I’ve been going back and forth in my mind if I should weigh in on the current state of the “Mummy Community” that is ever so present online… Part of me wants to completely rant about it and the other wants to just ignore it completely.
So I’ll meet in the middle and just discuss it…
This next sentence will either make you cheer or make you hate me – but that’s ok.
I am so sick to death of seeing posts (blogs, social media updates etc) by women who speak badly about their children, husbands & lives being liked, shared & celebrated and reading posts by privileged women who constantly complain how hard motherhood/parenthood is.
Being a parent is challenging at times, yes. You are raising a human, at times you will feel like you are failing, like you can’t cope, you’ll lose your temper & you will have bad days. This is a given.
Discipline, toilet training, meal times, sleep – it all can be challenging. But is it the hardest thing in the world? No! Not really, I wouldn’t even call it hard – just challenging.
I would think it would be pretty hard if I lived in a third world country & had to carry my baby on my back & walk to a river to collect barely drinkable water for my family to survive – that to me is hard.
Parenting in the modern world, not so hard. It is hard for some, but not for a lot.
Living in poverty while trying to provide for your children & create a better life is hard.
Having a child with special needs or who is very ill or losing your child that would be unimaginably hard. Battling an illness while parenting, that is hard. Being a single parent with no support system, that would also be hard. I admire so many parents from all walks of life who truly have it hard, but those people who actually have hard lives rarely complain. And before we go any further I want to acknowledge that there are parents out there who truly have it hard and they are in situations I doubt I could ever handle.
But I however do not have it hard, chances are if you have the time to kick back in the middle of the day & read this blog post on some form of technology – you also don’t have it that hard, you just think you do.
Sitting on your ass whinging how hard being a Mum to your “little assholes” is on social media proves one thing, your life isn’t hard – you are spoilt & need a wake up call. And yes, I did read that exact sentence on social media this week. Actually I have lost count of how many versions of that sentence I’ve read online this week. And these women are applauded because they are “honest & real”.
I have been criticised in past posts for being “fake” because I don’t “write honestly” about Motherhood. Yes I do, I feel I write the truth. But I write my truth. I don’t need to fill my blog with a big pity post about how hard being a Mum is. This is a life I chose, I love what I do, I do not chose to dwell on the challenging times. Every part of life can & will be hard, being a young adult, being single, being engaged, being newly married, being new parents, parents of a toddler/preschooler/young child/teenager, empty nesters, elderly – it all has challenges. You would be simple to think otherwise.
The moments so many Mothers are wishing away are the moments they will long for one day. Being a parent I don’t think we will get any easier as your child grows, sure what is challenging right at this moment may fade but a new challenge will appear. It makes me sad when I read posts such as “I can’t wait until my kid is school age and I can have a break”. Breaks are important so we can recharge, but wishing away seasons we are in is not good & I assure one day you’ll wish your child was little again, gosh I have moments when I long for one more newborn cuddle with my daughter.
The moments when I am feeling negative, low and down I take a good hard look around and that fixes my attitude pretty quickly. I have a very beautiful little daughter who is the light of our lives, I have a home in a safe country not a war zone, my husband has a job, we have a car, we have health care, friends & family who support us, we turn on the tap and there is clean drinking water and by the flick of a switch I have electricity & I have the internet. I can either use the over priced piece of technology that can be often found in my hand for good or bad. Unfortunately the current cool thing to do with your smart phone is whinge on social media how awful your life is and liken your kids to terrorists and belittle your husband. Really? I am a firm believer in what our minds are full of, what we speak of (write) is what our hearts are truly full of. (Luke 6:45)
I try to surround myself with like minded, strong, positive women, women who inspire me to be better, wives who love being wives and Mums who enjoying Mothering – not just say they do – but really love it.
I refuse to enter into this trend, even if society makes it seem so acceptable – I will not post endless status updates on how rough my day is going, because in reality it maybe just a bad day but it isn’t that hard. My life is pretty damn easy & most of our problems are trivial. Some days we have really bad days & sharing them makes us get that bit of built up anger off our chests or we can laugh at the situation once we write it down, but I do not have a habit of daily, weekly or even monthly pity parties.
Everyone has struggles – every single person. Just because I don’t share every heartache I’ve been through recently publicly doesn’t make my life perfect, it just means I enjoy some privacy in my life & everything I go through doesn’t need to be shared and if I do share it, I share it at the right time. I am not trying to “pretend to be perfect” or create a “fake life” – I just don’t have the urge to share private details for sympathy – which sometimes is why people over share online. Yes, some subjects need to be spoken about openly more often; miscarriage, still birth, mental health, domestic abuse, PND etc. – those are sensitive topics that should be shared so other women don’t feel alone.
So, I am not shaming the occasional rant status or a sad life update or having that friend you can vent to, no – not at all.
But calling your child & spouse awful names online, questioning why you became a parent & just flat out complaining about motherhood is in my opinion – pathetic.
At the end of the day you decided to have this child – make the most of it and be the best you can be for that child. Don’t trash your child online. Like put it into perspective – you created this child and you belittle your own little human to pretty much strangers online just so you can feel like you aren’t a failure because there are other people who also partake in this bizarre behaviour? I read these threads of women supporting this behaviour & agreeing to having hard days and praising others for hating on Mothering, calling their children dreadful names & making fun of their husbands and I just sit back and think what the actual hell?
Have we lost all respect for our families & any shred of decency & tact?
You decided to have your child, YOU! Your child didn’t ask for this life, but you think it’s ok to call them awful names or humiliate them? I don’t care if you finish the sentence with “oh but I love them” or “I couldn’t imagine life without them” – read the start of the sentence where you degrade them – that is the part that sticks and it’s awful!
People chose certain careers in life, every job has difficult aspects – just like parenthood but complaining about it doesn’t make it any better. That rule applies for anything, if something in your life is hard, not going right and is just falling apart – complaining constantly online will not help you. Make a plan, be proactive, get off your butt and fix it. I do know some people like to inform everyone on the ups & downs of life in one hit online and that’s your prerogative but daily “wah poor me, life is hard” posts – they don’t help, writing them reminds you how bad your situation is and people lose interest in being supportive. Instead try looking around and find 1 positive in your day, share that. Change your mindset and you will change your life.
Everywhere I look on the internet people tear confident Mothers or women who love Mothering down, bloggers, parenting sites, social media users – so many people. That’s bullshit. On one hand the “Mummy Community” wants to celebrate the mediocre & average attempts at parenting and parents who proudly boast they feel like they are failing & just accept that Mums freely call their children “assholes” – but a Mum who thinks she is doing well is torn apart because she thinks she can do this. Are you confused? Because I sure am. You are congratulated for being proud of failure & accepted if you run your children & husband down, but ripped to shreds, made fun of and called a fake & an idiot if you have confidence and don’t find Motherhood hard? *insert very confused face here*
On this site I wish to encourage, inspire & lift Mothers up. And I am not writing this to tear those Mothers down – it makes me mad, but each to their own, I am just trying to maybe change a few minds and encourage women to enjoy Mothering & being wives and that it can be a beautiful season in our lives. It is ok to enjoy Motherhood. Maybe these women don’t realise how their words look, maybe it’s a case of jumping on the band wagon – but I want to encourage these women to change the way they speak about the most important people in their lives.
I know the feeling of being torn down – it appears no one wants to read you’ve had a good day or you feel like you’ve got this parenting thing kind of figured out, they only want to hear how hard done by you are & how much you are failing so they can feel not alone in their failures.
If you love your husband, enjoy Motherhood & idolise your children – in this day & age you are viewed as some sort of weirdo and you are made fun of as a stepford wife, brainwashed, someone from a cult, a 1950’s housewife, a liar, a fake, pathetic, not honest – the list goes on and I’ve been made fun of in a lot of different & hurtful ways.
But if you get on your iPhone, log onto social media – call your husband awful names, talk about not enjoying being a Mum and how much your life sucks and how you are so hard done by – you are applauded, you are surrounded by like minded women, put on a pedestal & you are accepted.
I am happy to see women supporting women, but it’s almost like a giant pity party of competing who has the hardest life on some sites.
Motherhood is not that hard, it’s challenging. The days can be long & tough, but the work is fulfilling, soul enriching & world changing. We are creating people to send out into the world. What are you sending out?
A lazy, spoilt, self centred brat who complains about life constantly? Because if that’s the way you act, that is what you are sending out – children are products of their environments – they will be a version of who you are.
I strive to send out a well rounded, confident, intelligent, kind, polite young girl who knows she can do anything she sets her mind to if she works hard – someone who seeks the positive even in the darkest situations, who can look after herself and someone that wants to encourage others.
I want my daughter growing up knowing I love her and I don’t take a day with her for granted.
To the mothers who write negatively about their children, I don’t doubt the love you have for your children, but one day our kids will know how the internet works & once you put something online it’s there forever and do you really want your child reading that you thought they were a proper little asshole and you wanted to lock yourself in the pantry drinking wine at 11am while being alone at home with them? Or that you wrote awful things about their Dad online – for the world to see? Will what you write today, make you proud in 5, 10, 20 years?
How about you look at that way you think and consider how you’ll feel in 20 years? Will you long for these days back, will you regret living with the negative mindset & constantly wishing away a beautiful season of your life?
How about instead of making it the norm to speak badly about our children & husbands we encourage women to speak lovingly about them? Sure, speak about the struggles of daily life, don’t pretend everything is just perfect – because life never is, but don’t solely focus on the negatives, celebrate the joys, find those small moments in life, in your day that sparkle and make them your focus.
I think it is rude to call our children hurtful names at any time, but especially online, admit they drive you crazy in a status if that is what helps you cope – but if the last thing you ever wrote about your child was calling them an asshole – would you be glad that’s what you left behind for them to read? I personally would never call my husband an offensive name online – I am not saying our marriage is perfect or either of us are, we fight at times – but if he went online and ran me down & I did that to him, well that would be the point I question why I am married and how much of an adult I really am.
So bottom line is, everything in life is tough, parenthood can be challenging – but it is by no means the hardest thing in the world to do – but you will find it more challenging if you sit online all day complaining about how hard you have it. I can almost assure you if you get up, leave your phone on charge and go interact with your “little assholes” (your words not mine) & actually put your heart more into mothering than complaining about it you may not find it so hard.
We need to stop making it socially acceptable to be rude & speak awfully about our husbands & kids – these women aren’t “brave, raw & honest” – anyone can be crass and ridicule the ones they love – I find these traits childish, attention seeking & sad.
So no, I will not be jumping on the bandwagon of humiliating my daughter & husband and whinging about my life just because I might be having a bad day. That’s not my style, there are enough of those writers in the world – I aspire to be an encourager.
I do not set out to paint my life as a perfect picture, it isn’t – please don’t think it is – but I don’t need to share every low, because guess what – I don’t wish to dwell on the negatives, I want to celebrate the positives, embrace every joy & encourage others to do the same. I want to encourage women to love Mothering, to love their husbands and be the best they can be in every aspect of their lives. If you focus on the bad stuff constantly your life will be negative, if you embrace the joy & celebrate the highs your life will positive.
Give it a go, stop speaking, thinking & writing negatively for 1 week – I am willingly to bet your attitude, thoughts & life will change, for the better. I truly encourage you to try this.
Find the joy in Mothering & embrace it, it’s there & if you can’t find it change your mindset.
Restore & embrace the joy.
Because in the end, we are the only ones who can give our children a happy Mother who loves life – be that Mumma.
To read the follow up post to this one please CLICK HERE.
2 thoughts on “To the online Mummy community…”
Oh Belinda, I'm so glad you posted this. I think we might be online sisters. I have been talking about this very thing to my husband a lot lately. I just cringe at what I see is acceptable to post on FB and other social media platforms lately and those people who seem to have hundreds of thousands of followers and it just blows my mind. How it's acceptable to be looking at your mobile phone because you, as an adult, need time out as well. For the over use of profanities about how hard motherhood is and how hard being a homemaker is, it makes me cry. I'll be the first to admit that after a rough day with the kids, I love them most when they're sleeping. I'll also admit that being a mother has been nothing like I expected, nothing at all. I've loved, adored, been infatuated with my children since they were born. What I haven't liked is not being able to do everything like I did before they came, like keep the house spotless. I learnt a way to have both. Near enough has been good enough for me as far as the house goes, but the children's welfare and well being has been the most important thing to me all along. I might get cross at my daughter for the back chat and abuse she hurls at me but once things settle down, I always go in and talk to her about it and tell her how much I love her. I don't have the answers on how to be a perfect Mum and homemaker. I only know what works in my house. It was a difficult time for me when I lived with their father and I just had to make it work for all of us. It was just terrible when he left, then my mother died. If it wasn't for the children, I don't think I'd be here anymore. They really kept me going. It's really hard for me now too because I only see them every second week but that's just the way it is and that's what's working for all 4 parents involved and the children. Everything is working out well for everyone but there's not a minute while they're away that I'm not thinking about them. I know I've been guilty of sharing how I can't wait for school to go back or some other little thing that's been annoying me about them but I've made the most of motherhood and how it has changed my life, all for the better. There's no way I would talk about my kids or my husband the way some of these women do. Talking like that is totally unacceptable as far as I'm concerned. You and I both know how hard it is to fall pregnant and when you do eventually have them, there is no greater gift and we're eternally grateful for it. I feel sorry for these kids when they get older. The signs are already showing in society. Thank you for a great post. I totally agree with you 100%. Keep doing what you're doing and keep being who you are. You're a true inspiration to all mothers out there.
A great read Bindy! I dont know how people can wish there child to grow up! I get emotional just thinking about my child having to start school (even if it's still a couple of years away!) But of course as a mother and wife it is important to have a little you time once in a while!
This reminds me of a couple of posts from Constance Hall that have been going around on Facebook lately. Her post about how she “can't wifey today” I found quite offensive. Saying how her husband going to work if like an “escape” from his family. NO. Him working is putting food on your table and a roof over your heads. Makes my blood boil thinking of it!