All week we have seen the photos of Gabriel Union holding her newborn daughter circulating. Many plagued with negative comments and to add insult to injury some from women who are also MOMS! Any who, I absolutely love this photo of two bad ass women. Both beautiful, talented, college educated, upwardly mobile career-driven, juggling it all mamas, with a cherry on top. Yes “both” one plays a TV mom who everybody absolutely adores, self-proclaimed imperfections and all. The other just shared a very real-life full transparency moment of how she and husband welcomed a beautiful baby girl via surrogacy.
And as different as the worlds they live in appear the reality is, One is praised for the mom “character” she plays on television and the other condemned for the reality she chose to be transparent about. We live in this motherhood bubble of worshiping those who show us what they want us to see. You know because, none of us purposely finds the terrible picture revealing the stress in our faces or the bags underneath our eyes from being a member of team no sleep the night before. Hell many of us would not even share a photo where our hair or lipstick looked crazy! Typically we all find joy in posting things that paint us in the greatest light. Things that may make others feel they want what we have OR think we got EVERYTHING we just so happen to post (insert side-eye).
As a mother of three children all born via c-section. I can tell you the mom shame is absolutely real. Ironically, I was just sharing with my husband the other day how no matter who you are in this mom world, there will be a reason assigned that pegs you as NOT MOM ENOUGH! For me it was and folks actually said this to my face “Well you did not really experience like “Real” labor so that’s why you have all those kids!” Oddly I did most certainly experience some aspect of it. Because I was in REAL freakn labor for 22 hours. And while in “real labor” I opted out of pain killers or an epidural just so I could feel each and every one of my contractions. The sad reality was like many women, what was my die hard birthing plan (Natural Delivery) did not go as planned, because God had other plans. Thus, my first born had a bowl movement “in utero” which forced an emergency c-section. Followed by my 2nd baby delivered the same way about two years later. Only this time doctors warned that VBAC might be risky and those stats were larger than my husband and I were willing to gamble with. Then same story different reasons when our baby no. 3, predicted to be bigger than both his sisters who both weighed in at 8lbs. was born. Again vaginal delivery was NOT an option due to the very real risk of uterine rupture which can be fatal.
So not only did the comments hurt my feelings it totally got underneath my skin. I would want to respond with “Do you know how much pain endures AFTER a c-section and all the risk/complications that can occur leading up to death.” But I would just simply smile and change the subject. And of course later cuss them out in my head on the drive home! But the truth is unfortunately we have all been made to feel insignificant in our truth or decisions, somewhere along the way on this mommy journey. Because you not mom enough if:
- You use Formula over Exclusively Breast Feeding
- Use a Plastic Bottles over Glass ones
- Used an Epidural vs Natural Measures
- Delivered a baby weighing 6lbs vs at least 8lbs
- Decided to be One and Done vs. Juggle More kids than hands
SOOO as you can see not one of us are exempt. We have our reasons, things happen, ISH hit the fan. BUT no matter what don’t let anyone make you feel like crap! At the end of the day each of us are just doing what we feel is best for our children and our families. For some it was a choice, others it was totally involuntary and for many; we want you to be nice or mind your GOT DAMN business OKKAY… LOL!
Seriously though, let’s just be committed to showing love, admiration and respect for all the women inside this mommy circle ⭕️ of ❤️. Because #MomLife is hard enough without the additional layer of hazing and shamming about who IS or is NOT #Mom enough!