Every new year offers a clean slate. The assumption is we now know better from our parenting mishaps. Except there’s always the stressor called social media, calling you out for every blunder you’ve made and putting pressure on you to become the model parent.
Fact check, moms. Your job of raising kids to become the best version of themselves is not a task for the faint-hearted. You need to be tough as nails when you become a parent. This year, if there’s one thing you should do, it’s to forgive and love yourself.
Social media tends to become a negative place for every parent out there. If there are five things we want the "netizens" to stop telling moms to do, these would be:
1. Stop saying it’s not okay for parents to kiss their kids on the lips. Your discomfort at seeing preschoolers and big kids kiss their parents (or the dad in particular) on the lips don’t make it wrong. It all boils down to culture and family dynamics — if someone isn’t used to seeing that kind of affection, then it might feel unusual or even offensive when other people do it. But it's an expression of love and innocent unless you put another meaning to it.
Remember: If it’s how your family expresses love, then it’s not up to other people to decide what is right and wrong for your family.
2. Stop judging moms for “living their best lives.”
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
When a pregnant Isabelle Dazadanced the night away at Anne Curtis and Erwan Heusaff’s wedding last year, netizens were quick to judge her as an “irresponsible parent” for “partying hard” and jumping up and down with a baby in her womb. She was seen as endangering her unborn baby. From what we've seen, she was not harming her baby. (Read our piece here.)
It's funny how people to this day think there are certain things women cannot do anymore once they become a mother. We've heard of moms thinking twice of posting photos of date night or hanging out with friends for fear of being judged as a bad parent.
In one of our articles, we wrote about moms’ worst parent-shaming experiences. One mother shared how a woman told her, “Pang-dalaga lang ‘yan. When I was a young mom like you, I stayed home with my kids all the time. I never went out.”
We’ve always advocated moms should get some me-time once in a while. With all that’s going on in your lives, you deserve to reward yourself for being able to survive the difficult challenge of being a parent and a wife. Don’t feel guilty about finding time for yourself. A happy mom means a happy family, after all.
3. Stop shaming moms when they express love for their bodies.
Celebrity moms are often a target of shaming and ridicule, and no one knows that feeling better than actress Jenna Dewan Tatum (wife of Channing Tatum). She faced backlash last year after baring her butt on an Instagram photo. Apart from telling her that she’s setting a “poor example” for her 4-year-old daughter, she was also criticized for flaunting her body even when she was already married.
The same thing happened to mom Aila Yonzon, a mom of three who is not shy about sharing photos of her working out or doing sexy poses on her Instagram account. When we shared this article from Cosmo.ph on our Facebook page, many expressed their disappointment that she was “exposing her body to the public” and “showing a lot of skin” especially since she has two daughters.
We've seen women bare more skin than these two on social media, and they don't get the same pushback. Was it because those women were single or before they became moms they already had a "sexy star" image?
As we’ve said before, we’re not in social media to judge. Moms shouldn’t be humiliated for loving themselves and taking pride in their bodies. As Aila says in her interview with Cosmo, “I don’t think we should stop being sexy after we get married and have kids. I think women should be even more emboldened to be themselves. There’s nothing sexier than a strong, confident woman who loves herself.”
4. Stop judging one's parenting style. The internet can be a toxic place, and you’ll find people who are quick to judge you based on uploaded photos and videos. And it’s not just online — people whom you deal with in real life (or the stranger on the MRT) will also have something to say about how you raise your child. When this happens, just think of this: You don’t have to justify your parenting style to anyone. Your child’s needs and his behavior are your responsibility — not anyone else’s.
We hope people can be kinder, instead of giving unsolicited opinions. We don’t really know what other parents go through so lessen the negativity and pile on the compassion and understanding, instead.
5. Stop criticizing moms who breastfeed in public. There’s a longstanding debate on moms who nurse in public places especially in the Philippines. Moms who do it get nasty stares often and have to suffer hearing offensive comments, from being told to use a cover-up or go to the bathroom to feed their babies. It only gets worse if you’re a proud breastfeeding mom who posts photos on social media.
This year, we hope that people stop giving moms who breastfeed a hard time. Moms breastfeed because they know that it will benefit their babies the most. If they want to nurse their baby in public because she’s already crying out of hunger, don’t shame them. Sometimes it’s better just to walk away..