Before I start my rant, allow me to tell you something I’ve just done, let’s call it confession if you will.
So, as it was George’s birthday yesterday, he requested a boys day out shopping with his Dad. Lyla has gone to soft play and Nev is out in town with her best friend. Here I am, sat on the sofa when I hear the familiar sound of “Greensleeves” coming from down the road. Yep, one warm day and the ice cream man is back. I bolted it upstairs, grabbed my purse and put on the first pair of shoes I could find, which also happened to be Paul’s trainers, and booted it to the ice cream van. I order a double flake Mr Whippy and then he’s asks what else I’d like for the kids (he knows everyone in this neighbourhood, he’s known Paul since he was a scrawny kid playing in the park) I was totally stumped and didn’t want to look or sound really selfish so I made up a complete lie and told him the rest of the family have gone away on holiday and I’m home alone. Then he starts giving me bloody sympathy!
It was just a white lie, a little lie to justify me being a pig. Confession done. Judge me all you like but I’m just a woman, home alone, thinking about how my diet will be starting on Monday.
Anyway, back to the blog post…
I’ve seen on social media recently that several accounts that I follow have been subject to trolling in the most cruel and hurtful way. Charlotte @thehomethatmademe , Cara @carasuthers and Emma emmaprettyinpink03_sw have been victims to it quite a lot lately and what for? For going about their lives and daring to share it on social media. I’ve had messages myself but not to the extreme these ladies have.
I was always pretty naive in believing that trolls only preyed on “famous” people, I was stupid enough to believe normal every day people didn’t have to worry about that. But, after seeing some of the comments Cara has had on her blog I was given a bit of a rude awakening. I know her personally, I’ve known her for years, and I appreciate that as much as we all are entitled to an opinion, one thing you cannot judge a person on is their parenting. Yes these women have chosen to write blogs, chosen to share parts of there lives with you and chosen to share intimate details of their life with you but that doesn’t mean to say you get to judge their parenting. Not one fucking bit.
Take Emma for example, bringing up two beautiful boys on her own, whilst keeping a beautiful home and running a small business, yet she takes time to herself for a night out and out come the parenting police in there droves giving her shit left, right and centre. Give the woman a break, she looks after her boys and they clearly don’t go without so what is the issue with her taking a few hours of her time to be just Emma. She’s more than just a Mum. She’s a human being, with real feelings.
The sad part is, these trolls are mostly Mothers themselves.
Let’s face it, all parents have different ways of parenting their kids and no matter how many books or magazine articles we read about how to parent our children, there is no greater way than our own.
I admit, I’m a bit of an inbetweener, I let Nev get away with a fair bit but at the same time, I demand a level of respect and don’t allow her to talk to me like her maid, I make sure she does her chores and I don’t tolerate her grunting at me or slamming a door in my face. Yet she’s only ever been grounded (with it being followed through) a couple of times and I’ve never taken her iPad off her for longer than 20 minutes. I’m not afraid to call her a dickhead when she’s doing my head in, I’m not one to tell people she’s perfect when at times she a little shit and I could easily send her to boarding school. But I parent her MY way and I’m not up for being told by anyone that I’m not doing it right.
How I parent Nev may not be to anybody’s taste, but then it doesn’t need to be. I may ask for advice but that doesn’t mean I’m open to being judged for it.
A common debate I hear all to often is those for and against photos of children on social media. Now don’t get me wrong, I totally see all sides of the coin. There ARE weirdos around and there are dangers to posting pictures online but, I make sure I only have people I know on my Facebook, I filter who follows me on Instagram and I barely have any followers on twitter so it’s not an issue. My social media is MY social media, if I want to feature the children on it, why not? They are the reason I exist, they are part of who I am so why should I hide them because the pizza delivery guy tells me to? To tell someone what they should or shouldn’t do isn’t acceptable.
The way I see it, everyone has an opinion. Everyone is entitled to voice an opinion but that doesn’t mean that voice should be heard more than others and it doesn’t mean that voice should be aired for all to see. I see things that I don’t agree with at times on social media but, I have a rant at home and then it’s over and done with, I’d never dream on writing on someone’s personal forum that they’re doing something wrong. We are responsible for the choices we make, we are the ones who have to be able to sleep at night if we get it wrong. It’s not going to affect anyone else’s life if the girl down the road is a single Mum, it doesn’t affect your life if you breast fed and wear a fucking halo yet whatsherface is bottle feeding her baby, it doesn’t affect your life if people on social media chose to show you what their beautiful children are up to. If it has no impact on your life, why is it necessary to get so involved?
I see women being called lazy because they had a c-section, because they’re “too posh to push”, do people ever consider that some women don’t have that choice? They may possibly have health risks and have put their child first by having the safest delivery possible. That makes them a good parent from the off, so why judge them for that?
Why, when we become parents, do some of us suddenly think that because we birthed a little human, that we are an expect on the subject. We suddenly think that it’s ok to be a rude mofo and make someone else feel utterly shit for not doing things the way it “should” be done. Judging each other is cruel, to make the likes of Charlotte, Cara and Emma question themselves, doubt their ability and even make them cry isn’t fair, it’s not ok and will never be ok. They are in your boat too, they are Mums, trying to do the best they can in the best way they know. In their own way. In a way that they are clearly happy with and their children are happy with. They don’t have to answer to the likes of you and me. They don’t have to apologise to the general public because they’ve done something you may not like, they shouldn’t be questioning their career paths or questioning whether they should hide away.
I make mistakes all the time as a Mum. But that’s where I take the time to learn, to correct it and to grow as a parent. It’s a full time position that requires and endless pit of learning. It demands patience and time, it’s carries responsibilities that sometimes I struggle to cope with, but I don’t want to be judged, I want to be helped, to be guided, to be told it’s ok. I want to learn from other people, to be inspired. I don’t wish to be compared to other Mums, I want to be Nevs Mum. I don’t drink (rarely) and Nevs only saw me drink a glass of wine in her company 3 years ago for the first time, she’ll never see me fully pissed until she’s old enough to drink too, I don’t do drugs, I gave birth naturally and I breast fed. That doesn’t make me a perfect parent, trust me, I’ve screwed up more times than I can think of. But I’m not going to judge someone who doesn’t do all the things that I did. It’s not my right, and it’s certainly not yours.
Tomorrow is Mothers Day, instead of being a badass Mother Judger, be a Mother Lover and tell someone what inspires you about the way they parent. Make someone feel better about themselves.
If you don’t like someone’s parenting, scroll on. It’s not your day it’s ruining, but you’re ruining someone else’s with your spite.