Experts agree that motherhood is even more difficult now than it was for past generations of Mums, with nearly one in three Mums consciously make parenting decisions to avoid criticism from others — Doctor Michele Borba
A few weeks ago, here in New York City, I was invited to the Strong Moms Empower Summit and Luncheon. I have to admit, as I am invited to a lot of events, I really did not know what I was walking in to. I actually thought it was a casual get together with a few other local Mummy Bloggers. However, when I arrived at the gorgeous Alexandria Center overlooking the East River, I straight away knew otherwise. This was a really BIG deal. To start with the space was gorgeous and secondly there was a couple of hundred “movers and shakers” in the Mummy world on site.
Strong Moms Empower is a call-to-action campaign that is working towards Stopping Bullying Among Parents. Yes, you read correctly – Parents. Apparently in today’s world there is a ton of bullying going on both online and offline which in turn is making Mothers unsure of their decisions, afraid to speak their minds and causing a lot of insecurity and sadness. BUT, we’re all Mums right and on the same team? Evidently, this is not so.
Being at this luncheon and listening to the speakers, I thought back to times that I have been bullied online by other parents. Once, only just having given birth, I posted a question about breastfeeding my Son, to which another Mother commented that “I was only breastfeeding because I could not afford formula”??? Hmm, I just did not even know what to say to that, it literally blew my mind so I decided not to say anything at all. Or, more recently when I posted a picture of my 2.5 year old Son on the Willy B Mum Facebook page with his nails painted the same color as mine, to where another Mother decided it was best to comment that; “That is ridiculous, why are you creating an excuse for him to be bullied at school”?? One, he is 2.5 and does not go to school yet and two isn’t that what you are doing to me right now by leaving that comment?
Unfortunately, I am sure you can all think back to one or another situations where you have also been made to feel inadequate by another parent!
All Mothers are different, and all Mothers love their children right? So, why all the hatred and negativity, from other Mothers towards Mothers, that are in the same boat trying to do the best they can to raise their children?
Parents choose many many ways to bring up children and no matter your personal choice there is going to be another parent who is doing completely the opposite and unfortunately may give you a hard time about it!
- Do you breastfeed versus formula feeding?
- Do you feed your child meat versus a vegetarian diet?
- Do you spank your child if they are naughty versus talking your child through problems?
- Do you have much money versus not having much money at all?
- Do you send your children to a public school versus a private school?
- Are your children overweight versus rearing very fit and active children?
- Are you a single mother versus in a stable relationship?
- Are you a Stay-At-Home Mother versus a working Mother who is not home much?
DURING THE LUNCHEON
While tweeting away with the hashtag #StrongMomsEmpower (as was encouraged by the host to help get the word out) a girlfriend and fellow blogger leaned over to me, quite shocked and said “Have you seen this”? She passed me her phone and showed me hundreds of tweets (with a different hashtag) that were going on in real-time basically talking derogatively and IN EFFECT BULLYING the campaign and what was hoping to be achieved. It was so Ironic! This was, because news to both of us, the major corporation Similac was sponsoring the event.
So let’s back up a bit here. Most of you know I am a holistic mother, and for me feeding my Son formula was a “Hell No over my Dead Body” kind of feeling. I even took that one step further and ended up breastfeeding my Son till he was 26 months of age!
This was my preference, and I do not have to justify my reasoning to ANYBODY.
I am not a fan of Similac and it was my choice not to give my baby formula, just as many Mothers are a fan of Similac and choose to give their baby formula. However, at the end of the day, we are all Mothers and we all make the right decisions for our family and it is nobody else’s business to make another Mother’s life difficult because one does not agree. End of Story.
I thought for a long time about whether to even post this article, and in the end I decided knowing that Similac is a big corporation, what they are doing is a helpful & positive thing, and probably something that only a big corporation could have the means to do?
I am happy that I had the opportunity to attend the luncheon, as now I am aware of what is going on out there in “Mummy Land” and I really want to help Stop the bullying. Personally, I am working on being more understanding, considerate, kind and supportive to other Mothers (even if I do not agree with their choices).
I know that being a Mother is sometimes lonely and often confusing and we ALL need to support each other no matter what our choices under our roofs are! I urge all you Mummies to do the same. Let us Strong Moms Empower!
What about you, have you ever been bullied by another Parent?
Thanks for reading my BLOG.