With all the sanctimommies and mum shaming that’s going on these days, women seem to have to meet a certain criteria to be considered a real mum. C-section mums aren’t real mums, working mums aren’t real mums and in this case, someone told an adoptive mum that she’s not considered a real mum because she didn’t give birth to her baby.
Mum Shaming Incident
She may not have given birth to the child, but she’s laboured for years to have that child.
Reddit user Vietnamazinggg, wrote,
A woman on Facebook tried to tell me I wasn’t a real parent since I didn’t give birth. My response to her: I did not give birth to my child. I did not get to feel him growing within me, or hold him against my skin when he was born. Perhaps by your definition, my child is not a part of me – he does not resemble me or my wife.
Let me tell you what being a parent is to me. I didn’t labour for hours for this child, I laboured for YEARS. I waited for years to be told that we had been chosen, that we were finally going to be allowed to be parents. I didn’t feel labour pains. I felt the incredible pain of emptiness in my heart and home as my wife and I yearned to begin our family through adoption. I didn’t get to wake up in the middle of the night and nurse my sweet child. I did, though, spend many nights lying awake and praying to whomever might be listening to let us be next. Asking myself why we hadn’t been chosen yet. Pouring over adoption profiles and sending endless email inquiries on children available for adoption and being told no, no, no over and over again.
And like you said, ‘you can’t possibly understand that feeling.’ I feel certain you have absolutely no idea. . . . Not every child is yours or a “part of you” because you grew it inside of you. My child will always be a part of me, because we’re fighting for this life together.
This mum and her views have received a great number of positive comments from those supporting her speaking up against the mum shaming, as well as those with adoptive or step-children who face a similar predicament.
In addition to her detailed response to the mum shaming Facebook user, this mum also has a summarised one-phrase response: F*ck you. I’m a Mom.
Mum Shaming On Social Media
Image source: iStock
Mum shaming has probably always existed but it’s gotten far worse in this digital age, what more with the availability of social media. People hide behind the veil of anonymity, or virtual personas and judge and put other mums down. There has been a steep rise in the number of sanctimonious mums who are out to get other mums.
Such characters are toxic and they exist everywhere. You can find them actively mum shaming on Breastfeeding groups, Mum Groups, Baby groups and pretty much everywhere. Sometimes they appear to be friendly and concerned but all they are out to do is compare and make other mums feel lousy.
It’s important that mums understand and recognise the unfortunate existence of such people. Not all mums are are strong as the mum mentioned in this article. Many of them succumb to the criticism and start second-guessing or even berating themselves for being a terrible or lousy mum.
Say NO to Mum Shaming
Image source: iStock
The only people who truly know just how difficult it is to be a mum, are mums. As such, it’s sad and unfathomable why mums would find pleasure in mum shaming. While it’s true that some of them don’t actually have ill intentions and do so without realising, it’s still important that you know when mum shaming is taking place and what to do if it happens.
Depending on your personality, the way you react might differ greatly from another mum. You may choose to tell the mum shamer off on her face, you may choose to retaliate or even completely ignore the mum shaming.
It’s completely up to you so long as you do not allow it to continue happening to you. Exit that chat group if you must, cut your friendship with that person if it’s really too much for you to handle. At the end of the day, it’s your own sanity and well being that matters most.
If you are a more vocal person and you see someone that you know getting victimised by mum shaming, and if it’s taking an obvious toll on that person, do take the step to defend her.
Having said all of that, it’s also important to take a step back and do some reflection. Do an occasional check on the way you interact with other mums and take a closer look at the comments that you make and how people respond. Make sure that you aren’t unknowingly mum shaming someone.
On a concluding note, with all this talk of mum shaming, we aren’t saying that you should view everyone in a climate of distrust. Neither are we trying to sow discord between you and your mum friends. There are well-meaning souls out there who truly want to help so find support in the right people and walk away from the toxic ones.
And remember mums, whether you’re a c-section mum, a working mum, an adoptive mum, a single mum or any kind of mum, you are doing your best and you’re nothing short of amazing!