My hopes, unfortunately were not the case. I still encounter mummy shamers in my day to day life. I’m honestly sick of people with too much time on their hands judging my parenting. It makes me doubt myself as a mama which is a feeling that no parent should have to feel.
So here we go with mama bears shame - part 2
This week i took the boys to an indoor play centre. I never allow them in the under 2’s section as I don’t want them to impose on an area where baby’s can play. They are both too rough and clumsy. This day there were only two other families in there and no one using the baby area. The door to it had been left open so when Mr B ran in I didn’t hurry him out. I went to a table to take my coat off and sort myself out. As I mentioned earlier the play centre was next to empty so I could see my boys quite well from my table.
Next thing a lady came running across the play centre wailing “WHO’S IS THIS LITTLE BOYS MUMMY, WHO IS WITH THIS LITTLE BOY”.
I felt everyone’s eyes burning into me. Sure it was only two parents, two staff, this woman and someone coming in, but that was enough. I was mortified. I sheepishly held my hand up.
“he’s mine, why is there a problem”.
“yes, this door to the play area can’t be left open”
“O.K. that’s fine just close it”
Then she shamed me, shamed me so hard it left a mark.
“should you not really be in there supervising him”
I was that close I could practically here his farts, I admit I wasn’t inside the actual play pen but I was there getting ready to play with my boys. I was in so much shock and embarrassment I didn’t even argue back. It took me a minute to digest what she had said and realise she was in the wrong. He was being supervised, the gate had only been open because it was already open and my child was the only one in there.
As if that wasn’t bad enough there has been more shaming.
Hubby and I took the boys to a trampolining place. It was so much fun, (except that I peed a little, note to self, look after your pelvic floor mama bear.) The boys were getting hungry and thirsty so we took them off the trampolines to go refuel. Mr S was fine with this but wanted to be carried , which was fine as Mr B or Mr independent as he is also known likes walking. Hubby went to the lockers leaving me with them both. At that moment Mr B decided to be, for want of a better word, a dick! He ran as fast as his chunky little legs would carry him towards some stairs. Struggling with Mr S in one arm I attempted to grab Mr B, who promptly threw himself to floor and began screaming blue murder.
Now I understand that people might turn heads and look, I mean if you hear screaming you instinctively need to see where it’s coming from and I’m ok with those people. I am not ok with the woman who continued to stare at me struggling to hold a 2 year old while prying a pissed off 1 year old off the floor/step. I’m even more not ok that the same woman then shook her head at me and made an over the top tut.
Managing two young children is tough. Managing two children while one of them is in full melt down is really tough, also embarrassing, so why would any other human being feel the need to judge someone who is doing their best in a tough situation.
My final mama bear shame felt a lot more personal than the others. It did more than shame me it hurt me. I was engaging in conversation with another mama who I hadn’t met before. She had a 6 year old with her and was pregnant. The conversation got onto my boys and their ages.
I told my fellow mum that my children were one and two and her reaction shocked me.
“sorry did you say 1 and 2”
“ yes, they have 13 months between them”
“oh how awful for them. They are never going to have time to grow alone and discover who they are”
I was so shocked and hurt by her response that I just nodded and ended the conversation. I look back now and think why didn’t I stand up for myself? I should have told that silly woman that my boys are perfectly aware of who they are. I should have stood up for myself, but I didn’t because that’s what mummy shaming does. It makes mamas feel like they are doing something wrong, makes them doubt themselves, makes them believe they are failing in the most important job they will ever do in their life.
I really hope there won’t be a mama bears shame part 3 but I seriously doubt that. There are far too many small minded people out there with far too much time on their hands. If you have the unfortunate luck of meeting one of these people, just remember mamas and papas,
You are doing a dam good job, there is no right or wrong way to parent, just do it your way and make it work. Enjoy your children, you got this.
Good day to you x