Social Media and (Mama) Bullying

April 30, 2014

I follow a lot of mamas on Instagram, and on online groups. Something that really bothers me is when mamas bully other mamas on their parenting or soon-to-be parenting skills. Mamas should be helping each other grow and learning from each other, not bashing one another because they are doing it a different way. I really believe the saying "it takes a village to raise a child." I mean I don't have a village living with me, but sometimes I depend on my followers and the people I follow to learn a thing or two about raising my 5 month old - Shiloh Bear.

Mama bullying is not only a celebrity thing; which also really saddens me when I see Nicole Polizzi's (Snooki) Instagram getting bullied because of her past, and currently because she is exercising while pregnant- a lifestyle she had before getting pregnant, which can continue now with child.

"@snookinic isn't a good parent! Don't praise her! the only reason she posts tons of pics of him is to make people think she transformed into some classy lady." (talking about Nicole posting her child's images.)

"@kimja****19** That's a good way to loos your baby."

Another celebrity that I loved following was @peachesgeldof. I respected, and model my mothering skills after hers. She was bullied almost everyday for her attachment parenting skills.

"It's not right to have them sleep with you,what about your marriage?" @her****9**

Even after her death, in some of the images (her account is now off Instagram) people had the audacity to write, "you probably died of drug overdose." She was a devoted mother to both her beautiful children, and she had a wild child past that she left behind because she felt like being a mother was her calling; but yet, other mothers felt it was okay to bully her skills because of her past. I used to shame attachment parenting, until I had my baby, and now I'm an advocate because of Peaches.

Some of the mamas I follow have a lot more followers than me, and aren't celebrities, and thats also when I think other mamas think they can put their two cents into their situation. For instance, a specific mama can be bathing with her 3 month old, and one of her followers decides to write "that's wrong. baby should only be bathing in his tub its dangerous what if you let her slip, youre crazy." Really? She's "crazy" because she's bathing with her child, whom is still alive and lovable because she didn't let her die. As a mother, you can sense what is wrong and right with your child, and if this beautiful new mama wanted to enjoy a bath with her child, she is more than welcome to. Now, this mama has to explain herself when she puts images of her and her child bathing- "Before anyone says anything about the fact that I was holding her with my feet, don't. She was perfectly fine and it was just for a minute. We usually don't use her tub at all when we take baths together." @voxamberlynn

Another mama on Instagram that can rarely put an image up without being pitchforked by other mamas is @ascia_akf. It was either she was doing pregnancy all wrong, and now that her beautiful baby is born I think the backlash is worse. She's putting "too" many images of herself and baby Adam. She posted that some followers went as far as to find her mother, fathers, and husband numbers and tell them to change her "frivolity over the health of myself & my child." In her culture some women take 40 days to rest, but she is modernized, and some of her followers can't take this. Some women feel comfortable active and moving with their newborn, and especially now with the weather being warmer in most states And ccountries.

I also can't just circle in on the web bullies, but also the mama bullies who live and are in mamas lives. While I was pregnant people came from left field telling me I was eating too much eggs, I walked too much, I didn't walk enough, I wasn't gaining enough weight, I couldn't wear high heels, and everything in between. I would cry because I was so overwhelmed and didn't understand why people weren't just being "nice" to me. I was, and I'm a first time mother, and I just felt I was doing pregnancy all wrong. I was overly emotional, and I would've assumed that these other mothers would've understood and worded what they thought was helping me in a better way. I know some of the advice was coming from a good place, but most of them all sounded like demands. (I don't even want to get into the demands other mothers ask me to change about my parenting, because it's obscene. I.E. "You're going to regret breastfeeding for so long.")

"You have to stop walking so much."  My mom.

"I saw that you ate eggs twice today. You should get it out, because too much eggs isn't good during pregnancy." M.I.L

And all I felt like saying, (actually screaming,) was "Are you a fucking Doctor?" Whenever I did anything I would call or ask my Midwife on my next appointment, and almost everything I did was perfectly fine. So, I imagine how hard it must be for mamas on the interweb who must be getting it at home from sisters, aunts, mothers, mother in laws; but, also getting it from followers- people who should be liking and helping you out because honestly you follow them for a reason, because you like them.

I just want to plead to any mother who reads this- you can be a mother of one, two, three, or a soon to be mama, don't feel bad if you are being bullied by another mother. Hold your head high, and take the high road. Explain yourself if you want to, but you shouldn't, because it's your belly and your baby. You know deep inside what is beneficial and not beneficial to your child, because he/she is YOUR child. Sometimes, people don't see the error in their way, and maybe that mother doesn't know what she's doing- maybe she's getting bullied and thinks it's a way of life; even though, I'm not condoning bullying. BULLYING MOTHERS IS WRONG! But hopefully the mothers who are bullying know there are other ways to words their opinions, because not everyone raises their child alike, but we can all help each other raise them together differently.

So, go ahead take a bath with your baby, exercise if you feel like you're up for it, eat all the eggs!, nap with your baby, breastfeed him/her until they're ready to stop, raise them organically or not, get the biggest bed and let your kiddy or kiddies sleep with you, as long as you love them and raise them the way you see fit. So go on with your bad self! You go Mama! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

*This post was written before Peaches Geldof toxicology report claims she died from a Heroin overdose. We still consider her to be an awesome mother. May she rest in peace.

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