Mothers can be the worst kind of bully


Being a parenting blogger I think it is important that I am available to my readers. I always encourage them to not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns they may have. Over the past year, the one issue I have been contacted about the most is mothers being bullied into thinking they are parenting all wrong by friends, mother-in-laws, strangers on the street, women at the park and even doctor's office nurses!  I have decided it is time to address this issue, because it has got to stop!




It absolutely blows my mind that the bullies do not understand that it is unconscionable to tell a mother she is terrible if she does or does not breastfeed, swaddle her newborn a certain way, let the baby cry-it-out, hold the baby a certain way, buy a certain mattress, use cloth or disposable diapers…the list is never-ending!  I know, because I get emails regularly from crestfallen mothers who have been beaten down by a know-it-all bitch who thinks she is helping.



Who do these big-mouthed bitches think they are that they have the right to open their mouths and shart their opinions? That’s right, I said SHART! Because let’s face it, that’s all their opinion is, hot smelly rancid air and diarrhea spewing out of their mouth. (*SHART as defined in the FTD Dictionary = "somewhere between a shit and a fart")

For starters, I have found the biggest bully is the mother’s own mother or mother-in-law. They think their best practices from 30-60 years ago are still the best. New mothers are constantly telling me how their mother-in-law has cornered them and told them how they should or shouldn’t be doing something. Or sometimes even worse, the mother-in-law will corner her son first to get an ally to help gang up on the new mother. This is the absolute worst, most unacceptable, form of bullying. New mothers are way to fragile to have their own family, especially their partners, turning on them.

For example, recently one of my friends contacted me in tears because her mother-in-law told her she was a selfish mother for only exclusively breastfeeding her 3-month-old son, because if she would, “Just give him some formula at night he would sleep better.” She actually told my friend she was being selfish for not letting her son have formula! Then to add insult to injury, her MIL got her husband in on the bullying. My friend was torn between her gut instinct and pleasing her mother-in-law and husband. That is so unfair!

Another horrible type of bully is the woman with multiple children thinking her experience gives her the right to shart her unsolicited opinions. What boggles my mind the most is that mothers of multiples know damn well not one child is the same as the next! NO, and I mean NO two children are alike. I have four nephews, and not one of them is the same - not one eats, sleeps, dresses, talks or acts the same.  Mothers of multiples should be the first to encourage a new mother to trust her instincts, and to try multiple things, because the obvious method may not be the one that works.

And finally to the absolute worst offender, the strangers on the street, in stores, or on park benches… Who died and left you in charge of know-it-all bitch town? You have absolutely NO right to judge a woman and child you do not know. How in the hell can any woman stand high on her soapbox, look down at another women, and think she has her and her child figured out? I can guarantee that bitch if she took my son for a day she would have to learn a whole new set of skills! Why? Because again, every child is different!

What the hell is wrong with these people? How can these women think they have the right to force their opinions and beliefs on these already fragile women? This is unacceptable! It is one thing if you are asked for advice or your opinion, it is another if you just shart your unsolicited opinion at an unsuspecting mother. Parenting is not easy, but we all do our best and deserve to be commended, not attacked.

There is not a mother alive who can say she enjoys being told she is parenting wrong, especially when she knows she is not. So then, why in the hell would you want to turn around and inflict the same pain and uncertainty?  It’s time to stop judging mothers, STFU and start supporting these women as they embark on the most amazing journey of their lives!

A special not to new mothers out there getting bullied:

My dear sister,

First of all, congratulations on your new sweet blessing! Second, I am sorry for all of the big mouthed twats sharting their half-cocked opinions at you.  I know how scary it is to be a new mother, you are not alone in this fear, all new mothers experience it. Your inner desire the to achieve the title of the World’s Best Mother is completely normal.  But know this, there is no such thing as the World's Best Mother, so go easy on yourself. All you can be is the best mother to your child.  

Trust your heart and instincts and let the nasty opinions of the evil bully fall on deaf ears.  You are doing your best, and those evil talking heads don’t recognize that. Plus nine times out of ten, I have found those women are not telling you things they actually did, but rather ideas they wished they had used themselves.

In time, everything gets easier including ignoring those women. I promise one day, hopefully soon, you will find yourself nodding and smiling at those women judging you all while thinking in your head, "hmmm maybe I will make spaghetti for dinner." 

Sincerely,

April


Come on moms!!! Its time to stick together, support each other and encourage each other. We need to feel confident in our own abilities, and trust our natural instincts. It’s time to stop the bullying, judging and the unnecessary unsolicited opinion sharting. Remember, if you do not have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all!


(To those devil advocates out there, this post has nothing to do with judging bad abusive strung out mothers.  So don’t bother leaving a nasty comment about stepping in to save a child from a crack whore.  This is about a good mother, not doing things exactly how you want her to and deciding to tell her that. So again, I find myself feeling the need to tell you to STFU and keep your unnecessary shart to yourself!)




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Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer, blogger and proud debut novelist - The Devlyn Disguise. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more about April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

26 comments:

Shay Grant said...

Amen to that, April!
It's so sad that some people seem to revert to schoolyard tactics when they become parents - you're different so you're wrong.
I don't know a single parent who doesn't do what they believe is right for their children. Do we do things differently? In some cases, definitely so. Is either of us wrong? In every case, definitely not.
Let's put the focus back where it belongs, on our own children. Maybe if everyone put all that extra energy into being the best parent they can be, all our children will win.

Anonymous said...

Ooooh I triple dog dare my mother-in-law to share an opinion on what she thinks I should do with my son...If she did such a terrific job with hers, I wouldn't have had to teach him how to do laundry and balance a checkbook at age 28! LOL.

As a mommy, I find myself in defense mode anyway, when someone is speaking of my child or my parenting. So when when it comes out as an unwarranted, unwelcome, shart... one should best look out. I totally agree that some people have no idea where appropriate boundaries for advice lie!

A Mother Life said...

You said it. Everyone parents differently. I roll my eyes ALL the time but never say anything except I'm here if you need help. Unfortunately we've moved away from large families living close and women often have no idea because they didn't see their mothers raising younger siblings. it is what it is and there is so much conflicting advice around, so do the best you can and if you need help ask...

Anonymous said...

Some of my favorites:

Leave a dirty diaper on longer and the baby will learn not to "go" as often.
Dip a pacifier in whiskey to help it sleep.
Put lots of toys in the crib to stimulate the baby.
Having a family member insist on holding the baby when they have a flu, cold or similar because it"helps with the immunity".
AND my absolute FAVORITE. When in public somebody comes up to you because the baby is crying and asks if everything is alright and then tries to pick him up or hold out their arms as if I should surrender him willingly. Go away!

Love your blog! FTMAD :)

Fancy Pants said...

Great post. Man, haven't we all been through this? I can remember before my mom days being so annoyed with unruly kids and wanting to give their moms a piece of my mind! Now, my eyes see a tired mom, who is overwhelmed, has a million things on her mind and literally needs 5 hands. I have stopped several times since then to help a mom out in the juggle of life and always accept offers of help now which has been very hard to do. I learn from other moms too. I watch how they deal with different situations and try to learn from their "tricks of the trade". Parenting is tough, and teenagers are literally scary as hell. Time we stopped and gave a wink and a nod to all those women out there busting ass to raise their kids.

Jessika said...

Awwww- love you guys! And so true!!! Just yesterday Chase came home from the MIL with a butt full of baby powder... so I had to explain that we don't use it anymore since (some) are dangerous to the respiratory system- I provide EVERYTHING he needs in his bag- why do people insist on going outside of that? Like feeding him sugar-free jello instead of the yogurt I packed- WHY??? Sigh... oh well. I am glad you posted this though :)

Alissa said...

Well written blog April! I've been away the past few days and was super refreshed to read today's entry. All I have to say is AMEN to all of that.

We are all just trying to do the best and the judging just isn't necessary.

My aboslute favorite though is when my MIL (Andy's step-mom who mind you has NOT had any children) tried to tell me how to parent James when he was a newborn.... I'd hear all the time "You should do this, you should do that, why in the world are you doing that???" In my mind I had to interpret it as "Blah, blah, blah...." so that I wouldn't get angry and say something I shoudldn't.

I am sure she thinks she is an expert now with 1 year of grandparenting from a distance under her belt... I can't wait to hear what advice she cooks up for baby #2!

Sorry kid, your mom doesn't play well with others said...

Seriously, public opinion is the worst part of parenting. I have actually asked someone if they had an ugly baby. When they responded with what?no! I replied oh I figured yours was ugly and you just wanted the chance to parent a cute one.
Someone actually told me I should put a tv in my bedroom because I'm pregnant again. I just til her that's how I drown out the sound. Acting oblivious to the fact of how rude I was usually let's me get away without further annoyance.
And yes. I have 5 kids not a single one of them was the same as the next. I wish all first time parents Would realize most of the time they are right, not a book by someone who read books instead of actually having children or someone who is too damn old to remember what actually happened when they were raising their kids...

Shay Grant said...

Ah ha ha! That is awesome! Good on you, some people deserve those kind of responses. I had a woman approach me once and go 'woooaaahh... that baby has a BIG head!!'. My immediate response was 'you've got a giant ass, but you don't see strangers commenting on that!'
I'm sure babies are idiot-magnets sometimes.

April @First Time Mom and Dad said...

Amen to you! IF only people could focus on solving their own personal problems... we all would be much happier!

April @First Time Mom and Dad said...

LOL! I am always in defense too. I need a t-shirt that says keep your shart comment to yourself

April @First Time Mom and Dad said...

That's it, if I need help I ask... if I don't ask, I don;t need any suggestions.

April @First Time Mom and Dad said...

OH MY GAAAAWD!! I have had all of the above told to me too. The stranger thinking they can hold my son and stop him from crying is AMAZING!

April @First Time Mom and Dad said...

Thanks Fancy Pants! I could not agree more. I am working on my apology post to the moms I used to judge before I was a mom myself. I too have stopped to help a mom and asked for help too. I am proud to be a member of the sisterhood... not the sharthood

April @First Time Mom and Dad said...

I have the same issue with my mom. She has her own ideas... and I have mine. She makes me more nuts now that I have a baby, then before... I don't know how that's possible really... but it is. I am constantly reminding her I am Ollie's mother.

April @First Time Mom and Dad said...

Oh no she didn't! Good for you for hearing Blah, Blah, Blah.... I cannot believe she has so much advice and no kids... that's just WRONG!

Aleisha said...

Omg I love your blogs! I'm 23 and 18 weeks pregnant with my first! (So excited) and already I have issues with people telling what's best and what's not best for my baby. Can I push my baby out first before I get hounded?? GOSH! I have enough anxiety as it is with this being my first. But I have a hunch that my fiance & I will be just fine :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not a mom. I don't look forward to this part of it. However... I'm rather proud of the fact that I leave people with kids alone. I wouldn't powder a butt if I was watching a kid if the mom didn't provide the powder. Her kid, her rules. Now. I may be a bit of a spoiler but honorary "Aunts" get a little bit of leeway. (I avoid talking to strangers as a general rule. I would never give any stranger unsolicited advice. That's what the internet is for.)

Quirky Chrissy said...

OMG. If anyone tells me I'm doing shit wrong, I'm going to spew not-so-nice-things in their faces. You're amazing. And an inspiration to women everywhere. Rock on with your bad self.

April @First Time Mom and Dad said...

Oh sista.... You are in the prime for verbal assaults. I am SO sorry, because unless you stick your head in a hole you will not be able to avoid them. And that "hunch" is your momma instinct kicking in!! Trust that shit girl and you will be great!!

April @First Time Mom and Dad said...

LOL!! Katie you are so awesome!! "I avoid talking to strangers as a general rule. I would never give any stranger unsolicited advice. That's what the internet is for." Hip Hip Hooray!!

April @First Time Mom and Dad said...

Thanks Chrissy. I spew yuck at people all of the time. I am a momma lion....

Suzi Satterfield said...

I *hate* the Mommy Wars. Any time someone insists that their way is the One True Way, you end up with drama and someone's feelings get hurt. Really, if we all parented the exact same way, we might as well be Stepford Parents or something.

Anonymous said...

i hate the mommy wars too, but i think sometimes we are just oversensitive. if a person has 5 children, then to me they are fully qualified to give me advice and suggestions on issues with my 1. just because someone gives us advice doesn't mean we have to take it, we don't have to like it, but can't we see the experience of these people as at all useful?
not every suggestion is meant as a judgement. to truly end the mommy wars, we all need to be a little more accepting of parenting advice in general. Problem is everyone thinks they know it all. is it really mommy wars, or just women wars from way back.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is it doesn't stop when your child is not a baby anymore...it goes on through every step...my step-mom tries to give me advice on how to raise my son-because her biological grand-daughter is so perfect... and does things before my son and blah blah... my son is very bright and hey he is a boy... and he has Nystagmus..it doesn't mean he's stupid just because he can't read very well yet...

Andi-Roo TheWorldForRealz said...

Okay, first of all... *YES*... I had plans to pen a post similar to this in the near future, but you really covered all the salient points. Leading me to... second of all... I'm sharing this on FB. Did I mention, because *YES*?! Love your blog, Bee-Tee-Dubs! :)

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