Thoughts from a Working Mom Tired of Being Shamed
My son and I got to spend two weeks together last month. It came directly after a total of 6 work trips out of town. These trips varied from 3 days long to 8 days long, all away from him.
During these two weeks we spent away I ate him all up. His tantrums. His sweetness. His ability to view the world through such a simple less corrupted lens. A lens that I am nurturing and helping to filter every single day. As a mom post-maternity leave I have not been able to spend this amount of one on one time with him before.
It was both magical and eye opening for me.
I realized 3 important things during my time with him:
1. He is in no way suffering from it. He is a smart little boy with a love for the outdoors, and well, a love for me, his mama!
2. What is most important is that I soak in the moments of joy. To be present for him when I am with him. Making sure those moments of joy are so phenomenal that they could not be forgotten.
3. I was putting the shame on myself. Being a mom is hard. WE all have different paths to take. What is important is when we parent we are present and soak it in 100%.
Let’s talk about shame for a minute…
As mothers of all kinds from all walks of life, can unintentionally shame other mamas. When you feel the need to post via social media “I don’t know how other moms stay away from their child all day long, I just couldn’t do it”, you are unintentionally shaming mothers that are in fact away from their child all day.
While I understand some of the things posted, said in passing, tweeted, etc. is harmless. I also know some of it is passive aggressive and downright mean. If we could all be sensitive to the fact that there are different types of families and mothers, it would help by leaps and bounds.
It boils down to basic kindness and respect. The basics we teach our toddlers & teenagers each and every day.
My son’s name is Declan and he’s 2.5 years old. I feel like I am constantly telling him “Please don’t hit people”, “Please don’t hit your aunt with that bat” or “Please don’t smack me in the face” during this period of his childhood years. What I wouldn’t tell him is “You can only hit me if I upset you”. The reality is, that is kind of how social media works today, right?
One post, being taken out of context, can spiral into a crap storm of violently rude and thoughtless accusations filled with shame. We no longer think the best of anyone. We are set on some sort of auto-defensive mechanism that feels something like hate when you get down to the root of it all.
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, right? If so, we’re well on our way to losing our sight. None of us want to raise a generation of kids that thinks it is okay NOT to first think the best of people and instead have something to say about everything. There’s a limit to individuality when it comes at the expense of kindness.
Shame is a filthy feeling and we already deal with the self-induced kind far too often. We shouldn’t have to worry about feeling it from fellow mamas.
In the coming weeks I challenge you to think about things before you post, speak, and so on… words can be used for much better things, like encouraging and supporting fellow mothers. Use them to yours and everyone else’s benefit.
Let’s uplift our fellow mamas in the month of September,
The Curvy Cal-Arkansan Girl 💕
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