Mums are mean.
Mums are bullies.
There. I’ve said it.
Bring on the firing squad.
But before you sentence me to death, hear me out.
I firmly believe that the above two statements are true of approx 1/10 of all Mums and it really saddens me.
I’ve always known about the Judgey-Jane types but it wasn’t until becoming a Mum that I realised how mean other Mums can be.
I mean, it is probably the most exclusive and excluding club of them all, isn’t it? For starters, some girls don’t even get in and it is heartbreaking. Where do they fit in a world full of Motherhood slogan tees (which I myself own) serving as a stark reminder that they did not get in? It’s cruel.
NCT groups should be a beacon of hope for Mums but if your face doesn’t fit because you’re not middle class or you’re unmarried or feeding your toddler a happy meal or even because you’re not white, it can be like a school playground with the mean girls sniffing out the weakest person. The Mum they can shun and talk about in hushed voices, while they’ve got their tit in their babies gob and she’s, dare I say it, bottle feeding. *gasp*.
Cliques and feelings of inadequacy can make those kinds of groups and playgroups a nightmare for some, especially the vulnerable and lonely Mums who are hoping (desperately) to make friends or just feel a little bit of community for an hour.
Then there’s the Mumsnet Mums. The ones who relentlessly discuss other Mums and their choices. Case in point being a reasonably well known Instagrammer, who is currently being systematically bullied by her peers on the forum.
Comments have been made about the fact she is unfit (according to them) to be a Mother because she is poor and has had to use women’s refuges for her and her daughter after fleeing a violent relationship. They say she’s an attention seeker, that she’s sexying up her situation for followers. When all this woman is trying to do is be a parent and survive in a scary, unrelenting situation, whilst educating the rest of us (who are ignorant to it) about the reality of living below the poverty line in the UK and what that really means.
We need to hear what she has to say. What she is doing with her social media platform is important work. She is using her voice for good and trying to affect change, for others. It is not always a pleasant read/viewing but it is important and worthy of the virtual space it inhabits.
These women have discussed the fact that she should’ve had an abortion because having her daughter was cruel. Yet all I see is a Mum. A Mum with struggles and great pain in her life, for sure, but a Mum doing her absolute best all the same. Like the rest of us.
Who are we to say whether someone is good enough to be a Mum? Yes, there are times when it is important to say ‘this person cannot look after their child, something must be done’, but that is only in times of certainty and fact. Certainty that a woman is physically neglecting their child or causing physical &/or mental pain. And in those times, if there is absolute certainty of neglect or abuse, then the decent thing to do is contact the relevant authorities. Don’t play moral warrior if all you actually do is talk about it online with the other Judgey-Jane’s.
Be a good human being.
If you see a Mum struggling and do nothing to help, what on Earth makes you think you are in any way better than them? News flash, you tw@t, you’re most definitely not. I’d rather befriend the struggling Mum, than the one who passes her on the street and offers her no kindness.
The world is hard enough without making it worse for each other. We should be extending our hands and lifting one another up to the light, not kicking dirt in the faces of those already on the ground and then running to your mates to talk about it.
Don’t tread on her fingers as you step over her; you can see she’s hanging on by a thread.
Don’t be the 1 in 10 who makes others feel less. (Yes, I know this is a made up fact but still…)
Hold her hand.
Be the supporter and the light.
Check your privilege.
Open your house.
Mine is open.
Mean Girls aren’t welcome. Unless you’re willing to admit you’ve been a b@tch and ask for help, in which case, the kettle is on luv.