Today something sparked my outrage. And it was attached to the humble “hash tag”. This anger has been stirring around in me for a little while, but it tipped over as I was flicking through my usual feed of Mummy Blogs. While checking out a new post, I stumbled across a picture that featured a baby with its bum in the air and a mother pointing to his cloth nappy. I thought to myself; that’s great for that mum, she’s obviously found something that works for her and she’s happy to share it with the world (or 243 “followers”- feeling cult like? Read on). However I noticed she ‘hashtagged’ (am I saying it right?) about a dozen different things, the last of which was #disposablediaperssuck. Ok, that’s how this blogger feels. With my anger level at “slightly irritated” I continued on. But again, a few posts down there was another photo of a breastfeeding mother, (I love breastfeeding and enjoy seeing it everywhere, but I also like seeing a baby being fed-period). But this hash tag flared that fiery, bandana sporting you can’t tell me what to do demon, my children know means trouble. It read #formulasucks.
Here she goes…
Firstly let me say, I love breast feeding and even more so, I love that parents put whatever the hell they can around their child’s nether regions to prevent the spread of poop. BUT here’s my problem; with 15% of mothers in this country diagnosed with postnatal depression, and many more slipping through un treated, who the hell does any other mother think they are to shame them and tell them that what they do sucks? Especially one, running a successful blog in a position to influence.
It’s simply putting pressure on an already vulnerable group within society, whilst the “all natural parent” strokes their own organic growing ego and places themself on a pedestal of perfect parenting. This is a big thing. Both on-line and in the greater community. From “breast is best” to “disposable diapers suck” to “immunisations and autism” to “hey, here’s an el natural cure for tooth ache fashioned from sticks and stones- 30 bucks please”.
I feel it really says something terrible about our generation of parenting, when “mummy bullying” is an actual thing. What hope do we give our children in a school yard if they’re taught to point out another kid because his rice wheels aren’t gluten free?
Could we all just stop and examine that disposable wearing, bottle fed, immunised child? Firstly she is fed and nourished. Her mother may have struggled endlessly with breastfeeding or she may have immediately decided it wasn’t for her. Her choice. She is clothed; her nappy may not have been hand woven from organic fibres but it keeps her clean and infection free. Way to go, mum. And lastly her parents made a conscious, scary but educated decision to give her the life-long gift, which is protection against polio. This kid’s mother- the nerve of her, seriously, how dare she. Come on guys, really?
Her Rusk sticks may have been home cooked, or they may be store bought. Either way, it sure as heck isn’t anyone’s place to shame a mother over how she cares for her child. Bullying is bullying regardless of a hash tag stuck in front.