Tag: ranty pants

#MumLife: Labels or Love?

Being a mum/primary caregiver of children can be fucking hard. And I am not even talking about the day in, day out shenanigans that come with just the child care and juggling of everything. I’m talking about the fact that there are big personalities and the publicising of our lives and social media blah blah. I am pretty pissed off that we keep finding new ways to keep up with the ‘mummy wars’. I am pissed off that it’s still even a thing! I mean, COME ON.

Everyone is so quick to label themselves and each other. Talking shit about how they’re not judging, but…BUT WHAT? Come on. We all judge. Let’s not pretend it isn’t human nature. But what we do with that judgement is what matters. Is it not just enough to agree to disagree? Unfollow? Stop watching? Or do we have to hate read everything and set our followers onto someone else’s followers, with torches and pitchforks every time we’re offended?

Do we have to call ourselves a *insert any trendy name here for a collective of people* and feel like we’re in the clique and exclude others because it makes us feel more important and exclusive?

I am calling bullshit. I am calling bullshit on all the labels. I am sick of the fucking labels. Are you a slack mum? A helicopter mum? A free range mum? A fit mum? A sweary mum? A classy mum? A snobby mum? An Alpha mum? A tiger mum? A don’t give a fuck mum? An anxious mum? A make everything from scratch mum? A pre-packaged everything mum? A Kmart mum? An Etsy mum? A working mum? A stay at home mum? An attachment mum? A…queen? Sigh.

Do you get to be proud of your label or should you be ashamed? It’s just exhausting. Bloody exhausting.

I can be every mum at any given moment on any given day. And I am deciding  right now that I will reject all these ridiculous labels. Because at some point in time, I have been just about all of them. It’s called being a REAL mum. And that’s not a label because I’m not going to tell you how to be one or what it means to be one. I am just telling you to live your life, keep it real – your version of what’s real, not what some Facebook Idol has told you is real – honour yourself and keep on trucking. Or take a break. I don’t care. You know what you need, right? You’ll find your tribe and hopefully your kids won’t be scarred for life. Isn’t that all we can hope for?

I have wobbly bits, but I exercise and try to better my diet. Other times I know life is too short to not eat the cake or to cry over my flab. I have given my kid toast for dinner. I have spent hours slaving over a delicious, healthy something or other I found on Pinterest. I have had anxiety. I have melted down. But I have also had my shit together so rock solid that no-one better cross me. I’ve been that forgetful mum at school – whoops, did we leave the library book at home? Forget that permission slip for that thing? I’ve also been that organised mum who breezes in with it all sorted. I’ve slept well. I’ve slept badly. I’ve worked and I’ve stayed at home. I’ve even worked from home. I’ve breastfed, bottle fed, fed everything from a package because I was overwhelmed, I’ve made everything from scratch because I had the time and energy. I’ve pushed my kid to do better and I’ve let him roam free and get his creativity on. I’ve let him watch screens and I’ve told him he’s had enough. I’ve worn lovely put together outfits to the school gate, and I’ve slumped in wearing active wear when everyone knows I’m not going to do anything active because who am I kidding, I just wanted to wear the comfy clothes. I’ve been sweary, but I’ve also been restrained when appropriate. I’ve been a fierce mama bear and I’ve also let him fight his own battles. I’ve sent my kid to school with a fancy bento lunch box…filled with whatever was left in the fridge because as if I’m going to the bloody supermarket AGAIN this week. I’ve been hungover, parenting from the couch on the occasional Sunday when I could actually be bothered going out. I’ve been ridiculously responsible. I’ve been obsessed with inspirational quotes, I’ve laughed at the terrible ones. I’ve dressed like a tragic grungy teen and I’ve dressed like a dork. I can laugh at myself, but you better not be bullying anyone else. I’ve felt mum guilt and I’ve felt mum guilt about not feeling any damn mum guilt. I’ve said yes to things I wish I hadn’t said yes to, and no when I wished I’d said yes. I’ve been that annoying bitch with the highlight reel on Instagram. I’ve confided in my followers, warts and all when it got too much.

At the end of the day, I don’t fit into anyone’s stupid boxes. I take what I like from my favourite social media entities and I quietly leave them alone when I don’t agree. I am mine.

I am real. I am me. I am made up of so many different influences I’ve stumbled across along the way. I am made up of what I brought to the table too. Because that’s just as good.

I wrote this post because I want every other mum out there who doesn’t fit into a label or a gang or a box or a social media movement to know that I don’t either and that’s OK.

I believe in critical thinking – being able to recognise what’s good and what might not be serving me. I have always maintained that my social media and my blog will always be a safe place. I’m not going to tell you who to be, although I will be assertive when I think something is just objectively, morally fucked up.

If you’re trying your damnedest (is that even a word – who cares) to teach your kids to be considerate, kind and inclusive, resilient and emotionally intelligent (something the internet could do with more of), then I am so down with that and I don’t care how you get there. Because we wouldn’t be ‘mummies’ without our kids (who we love to death). But we are also so much more than that and that’s pretty rad.

Mummy wars can fuck off.

The longest winter.

I am cold. I am tired. I am getting really GRUMPY.

Usually, winter makes me feel sluggish and ‘down’ at worst. But now I’m starting to feel some kind of rage. Like I am actually mad that this is still happening. Like every chilly breeze that hits me through my supposedly warm layers of clothing is a personal insult and I am not coping! I obviously could not survive in a colder climate.

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I know spring never usually kicks in properly until October, but OMG I am so done. This past winter has been colder than usual and it started in April, I swear. Not cool, nature, not cool! Actually, too cool.

Is it too much to ask for just 2 days in a row of reliable sunshine ever? Is it too much to ask for a few days in a row without rain? Even just some blue sky. BLUE SKY. PLEASE. GRRRR.

And could our night time minimum temperatures just be above 10 degrees Celsius? Could our day time temperatures reach anywhere above 20 degrees on the regular? Seriously. I’m not asking much.

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I crave the type of weather where I can dress for the day with confidence that I will be comfortable. Not have to account for several layers of warmth, worry about whether I need an umbrella or rainproof clothing, overthink my footwear choices, check the weather forecast every freakin’ day.

I am sick of being scared of the shade. Because the shade is fucking freezing. Anything under cover might be dry, but then you freeze. Not. Fair.

I miss incidental exercise. Taking the Little Mister out for a bike ride, walking to the corner shops regularly, taking the dogs down to the beach (we often still do that through the winter but right now I am TOO MAD). The stuff I can do when I can’t get alone time to spend on my treadmill.

I am sick of everyone being sick. It’s been the worst winter on record in my little family and I am so done! FUCK OFF, GERMS!

I keep praying that I’ll look at the 7 day weather forecast and see some kind of light at the end of the tunnel, but it never ends! THIS WINTER NEVER ENDS.

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Worst part is, it’s probably going to be a sudden summer (you know – to make up for lost time) and we’ll all be sweltering overnight and feeling really ripped off that we didn’t get an enjoyable spring.

Every season has its positives, but every season has to come to an end before I end up in a straitjacket somewhere. Seriously.

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Are your moods also affected by the weather? Have a guilt free rant in the comments section if you like! 

Kez Gets Physical: A weighty topic.

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I don’t really like the idea of talking too much about weight loss anymore (ironic I know when you consider the topic of this blog post). I think it’s because everyone focuses on it so much. It really isn’t everything when it comes to being healthier. Am I excited when I see a loss on the scales? Of course. But my reasons for wanting to see that decrease has changed drastically over time.

It used to be all about my looks. I would be so ashamed of my appearance that I would cry before leaving the house (how embarrassment). I’d be so worried that everyone would think I couldn’t pull off an outfit because I was too overweight. Or that they might mistakenly think I was pregnant (a big ridiculous phobia which has sadly been proven to be valid on occasion because people can’t shut their mouths and mind their own business).

Now it’s about much more than my looks. Do I want to see the numbers drop on the scale? Absolutely. Am I going to end up talking about it? Yeah. But this time it’s about being healthy and feeling better physically.

This body was not built to be chubby. I have a small, Asian frame and when I carry too much weight I really feel it. My thighs chafe. My feet hurt more when I walk. I physically feel like shit when I’ve been filling my body with the wrong things (weight gain being the obvious side effect). And for reasons that are entirely practical, if I don’t keep my weight down, my clothes (currently size 12) don’t fit and I know that I cannot go up any more sizes because those sizes are made for taller people and I wouldn’t be able to find anything in the shops (I’m only 5 foot tall yo).

I want to be a healthy BMI to avoid type 2 diabetes in the future (as well as decrease my chances of complications with gestational diabetes in any future pregnancy). I want to feel agile and not heavy when I move.

Yeah, I do look forward to the side effects of weight loss when it comes to the superficial side of things, but I am very careful not to let it be my focus. Since working on my health, I haven’t worried anywhere near as much about whether people think I’m pregnant when my stomach bloats up or sticks out. I know I’m working on my fitness and it makes me feel like anyone who accuses me, or subtly implies, that they think I am ‘with child’ (without a shred of evidence because duh I’m not) can go jump off a bridge, while I smile and wave to them because I have the comfort of knowing I’m making healthy choices, regardless of what they think it looks like.

I’m not going to preach to anyone else how to lose weight (that’s up to the experts and it’s not up to me to tell you that you need to do anything – you do you boo). I just know that I am not going to let my self image be defined by what numbers are on the scales.

My weight is just a part of my journey to better health. There is so much more I am working on too.

So when you hear me talk about my weight loss goals and celebrating little weight loss milestones, I am only talking about a part of my experience. I am enjoying the mental health benefits of exercising more. I love when I can rush about during the day without feeling like I’m going to collapse from exhaustion. I am so glad when I feel good after eating foods that aren’t filled with the junk that makes you feel sluggish or nauseous (I am not by ANY stretch of the imagination saying I do not indulge regularly haha). I get excited, the closer I get to having a BMI within the healthy range (as opposed to currently being in the overweight category). I love when there’s evidence (guys I’m talking about regular poops hahaha) that my metabolism is remembering what to do.

I am sick of seeing the media and pop culture so singularly focused on what a (usually female) celebrity weighs. On what a woman looks like after giving birth. We are so much more than that. It’s insulting that women feel compelled to show their post-pregnancy-bodies off. To prove how great they are at shedding the baby weight, or conversely to prove what ‘normal’ looks like. Why do we even care at all? We are so much more than that. We are warrior women, no matter what any of us looks like.

Shouldn’t we be talking about the important things? Yes, reclaiming our bodies is a journey after birth (even almost 4 years on as is my case), and it can be so great to celebrate that, but it should be for the right reasons. For us as individuals – not to match some stupid, superficial standard that society seemingly has for us.

That is why I scroll past the ‘such and such flaunts her post baby body’ headlines. Um…that famous chick just went to the supermarket a relatively short time after having a baby. WHAT? That’s why I don’t buy the magazines. I am not even slightly tempted. That is why I won’t be joining any ‘movement’ to post photos of my ‘real’ belly any time soon (or ever). I simply do not care and I wish that more people would join me in my ‘not caring’. It’s liberating.

The feminist in me says, let’s stop oppressing ourselves and each other in such a demeaning way. Let’s say no to those who try to do it to us. Women are so much more than their appearance or what they weigh. How are we allowing ourselves to be defined in such a limited way?!

Sure, we’re humans and we like looking at pretty, shiny things. Sometimes we even like to become pretty, shiny things. There is nothing wrong with that, but it isn’t everything. It’s not even the most important thing. Not even close.

Let’s focus on who we are and how we feel mentally, physically and spiritually. We have so much more to offer than an obsession with the bathroom scales or how fast we lose weight. Let’s not forget that weight loss can be unhealthy and disordered too. It’s why we do it, how we do it and the way we choose to talk about it that really matters.

 How do you feel about the way the media portrays women? Have you struggled with your body image?

C-Section? God damn right you gave birth.

Brace yourselves. I have my ranty pants on. I try to keep this a place where I do not share bad things (I’m not into hate reading or outrage mongering), but as I’ll explain…there’s a reason I’ve made an exception for this one. Oh, and excuse my french. Oops.

Sadly, you might have seen this fucking bullshit on Facebook. It’s doing the rounds (originally shared by some whack job “church”). Honestly, I don’t think it deserves air time. When I first saw it, despite having had a C-section, despite this garbage going against everything I believe, I just rolled my eyes at these pathetic people (who I will not link to because that’s what they’d want) and moved on. There will always be people online who are looking for your outrage. Who will feed off the hate and the anger and the hurt of others.

But then, I thought about it. While I have had over 3 years to accept the feelings and thoughts and doubts that come along with having a C-section, I think back to a vulnerable time as a new mother. The second guessing. The processing of a birth that didn’t really go the way you thought or hoped it might. No matter how open minded you thought you were going into the process.

You believe things that you see in your newsfeed while you’re feeding your baby in the oddest hours. When you’re tired, you’re overwhelmed, you’re confused – how can you love another being THIS much but find it THIS challenging at the same time? WHAT IF I FUCK IT UP? All the so called experts up in your grille. The unsolicited advice from every human ever. All the self inflicted comparisons between yourself and all the other new mothers who for some reason always seem to have their shit together (hot tip: they probably don’t any more than you do) when you feel like you’re barely getting the hang of it.

I have some words to counter the utter crap spewed by this so called church below…
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OK. So are you in disbelief too? Speechless that people like this exist? Mad? Insulted? Got a bad taste left in your mouth? Well, firstly, you’re my kind of people and I love you for it.

Secondly, here’s my message to all new mothers who have had C-sections…

You are brave. You are a warrior. YOU GOT CUT IN HALF, YOUR INSIDES EVERYWHERE, AND YOU’RE STILL HERE LOOKING AFTER YOUR BEAUTIFUL BABY. Damn straight you gave birth. You delivered (with a little life saving help) a VERY special gift to this world. YOU ARE HERE TO MOTHER IT. YOU are a gift to this world. To this child. If you had your life and the life of your baby spared with the miracle of modern medicine, then you DID catch a lucky break. And there is NO SHAME in that. NONE. EVERY mother who gets through childbirth with their child alive has had a lucky break. There is NO SHAME IN HOW ANYBODY BROUGHT THEIR BABY INTO THIS WORLD. INTO THEIR LIVES. Hell, I’m adopted for pete’s sake!!

Chances are, you even had to go through labour AND surgery! How bad-ass is that?!

So tell people your truth with your head held high, “Hi – my name is *insert your name here*. My beautiful baby’s name is *insert their name here*. I GAVE BIRTH via a C-section. We are happy and we are here. The end.”

Here’s another truth: No woman is more superior than another for how she became a mother. All mothers are doing the most amazing, life changing job in the world. We are shaping the future and we are raising the world’s citizens. Whether you gave birth a certain way (or didn’t in the case of adoption), whether you fed your child a certain way or not, whether you work outside the home or not, does not matter. You brought life into this world. YOU DID GOOD. YOU ARE AMAZING.

And trust me. NO-ONE knows what the fuck they are doing (even if it seems like they do from the outside or from a bunch of social media pictures). I can tell you that much. But we do our best. We learn on the job. We are brave and we are committed. No matter what else happens, that baby has us. Because society believes we are valuable enough for them to intervene and keep us safe during childbirth. WE COUNT.

Your experience was just as real and valid as anyone else’s. It totally happened and it totally changed your life. FACT.

We are here so we can teach our children to be accepting, beautiful, inclusive human beings who believe in spreading love rather than hate.

I think that’s what’s really important here, don’t you?

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Wish: Spring, where are you???

This post has been inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s September Photo a Day challenge.

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I am a big fan of thinking positively, but I’ll be the first to admit that I need to have a bit of a silly rant…

I thought I had escaped the winter blues. I really thought I had beaten them. It really really helped being away for the month of June and spring tricked us into thinking it was here early – showing exciting signs as early as August (something quite unusual). But no. The rain, the cold and the wind are back. Very clever, winter. Very clever. I see what you did there. It’s October in a couple of days, so you’d better f*ck off soon. You’ve out stayed your welcome, well and truly!

Is this because I went shopping for summer clothes? Started eating salads and exercising? Well, haha. Joke’s over now. Come on. Be fair. I’m getting pretty annoyed, really. I feel sluggish again (something about lack of Vitamin D I am guessing). I am almost approaching white hot rage when I step outside and I feel the horrible chill in the air (even worse when that chill has invaded the INSIDE of my home). Winter, I am DONE. We are so O.V.A.H.

I am wishing for clear, bright, cloudless days. That beautiful feeling when you wake up to a sunny morning. That summery feeling in the air. People out and about, inspired to make plans for barbecues and beach days. The freedom of not having to wear layers everywhere. Just me, a cheery sun dress and a smile on my face (oh and underwear – I would wear underwear). I love how awake I feel each morning when the weather is beautiful. That craving for beer in the sunshine with friends and family.

I wish for that beautiful gap between freezing winter and sweltering summer (I think it’s supposed to be called spring – hello where are you) where you do not have to run air conditioners or heaters. You can just co-exist with the weather in perfect harmony, without fighting it. I wish for that.

I wish for beautiful Sundays spent with my little family at the foreshore, checking out the markets and getting out of the house together just for fun. I wish for trips to the local parks and playgrounds, knowing that the play equipment won’t be too wet to use. I wish to wear open toed shoes all day, every day.

I have become seriously frustrated. And lethargic. But mostly frustrated.

BRING ME SOME SUNSHINE AND NO-ONE GETS HURT.

What is your favourite kind of weather?

Facebook your face off. I don’t care.

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You know what’s getting really old lately? Well, I have my ranty pants on and I’m about to tell you (lucky you).

Articles/blog posts/rants about what people are doing that is soooooo annoying on Facebook.

Usually written in list form, the writer goes on about each thing that offends them personally about Facebook users and decides what everyone else should like or not like too. Which I find hilarious when they’re busy telling people off for their self centred status updates.

I am not aiming this post at anyone in particular. I’m just noticing a trend.

Maybe this blog post in itself is one big stinking pile of hypocrisy. Hey, I’ll own it, but my intentions are pure.

Here’s what I want you to feel free to do:

Post as many pictures of your pets as you like. Give daily countdowns to your travel dates. Talk non stop about your children (and their toilet training process). Hey, post a gazillion photos of them too! Show everyone your drunk night club bathroom selfies! Be cryptic – everyone loves a mystery! Be negative! Be positive! Share those inspirational quotes! The more the better! Let everyone think you’re perfect – show that highlight reel of your life! Celebrate your life achievements! Meme it up! Air that dirty laundry! Stalk a lot! Like EVERYTHING YOU EVER SEE.

I don’t effing care. You do you.

As long as you are happy with the way you are representing yourself. As long as you are being true to who you are (or how you want people to view your life), I don’t mind. It is not my place to be the ruler of social media. I have no right to be telling people what to do with themselves. I do have ‘unfriend’ and ‘hide’ options, you know. It is my choice who I surround myself with on my social networks, just as it is yours.

I don’t want you to care about the so called ‘rules’ a blogger makes up to determine whether you’re annoying or not. Who are they to tell you whether you’re doing it right or not?

I know I annoy people occasionally. They let me know by unfollowing. I’m OK with that (even if the people pleaser in me stings just a little at first). I just want to be surrounded by those who get me.

Some people are cynical. Some people are optimistic out the wazoo. Some people find socialising difficult. Some people are drama magnets (for a whole lot of reasons – not always their faults). Some of us try really really hard to show only our best side to the world. Some of us have varying levels of education. There are those of us who are deep thinkers, adventurers and such. There are those of us who are home bodies. Introverts. Extroverts. We can be shallow. We can feel needy and insecure. Some of us are more mature than others. Some of us are fighting for our own personal causes. Some of us have had better lives than others. We can be at different stages of the self improvement journey. If we’d be doing this without social media – if it’s who we are without the internet, then of course it’s going to reflect in our online life. It’s called humanity. The good, the bad and the ugly. Or just different.

Shouldn’t our social media accounts reflect that? We don’t have to like or follow everyone, but we do have to stop telling everyone what to do in snarky blog posts.

Am I the ONLY person who feels this way?

 

If you’d like to be annoyed by me (or just hang out where I won’t judge you), you can find me here and here 😉

How to be the perfect parent.

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Ha! Sucked you in with the title of this post, didn’t I? Truth is, there is NO SUCH THING. Somewhere along the line, SOMEBODY (who I so would not be friends with and can go eat a proverbial…) decided we should ALL try to be PERFECT PARENTS and that we should “help” everybody else become PERFECT too. Those pointed glares at the supermarket or anywhere in public, really, are TOTALLY getting the point across, right?

Sometimes I get sucked in. Sometimes I feel judged and sometimes I (silently and inconspicously) judge others. It is human nature to compare, contrast and take a position on where we feel our behaviour and the behaviour of others sits on some kind of invisible scale of life. But isn’t it getting ridiculous?

Sometimes I am being judged passive-aggressively and sometimes it’s just a feeling in my bones as someone looks over at me or asks me weird questions about the habits of my child. Sometimes I just judge myself. I start imagining what other people will think if I am seen to do this or that. The opinions of those who shouldn’t get a say in my parenting techniques, preferences or abilities can rumble around in my brain. Sometimes those ‘voices’ stop me from writing meaningful blog posts or make me feel like I can’t be who I am as a parent. Other times, I fight these brain invaders and I win (by a smidgen). Either way, I’m kind of getting over the fact that I have to fight myself in the first place.

I need to stop feeling the need to explain myself to everyone all the time.

Oh, well we have never been able to exclusively breastfeed, because…

Yeah, my toddler is acting up today, because he’s (teething/missed his sleep/sick etc)…and it’s not really like him normally…

Oh, yes. The Little Mister is eating his pre-packaged supermarket purchased baby food, only because today…

Yeah, today I did turn on the television in his presence, but only because…

I thought about cloth/bamboo nappies, but I chose disposable nappies, because…

BLAH BLAH BLAHDY BLAH.

You would think I was feeding him booze or hanging him upside down from a torture rack just for funsies.

I do have very valid, considered and educated reasons for just about every parenting choice I make. I’m learning just like everyone else who is Awesomely Unprepared for each stage of parenthood, but I’m no dumb cookie. I read, I assess, I plan, I try. I change when necessary. I think about the consequences (short and long term). However, I do NOT owe an explanation to that snooty lady at the supermarket or that frienemy who asks weird, competitive questions about my child’s development while assessing whether I’ve done something wrong or not.

Here’s news. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT PARENTS.

We make little mistakes (which we often learn from very quickly). We do what we think is best, but sometimes it misses the mark and we end up at plan B, C, or D.

Here’s more news that will blow your brain right out of your brain sockets (I’m no doctor – brain sockets may or may not be a thing). EVERYONE WILL JUDGE US NO MATTER WHAT WE CHOOSE SO WE MAY AS WELL ENJOY BEING JUDGED FOR DOING WHAT’S BEST FOR US!

Sorry for all the caps. I’m feeling a little fired up.

Breastfeed? You’re too attached to your baby – how can you live your life? And god forbid you do it in public, you awful trashy moll (eek). What? You’re STILL breastfeeding?? That’s just gross.

Don’t breastfeed? You’re just taking the easy option and you don’t care what’s best for your baby. It’s like feeding your baby MacDonalds every day. Didn’t you try hard enough? It’s so SAD how everyone gives up so EASILY these days.

Attend various baby activity classes? You’re doing too much. Your child is being carted here and there just so you can prove to yourself that you’re a good parent.

Don’t attend various baby activity classes? Your baby is understimulated and is going to lag in its development. You think you’ve got something better to do?

Stay at home mum? You lack ambition and your children (especially daughters) are not going to learn how to be strong and independent. You’re just sitting at home watching daytime TV and whingeing about working mums. You’re an insult to feminism.

Working mum? You’re leaving your children when you should be spending more time with them at this precious age. How can you chase your career and leave your precious offspring in childcare? What? Are you sick of being at home with the kids? Well, that’s life, love. You should have thought of that before you had them.

And the list can go on and on and on. I don’t actually believe any of the things I wrote above, by the way. I am trying to get the point across that ignorant, judgemental people (who aren’t afraid to let you know it) will find something negative to say about your parenting, regardless of the choices you make. It says more about who they are than who you are.

With the availability of social media making these opinions more and more accessible, it can become bloody unbearable! We’re all judging each other! Here’s a list of the most annoying things parents do on Facebook, here’s the top 10 reasons parents are lame and boring and vapid and should get a life (there are actual articles on these topics but I’m deliberately not posting the links). There’s even an ugly flipside where we get all angry that people don’t want children or don’t have them (there is a distinction – a painful one for some).

Everyone has their own story and 90% of the time we can walk past each other and not have a clue what that story is. We’re not qualified to judge. Who do we think we are? We think one mum is an absolute super mum who we can’t live up to, when she’s really just overdoing it, her partner and kids suffering the fall out because she too feels the pressure – crushingly so. We think another mum is taking short cuts or isn’t doing enough ‘by the book’ (and there are plenty of books), but she’s actually fighting off depression or has a circumstance in her life which she is actually rising above the best way anyone could be expected to.

Like I said before, it is human nature to have judgey thoughts. We all have them. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t. We just need to think a lot more about how we treat those thoughts. Do we internally stop ourselves and think, “Maybe I don’t know the full story. I will keep that opinion to myself. This person doesn’t need it.”? or do we think we’re all that and a bag of chips, feeling like that person’s life would be empty and directionless without our oh-so-valuable input? Do we really have to raise that eyebrow? Do we really have to give a disapproving glare? Why is it so important to us that the person we are judging should know we are judging them (while we pretend we’re not judging them if we’re confronted)?

And just because we don’t SAY anything, doesn’t make us any less guilty. That sideways glance at the shops. That stony or awkward silence when someone gives the “wrong” answer about their parenting techniques. Those raised eyebrows when someone’s toddler chucks a little tanty (they tend to do that sometimes). That over the top suggestion on how to better parent a child, disguised as friendly advice. STOP BEING SUCH F*CKING BITCHES. Didn’t anyone teach us to be better than that?! Also, it’s incredibly arrogant and self important, don’t you think??

If you read this and you recognise aspects of your behaviour, don’t get defensive and angry. Don’t rant about how I’m a horrible person. The truth hurts. Just do better. Each day is a fresh start. Put good karma out there and people will appreciate it. That’s all I hope for. It’s only what I ask of myself as well. I’m trying to work on it every day.

We need to band together and support everyone who is raising our future generations. Some people need more support than others, but what we all need is compassion, empathy and genuine help that comes from a place of love, not a place of fear, ignorance or judgement.

That’s the best lesson we can teach our children. That’s what will make us good parents and role models. We can have children who meet all the right developmental milestones on schedule, they can weigh the exact right amount for their heights and ages, they can be great at reading, writing and mathematics. They can be athletic and physically strong. They can be eating only the best organic, fresh foods in all the right portion sizes. They can be a member of every recreational club in town, play several instruments and speak different languages. But what good is that if we teach them that it’s OK to be mean to those who simply make different choices to us? What does it mean if we teach our children to only judge on the superficial? If we show them by our actions that we don’t need to be compassionate or look deeper at someone’s situation? What does it mean if we don’t teach them real people skills? Or how to get through to someone in a way that does not isolate them or make them feel small? What good is it if we teach our ‘perfect’ children that they are better than those who are less fortunate or who don’t have all the same opportunities? Something to think about.

At the end of the day, I’m not going to care so much about the superficial. We are fortunate enough in life. My husband and I will be able to provide for our children (should our blessings remain as they are today) and they will have many great opportunities to learn and grow well. However, if my child reaches out to help another child/person and if my child stands up for a child who is being bullied because they’re different… If my child shows love instead of judgement – asks, “What do you need?” not “Here’s what you’re doing wrong”. I will not care that he watched Sesame Street for a bit longer than normal. I will not care that I was unable to breastfeed exclusively. I will not think about that day when as a toddler he screamed in the shopping centre because he was tired and teething and everyone thought I was a bad parent. I will be proud.

And on that note, I’m done. Rant over.

This post is part of the Blog Every Day in May challenge.