Why is it seen as so ok to be unkind to some mamas just because they are famous?

As you may have guessed from my previous posts, I try and be kind and nice and treat others as I would like to be treated, (see, all those hours in church as a youngster weren’t totally wasted Mum!), and there is something that I just can’t get my head around. Why is it seen to be acceptable to abuse celebrity mothers? I can’t think of anything worse then to go through the early days, months, years of motherhood under really intense scrutiny with people from all over the world commenting on your every choice and decision.

I think that the anonymity of the internet is a lot to blame. Would these people walk up to a new mum in the street and tell them that they look fat? Or if their friend manages to loose her baby belly quickly, would they tell her that they think she has an eating disorder?

It seems to be social norm to pass judgement on just about every little detail of a celebrity mama’s life and they should just be so thick skinned that any comment directed at them, no matter how hurtful, should just wash over them without leaving a trace. There are magazines devoted to catching them at their lowest and pointing out their flaws using giant red circles. Can you imagine the outrage if your neighbour snapped you stepping out of the house in your pajama bottoms with unwashed hair and made giant posters circling your flaws, putting them up on every lamppost on your street?

There is no such similar outrage if it happens to someone in the public eye, with some arguing that it is their own fault for putting themselves out there. I just don’t believe it is fair to suggest that because someone is famous they deserve to hear truly horrible things about them or even their children, really personal and unpleasant things that would drive most women, no matter how strong, to doubt themselves and to feel very hurt, especially if the looks of their beloved child are debated over.

If a mother is a model and works unbelievably hard to regain her figure after the birth of her child, forgoing all the cakes and comfort food that most of us indulge in to cope with the sleepless nights and spends long hours working out despite their exhaustion while the majority of new mums are watching hours of Philip and Holly debating the merits of spanx, lying on the sofa in their milk and drool covered dressing gowns, (yes this was me, both times!), surely she deserves respect. And our sympathy, because, cake!

There seems to be a suggestion that because someone is very wealthy, this will somehow make them immune to feelings. That they can pay for a therapist maybe? This seems a very strange attitude to me. It doesn’t matter how much you have, whether your riches are measured in money or material things, possessions or love, anyone can suffer after the birth of a baby, from self doubt, crisis of confidence, feelings of fear, post natal depression. I think there is a very good chance that reading page after page of negativity about yourself can drag the happiest person into a very dark place.

The other argument, they don’t have to read it. Well, for a start, it is pretty impossible nowadays, to avoid information. You go to buy milk and there is a headline of a magazine screaming about your 4 stone weight gain, you pick up your phone and there is a news title shouting about your husband’s alleged affair. Not to mention the hoards of people desperate to catch a snap of you at an unflattering angle every time you step out of the house.

It would also be so difficult not to read a thing about yourself because we all need appraisals in work, we like to know how we’re doing, to receive feedback. Why would that be any different for an actress or a singer. But imagine if your work appraisals were peppered with comments about your physical appearance, the choice you made for lunch, the day you lost your hairbrush and failed at a messy bun.

It leaves me wondering, is the idea that it somehow makes someone immune to hurt if the people the comments are aimed at is reading them in a Gucci dressing gown soaked in milk instead of a Tesco one?

I read an article in a magazine recently about how kindness is something they are bringing back, (shame it had to leave), featuring a lady who felt lost and alone after moving to New York, and so she started writing love letters to strangers and leaving them hidden around the city, from that her blog and website were born connecting people up to write to each other. What a simple and wonderful thing to do. Our words can be such powerful tools for good and unfortunately for spreading bitterness too. If every word that we put out there on the internet was recorded and presented to our children as a book on their eighteenth, surely that would make a lot of people think harder about what they write online.

If all these people hiding behind their keyboards, trying to chip away at others really stopped and considered the pain their words could cause someone, the tears that could create, maybe they would think of the old adage about not saying anything at all when you don’t have anything nice to say.

I’m going to try and be online kind. Who’s with me?!

(With all this nicety I’m going to need to up the running or something, everyone needs an outlet for their inner cow!! 😀 )

bestandworstlinky

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My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

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Doing something.

I am trying to do something to make a change. I have written about the refugee situation, and how it broke my heart, but I didn’t want to just leave it at that. I joined a local facebook group that is gathering donations and arranging trips to take them out to Calais. I also offered to do a run out myself. It makes me feel nervous, I don’t know what to expect, but I have read some wonderful stories written by people that have been out to do the very same thing, and I feel that if I can make even a fraction of a difference, to help just one family, I will have done something.

My heart still hurts when I think of all those children, senseless young lives cut short, but so many more are out there, tired, cold and hungry. I have had a massive clear out too, it was actually easy to give things up. My friend gave me a badge once, it said ‘All these things, of which we have no need.’, and in my case, I feel that that is more then true. I have a hoarding gene and am loathe to throw anything away, ‘just in case’ or if it holds a sentimental memory. Trouble is, everything can hold a sentimental memory! I keep clothes, birthdays cards, shoes, coats, toys, books, nothing gets thrown away. Now however, I have filled bags and bags of things. Things I know for sure I won’t really wear again, a cropped shirt may hold many fun memories of nights of but come on, I’m a 32 year old mum of two, the way my diet is going, by the time I get my body in a fit state for anything shorter then mid thigh length, my daughter will be at an age where I will be a crippling embarrassment to her, in a neck to ankle covering outfit, never mind a flesh flashing top! 😀

This is just my stuff, I've not even started on the rest of the family's things yet!
This is just my stuff, I’ve not even started on the rest of the family’s things yet!

I am splitting our things in two. Half will go to the refugees and half to another charity who collect through the pre-school my daughter attended. After all, there are people suffering everywhere, including in our own towns and not everything is suitable, not sure there is any need for pretty high heels in the jungle!!

I will keep you updated with how the trip goes, I’m not sure when it will be exactly, but I know there will be people in desperate need for a long time to come, and so help will still be needed when the initial drive has eased.

I had one negative comment on my previous post, and while the woman’s attitude really shocked me, her words made me think. She believes that it is a ploy to get terrorists into the country, she fully blames the father for the deaths of his family. If she truly believes that, surely even blinded by hatred she could see that by offering gestures of kindness, warm clothes, a kind voice, a smile, we can try and mend relations? These children are going to grow up. They will remember kindnesses shown to them now, and maybe we can make things more peaceful for future generations.

I’m not naive, I know that not everyone will be in genuine need, I realise that we can’t support everyone, but surely by donating some old clothing, showing some compassion, giving up some time, we can try and spread some love and care rather then fear and hate.

Don’t tell the kids though, I’m going to have to tackle their things when they are both out! 😀

Being kind-for everyone but especially the Mamas!

How many times do we say things relating to kindness in a day? Be kind to your brother, be kind to the dog, be nice to your friends, ask me nicely please, don’t say horrible things about each other.

Ever said it when thinking negatively about yourself?

A conversation I had recently got me thinking about this. I think that people, woman especially, (but not exclusively!), and particularly mothers, can be guilty of going all out for other people. Recognizing a friend is stressed and offering to have her child for an afternoon, spotting a card that you know will make your best friend smile and getting round to writing, stamping and posting it, (no mean feat some days!), driving for hours to visit someone you care about because you know they are sad, doing everything in your human power to make sure that your children have everything they need, and lots of things they don’t!

When it comes to myself though, I agonize about treating myself. Not just to material things, but also to time. Although all jobs deserve breaks, and most of them don’t have the hours parenting do, I feel so guilty at the thought of sitting in the garden with a book or putting my feet up to watch a program I love, that I will set myself tasks to complete first, often resulting in the missing of that precious, vital nap time altogether. If I do watch tv, it is with a basket of washing to fold.

Why though? If my little children look tired, I make sure they stop and rest. If my husband comes home weary, I’m the first to put the kettle on, to make him a cup of tea, sit down, relax, I’ll make it. Yet I won’t do that for myself. I’ve been tired to the point of crawling up to bed before and yet I have tried to do just one more job before my head hits the pillow.

I see a lovely top that I like but I hesitate. I revisit the shop several times, I look online to see if I can get it cheaper, and we’re not talking Dolce and Gabbana here!! If I do buy it, I will have a feeling of guilt hanging over me that will take the shine off my new purchase.

We need to be kinder to ourselves. Have you ever thought, I’m a terrible mum, I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m lazy, my house is a mess, everyone else seems to have it together – where am I going wrong? If your husband said these things to you, or your child, what would your instantaneous reaction be? To reassure, to offer comfort, to tell them not to be so hard on themselves, to tell them all the things that they are brilliant at.

We need to do this for ourselves more often.

One bad day does not a bad mother make. A day of shouting, a forgotten p.e. kit, no milk for breakfast does not make you a failure. It makes you human and we all have off days. Or weeks. Or even months, it’s ok.

And yes, you do deserve that half hour of sunshine in the garden, even if you do nothing but close your eyes and listen to the bees. You should take your friend up on their offer of a few hours babysitting. And you most definitely should buy that top and wear it out with a spring in your step and a big smile.

Caring for yourself makes you better at caring for others, so really it’s win win for everyone.

Be kind today, to someone really fabulous. You!