I chat on a forum for moms (www.moomie.co.za) and it has been an extremely valuable source of information during my pregnancy and with raising Zani.
However, I began to notice that the comments to some of the questions would start off all nice and helpful, but would quickly become very judgemental and/or bitchy if another mom had a different opinion than the one you expressed. It has made me think about how we as women, and especially mothers, seem to judge each other on everything.
Even before we fall pregnant we are judged regarding our ability to fall pregnant. I remember the raised eyebrows from people asking the oh-so-innocent question “No news yet?” If we eventually do manage to fall pregnant, we are judged on everything from our choice of gynaecologist to every morsel of food that you put in your mouth. Do not even try and initiate any rational discussion on the subject of natural vs c-section birth. I don’t know how many times I have heard that I did not really give birth as I chose to go the c-section route instead of pushing my baby out of my vajayjay. Oh, and if you choose to bottle feed instead of breastfeed, you will be shunned. You will have to hear, over and over, about all the chemicals that are contained in the formula that you intent to feed to your child.
If someone asks me what I feed Zani, I’m always a bit apprehensive to tell them the truth as I live in fear of the backlash. My daughter loves 2 minute noodles, but oh-dear-lord-and-heaven-forbid that I actually admit to this. I will be virtually-slapped so hard by the “earth-mothers” and the nutritional content will be found on Google and send to me so that I can be aware of the damage I’m inflicting upon my child. The same with viennas and flings. My daughter practically lives on Woolies toddler meals, as I really don’t have the strength to cook up a wholesome meal when I get home at 17:45. I am not the type of mother that is going to spend my entire weekend cooking and blending up a storm so I have meals to freeze for the week. I would rather spend that time playing with my daughter; or rather watch her play while I’m sipping away at a cold glass of wine.
Please, don’t get me wrong. There are some wonderful people out there on the interwebs and on forums where help for first time moms, like myself, is given freely and without the “but that is just my opinion” add on. I don’t know how I would have coped without the friends I made on my forum, but there were times when comments made really made me doubt myself and my ability as a mom.
Imagine if our differences could be celebrated, instead of being used to discourage and belittle.
Imagine if I could freely admit to feeding my child 2 minute noodles on a regular basis….but that is just my opinion.