can’t afford to, those who are single mothers/parents supporting families, etc., aside from the fact that she’s making several assumptions about me and my lifestyle.
Someone else chimed in to point out that she was being insensitive and judgmental, to which she replied it was sad to see anyone think they needed to fit into leather skirts and travel five weeks postpartum.
At that point I had no patience left to continue giving her the benefit of the doubt, assuming she was trying to convey something kind that just wasn’t coming across kindly over the internet. After going back and forth a couple of times, it was obvious she was mom-shaming me, so I shut it down the best way I know how, saying I was sending her love and positivity, because anyone as sad as she is inside who feels the need to judge and put someone down they obviously know little about, needs all the love she can get.
She then sent me a direct message saying I insulted her so she was unfollowing me, and asked “why I had kids if I was going to leave them to have a career?”
While happenings like this are few and far between on my social media or here in the comments on the blog, they still shock me to my core. The fact that anyone feels the need to push their opinions onto someone is beyond insulting and uncalled for. The fact that she was attacking my being a working mother who felt amazing about herself during a time lots of new moms experience baby blues and much worse – which I myself went through after having my son – is horrible. And to top it off, she seemed unaware that she was even attacking and shaming me, thinking I was the one who insulted her!
I’ve posted before about cyberbullying and why I respond to it, but the blatant mom-shaming I’ve been seeing across social media deeply saddens me. Even celebrity moms like Jessica Alba who just gave birth to her 3rd child, gets countless comments from women criticizing her every move – which is of course through the filtered and very selective lens of media like Instagram, not at all representative of her 24×7 real life.
It’s sad that this type of harassment trickles down to every type of mom: the stay-at-home mom, the working mom, moms with hired help, single moms, the list goes on…
At the hospital after I had Mina, I was even being mom-shamed by nurses and doctors, explaining that anything other than breast milk wasn’t good for my baby, blah blah blah… and when they walked into the room and saw a pacifier in her mouth, the whole place was in an uproar! Yet she’s my child and that was my decision, just like going on a 72 hour work trip 5 weeks after giving birth to her was also my choice.
My point is this: as women, we’re put down, ridiculed, harassed and more on a daily basis by others (and often times we criticize our selves!), and now we’re mom-shaming each other? IT HAS TO STOP.
Why can’t we unite as sisters in the ups and downs of motherhood, ask questions, get answers, bond over being mother’s – working or not, share our struggles, stories, be supportive and proud of one another?