Bad Mum

Magazine

17 April 2018

Stop Mum Shaming...



I think this is a subject that people try to brush under the carpet. A lot of people refuse to believe that they would ever shame a mother. I can guarantee that at some point everyone has shamed a mother before.

So here's some examples;

  • When you think you have a right to talk about how a child dresses.
  • When you were young and you just want to mess around in a park or something but a mother brings her kids into the same park. 
  • When you're in a restaurant and you want a nice relaxing meal. There's always a noisy child in the restaurant. 
  • When you're in the supermarket and there's a child running around like a wild animal. Why can't that mother keep their child under control?!
  • When you're in a park or soft play. There's always a child who pushes, hits or bites. 
  • When you're in the cinema and even if you go to the child screening at 10am you can bet that there'll be a screaming child at some point in that film maybe the whole way through.
  • When you go on holiday and want to sunbathe but there's always kids running around and splashing in the pool.
I can honestly put my hands up and admit that yes I have done all of those either before I became a mother or when I was a mother of just one. 



Here's my personal experiences;
  • With Laurie being a dancer she wears crop tops and shorts etc for dance outfits. She has to be able to wear clothes that won't restrict her when she's doing everything possible to be super flexible. The amount of people including family that have said I shouldn't let a child wear those clothes. I see nothing wrong with her wearing dance wear. It's her body at the end of the day and her confidence rules what she wears.

  • I used to hang around in my local park a lot when I was younger, whether I was drinking or just messing about. I used to get really annoyed when kids would come into the park. Even though its a park for them I felt like they shouldn't be there after a certain time. Now in the lighter nights if either of the kids has energy to run off I'll happily take them to the park . I've become the mother I used to shame to my friends because she brought them to the park on a night time. I see teenagers messing about in the park every time and I hear them saying the same things. "What kind of mam brings her kids to the park at this time, why can't they just leave so we can have the whole park" Problem with me though is I'm stubborn as fuck and I will stay as long as possible just to piss them off while smiling at them. I know some mothers would hear that though and leave. I don't know if it's because I still class myself as young (pushing it at 30 haha) but seeing a massive group of teenagers doesn't scare me at all. I know some people would turn around as soon as they saw them, I'm not sure if it's because I used to be in that big group or what but no tiny teenager is going to mum shame me! 

  • Restaurants...well Laurie was such a good kid I could take her with me for a meal and she'd either keep quiet and eat or she'd sleep the entire time. I do remember seeing kids screaming saying to my husband I'm so glad that isn't Laurie. Must be so embarrassing for the parents. Even now on the odd occasion that I'm child free if we go out for a meal and hear a kid screaming or just be naughty that thought pops into my head, thank god it's not me. I quickly shake it out though and give the mother a knowing nod and smile and hope that even though I can't help her she knows she's not alone. She deserves to have that meal out and not have to worry about people around her complaining. 

  • Supermarkets...now this is my favourite! Again Laurie was an amazing toddler she loved the trolley. Anytime we went to the supermarket she'd climb straight into the trolley seat. Not Harry though. Harry is the toddler that runs around the supermarket aisles like a wild animal. Usually with me or his dad running after him like a headless chicken. If I try and put him in the trolley the screaming starts and sometimes its easier to just pick my battles and let him run around. As long as he's not breaking anything I'm usually calm about it, although we have had a couple of run ins of him being hit by a trolley because he wasn't concentrating. I usually laugh when that happens though (Bad Mam Alert!) I do get the odd glare, a tut here and there, sometimes old people like to mention how he should be strapped in the trolley not running around. If I'm in a good mood I'll laugh and say something like "well I'm sure when I was younger I'd rather be having fun than being stuck in a seat" if I'm in a bad mood it could be "mind your own fucking business" guess it depends on the day. Usually I laugh and give them a hackie because obviously I don't want to get banned from Tesco! It's funny though because I can guarantee if I get annoyed by Harry and strap him into the trolley and he starts screaming if I walk around and see the same people that pointed out that he should be strapped in mention how sad the poor boy is and he should be allowed to walk. It's like what the actual fuck. 

  • The park and soft play...well we get this quite often. Harry is bigger than the average just turned 2 year old so people can sometimes think he's older. He's been mistaken for a 3 and 4 year old before. He doesn't talk so if he pushes past your kid he can't apologise but he doesn't mean to hurt them. Obviously I'm there with him and will remind him to be careful. I've been shamed in soft play before because Harry has barged past a child to get to the slide and the child fell over. It's soft play the floor is soft, your kid will be fine. The mother however demanded my 4 year old should apologise and go into the older kids section. It was a bad day already and I'd hardly slept so obviously angry mam came out and I explained in a not very nice tone that my 2 year old can't talk yet so can't apologise for accidentally knocking your child over and maybe you should've been keeping a better eye on your child instead of sitting on your phone and you'd of seen what happened! 

  • I've also been on the other end of the soft play situation when Laurie was younger and in soft play and tons of bigger kids we're in the wrong section and were just messing about and Laurie got hurt by one of them standing on her, I admit I wasn't nice to the parents and I shamed them big time because my baby got hurt.



I think my main point to this blog is yes we have all mum shamed. It's not even just mum shaming I bet most of us have dad shamed too. It's not nice and I think that people should think twice before they do it. Parents are humans too. They're allowed to have bad days, they're allowed to have a child who is an arsehole. I know Harry is! I'm sure when their child is kicking off they want the world to swallow them up. It's not their fault, there is no point kicking off and complaining. 

The nicest thing to do would be to smile at the parent, make them feel like they're not alone. It's probably happened to most parents, no kid is 100% perfect all the time. 
  • If you don't like what a child is wearing keep it too yourself. You're opinion isn't important to the parent.
  • If you're child gets pushed don't automatically get defensive. 
  • If there's a kid ruining your meal maybe go to a posh restaurant where kids are banned if you can't do that then just ignore them. Everyone deserves to have a meal out!
  • If there's a child running around your local supermarket don't huff and puff he's hardly ruining your day by having fun and if seeing a child genuinely having fun ruins your day then maybe you should stop and think about your life.
  • Oh and please don't offer the screaming child in the trolley sweeties or chocolate to cheer him up, you have no idea of allergies etc.
  • If you're a teenager and annoyed that kids dare to come to the kids section of the park wind your neck in, it's made for kids not teenagers to drink in.
  • If your child cries in the cinema it's fine, it's a noisy dark place. It must be scary to some kids, child friendly viewings are like £3 and I'm pretty sure everyone there will have kids and won't care if they're a bit noisy.
  • If you really don't want to deal with kids when you're sunning it up on holiday book an adult exclusive holiday. It's not hard and usually cheaper than booking one where there's stuff for kids to enjoy. 

And finally last but by no means least...Stop mum shaming. Stop dad shaming. Stop shaming anyone. How about just stop being a dick. 

Written by Sarah @diary_of_a_geordie_mama 


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