Living in a time where nothing is ever enough and no one ever seems content, that same discontentment unquestionably has spilled over into the world of motherhood as well. Our decisions, our physical traits, the choices that we make for ourselves and the way we choose to raise our children are placed under a microscope and constantly analyzed. That woman that you just talked about, saying how she “let herself go” is the same woman who is a single mother with three kids who she devotes all of her time and energy to and isn’t left with much time for herself. Her hormones are out of whack and it may not be as easy to lose weight as it once was. You passed judgement on her without even knowing a thing about her situation and the challenges she faces daily, but yet she still manages to put on a brave face for the world everyday. That woman who may not be in the salon chair every two weeks or so getting her hair done may be the same woman who desires to go and get pampered every once in a while but what “extra” money she has still ends up going towards some unexpected expense. That woman whom you may say “works too much” and needs to make more time for her kids may be the same woman who is having to work extra hours and take a second job because that may be the only way she and her children get the things that they need and the bills get paid. People have gotten so caught up with “keeping up” and “fitting in” that they try to make the people who don’t concern themselves with such, feel like they’ve failed.
Being a single Mom, no matter how many kids you have, can be hard and there’s not anyone in this world that could tell me otherwise. Being a Mother is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience, but I’d be lying to myself and everyone else if I said that it isn’t challenging sometimes. But to criticize the Mom who takes and posts a bunch of pictures of her kids, or to look down on a Mom for giving her kids fast food a couple nights a week, or to just generally try and shame any Mother for her decisions, her looks or anything contributing to her journey, makes you no better than the person you're judging. We've gotten so accustomed to just standing by and doing nothing but watching instead of trying to help the situation when we see that someone clearly needs assistance, and we act as if this is "normal". As parents, as long as our kids are being taken care of, and have the proper raising and guidance, who are we to look down upon someone else because the choices that they make differ from ours? Until you’ve been placed in a situation such as she, you will never be able to relate, so if sharing the joys and the funny moments of my parenting journey isn’t an interest of yours then that’s your opinion and you're entitled to it, but by all means, putting a woman down or trying to make her feel bad for wanting to share her children’s precious moments is a wave that I just can’t ride. And if she doesn’t fit your expectation of how a woman's body "should look" (to you), then look the other way. Be the one who gives that Mother down the street or up the road from you just a simple gesture or even a simple compliment; that may be the first compliment that she has received in a while. People don't realize what effects they could have on someone by giving just a kind word. We're hard enough on ourselves, questioning our own decisions and choices as Moms without the world having an opinion on it as well.
** Artwork by Natalia Murobha | IG: @murobhasart **