Eleanor Douglas-Meyers is a crafty mom from Uitenhage who writes about DIY, parenting, natural hair care, fashion, food and fun on her blog JustEllaBella
If you have ever been on a mom group on Facebook you will know that mom shaming is a thing … you will also know that mom shaming is awful and usually not even intended (I sure hope this is true).
It’s just a bunch of people who genuinely think their way is better and are just trying to help – although, others are just witches, let’s face it.
So Saturday morning I woke to the sound of rain falling on the roof, I lay back and listened to the rhythmic breathing of the three-year-old who had snuck into my bed and I just savoured the moment.
Then I looked at my phone and freaked the flip out because in 30 minutes I had to have Aidan in a costume and at the starting line of a family fun-run.
Fast forward 40 minutes, after a wrong turn positioned the car pretty much IN the race, and I was standing in yoga pants, a pair of chucks, one of hubby’s hoodies, carrying a child who wanted nothing to do with the day (he spent the drive there dismantling his make-shift Dr costume!)
We missed the start of the race and made our way to the stalls – all of which were still setting up, meanwhile Aidan wouldn’t let me put him down for a second, my wet hair was bundled into a headband masquerading as a hair tie and my recent weight loss meant my yoga pants was sliding off.
Basically Me but only better
At this point I had run into quite a few people I knew, BUT I was still feeling pretty chuffed with myself, till I saw her!!!
Basically Me but only better.
About my size, if my size could squeeze into size 8 jeans, her naturally curly ’fro was this awesome red-purple colour and perfectly styled (thanks a lot green hair, taking forever to grow out) her yoga pants were not saggy, in fact they were stylishly tucked into her high tops and she wore this super stylish longer length hoodie without looking like an oompa loompa. Those tops are not for me.
Her kids were dressed in Instagram’able outfits and she looked so relaxed. Her “well put togetherness” seemed to highlight my look of “how is it morning already” … I pondered this while watching my pant legs soak up muddy water from the field.
I hastily grabbed the headband off my head and slicked on some lip balm borrowed from my sister.
The woman caught me looking at her and smiled … not a condescending smile not a “shame you need a stylist” smile, a warm genuine smile that simply said “hi there stranger”.
I smiled back and realised the value of THAT smile, the “hey there I’m not judging you” smile. The anti-mom shaming smile.
As adults we end up on either side of that smile at the drop of a hat, you could be dressed to the nines then someone spills a juice box on you. Or you could have been up the whole night with a sick kid.
Some days you can cook perfect organic meals, other days you pick up something from the shop.
Some days you give up a little, but then other days your ducks are all in a row with matching bows. Your brows are on fleek and you even have lipstick on.
Some days your kid is being an absolute angel while the mom down the grocery aisle is trying to referee a full scale toddler wrestling match.
Life is unpredictable, sometimes you can’t change the wind so you just adjust your sails.
So today, smile at the exhausted mom in need of coffee because let’s be honest we don’t ALWAYS have our shizz together, sometimes half the shizz is gone, like hairpins and left socks.
So try not to judge, instead, pick up the thrown teddy that has made it to under your chair in a restaurant, have patience with the pre-schooler that wants to pay for his juice himself and for the love of parenting … share a smile
See more from Eleanor at justellabella.co.za