I’ve wanted to talk about this subject for a while. Ever since I announced my pregnancy last November, the idea that I should be ashamed of having children was heavy on my mind. It appeared that many of my so-called friends were dropping off the social calendar at rapid speeds, and I couldn’t figure it out. It wasn’t until a former friend of mine decided to be completely honest and admit that people with no children are much more fun than people who have kids. I found this statement to be a little more than ridiculous, considering that the person who said this… had children herself! Was I hearing this correctly? Were young mothers being made to feel ashamed of having a family of their own? Another former friend of mine was pretending (online) that she didn’t have kids, when in fact she has a daughter that is about 8 years old. While she’s tweeting about getting drunk and smoking, having sex with other people’s husbands, and going to the club every weekend, her daughter sits in her room and watches cartoons. When I asked her about her role as a mother and how it plays into her life online, she stated, “Nobody wants to hear about my kids, girl. That’s not hot!” To imagine pretending that I don’t have these two fantastic little boys, for the attention I get online, send me into a raging fit. Why can’t my children and my family be apart of the equation?
I have a very small amount of friends that are doing something closely related to the entertainment industry, and have children. Most of the people that I meet are single and have no children. Some even stating that they don’t plan to have any kids, because they fear it will negatively affect their careers. Those that are in the industry and have children, most likely had those children mid-career or after they’ve established themselves in their niche. This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to have both; it just means that it will take much effort and dedication on your part. In the beginning of my pregnancy, I was made to feel like I was in the way. People approached with sorrow, instead of joy initially because I would no longer be able to “party” with everyone. No more late nights drinking and dancing, no more clubs and chaos until after the baby was born. It seemed as if all the talk about babies and family life, made me older than my years while everyone was screaming “YOLO” to the top of their lungs.
Now that I’m not pregnant anymore, and able to say I have my body back, things have changed a little. Those old friends want to hook up for drinks and dancing again, but my priorities are different now. I’m more interested in spending time with people that appreciate that I am a family woman. I can’t go hang out at the clubs as if I’m single and childless, because that’s not my reality. I’m married and I have two sons, and I don’t mind if my life reflects that. When a former friend of mine told me that seeing so much about my family, reminded her of what she didn’t have and it was annoying, it hurt. I don’t throw my blessings in people’s faces with the intention of them being jealous or annoyed; I just want to show how proud I am of my beautiful family. Therefore, when I am not invited to Girl’s Night Out, by people like that, I already know the reasons. I just appreciate their honesty and chalk them up as old friends. If I can’t post pics of my kids and my husband, for fear of annoying some envious friends, then they are not really my friends.
People have to understand that we all are at different places in our lives. Some of us have made decisions that may have changed the dynamic of how we live our lives. I’ve made some bad decisions in the past, but having children and getting married was not one of them. Motherhood is hard, its work, and it’s not always glamorous and sexy. Nevertheless, having kids didn’t take away my personality or make me dull; it just made me more responsible. Therefore, if getting wasted at the club and going home with strange people is your idea of fun, I probably would be boring to you.
One girl came to me recently and admitted to me that she chose to “pay me no mind” when I first started to promote GaptoothDiva and the website. She said that she didn’t think it was going to go anywhere because I wasn’t as provocative and wild as other people were. She admitted that it wasn’t until she got pregnant and I started to talk about my family more, that she felt that she could relate to me. Prior to her pregnancy (back when all I did was promote local artist), her priorities were very different. All she wanted to do was tweet, drink, smoke, and have sex. She said that when she got pregnant, she wanted to learn more about having a family and still work towards your dreams. I felt honored that she included me in a list of people that now have her attention, especially since her mind-set is in a more positive place. When people tell me that I’m not their cup of tea anymore, because of my family situation and motherhood, I realize now that they aren’t the audience I want.
Motherhood is nothing to be ashamed of, no matter what age you are. You will have to change your focus to include your children, so partying and people shouldn’t be your main precedence, but that’s not a negative thing. People will assume that your lifestyle is an obstacle to be overcame, or they may not understand the obstacles you do face because you have children, either way it is not your responsibility to explain that to them. If someone can’t respect the fact that you have children, then they probably aren’t people you should deal with. It all in what you make it. If you want motherhood to be glamorous and sexy, then make it that way. If you want it to be exciting and fun, then plan so that it can be. I never looked at single people with no children and seriously considered them luckier than I was. Yes, I’ve joked about having kids and not having a sitter sometimes; but to deny my children to anyone whether we’re online or IRL is absolutely a no-no!
How someone could shame you into denying your children, I don’t get it. I know that some people aren’t ready get married and have a kid, that’s their personal choice. However, to ever try to make some feel small for making that decision, is just plain wrong. Blame it on jealousy, and the envy of secretly wanting a family and that level of love themselves. However, I would never say that behavior like this is ever justified. If the limitations they propose are really limitations that you face, you should find alternative solutions to them yourself. Don’t live with the notion that you can’t pursue your dreams and accomplish your goals, because you have children. We weren’t given anything more than what we can handle, so don’t make excuses. Love your children and do the best you can, keeping up with other people (with or without children) isn’t the purpose of your life. Obviously, if you’re a mother, you already know what your purpose is… live it, with no apologies. Never allow someone to shame you into denying your motherhood. You’ve earned it.
Has Anyone Ever Tried Motherhood Shaming on You?
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- Chronic stress during pregnancy prevents brain benefits of motherhood (sciencedaily.com)
- Top 4 Smartphone Pregnancy Apps You Haven’t Tried Yet (redenvelope.com)
- Billie Piper confesses motherhood is overwhelming admitting ‘you let yourself go even MORE with baby number two’ (dailymail.co.uk)
- Motherhood: The New Frontier (attachmentparenting.org)
- The Brain Benefits Of Motherhood Prevented By Chronic Stress During Pregnancy (medicalnewstoday.com)
- ‘Childfree’ Women Feel Little Distress, Study Finds (livescience.com)
- Study: More Women Skipping Childbirth, Face Less Distress (washington.cbslocal.com)
- Motherhood (bananablurbs.com)
- Hilary Duff’s shock at lack of sleep (storagebedsdirect.co.uk)