I love projects. It’s who I am. I love having stuff to do, constantly. One of my newest projects was a result of my own personal experience. Mom-Shaming. Yes, it’s a real thing. You can read about it here and here. I never realized how real it was until I became a mom. At first, I didn’t really think about it. Like oh just another random opinion, whatever. But years later, I heard it over and over again. Why am I having someone else watch my kid while I’m at work? Um, because I’m at work? In the United States, a mom is given 6-8 weeks of maternity leave. Anything after that is considered vacation time, or FMLA, which means you don’t get paid to take leave.
From my own personal experience, Maternity Leave doesn’t mean sitting around the house eating bon-bon’s and drinking wine. It means cleaning, taking care of the baby, doing things around the house.. CONSTANTLY! Nothing else exists. It’s not me time. So when I see an article like this, I get pissed off. I’m sorry, but women without kids should not get maternity leave. What are you going to use it for? Vacation? Um no. A sabbatical? Then take a fucking sabbatical! Maternity leave is not a vacation. It’s so far from a vacation it’s not even funny.
Before I begin, shaming of any kind: body, mom, breast, gay, fit, skinny, etc. Should not exist. I’m overweight, I’m also a trainer. I’m working on making my life better. And have been for some time. So when I’m fat shamed, which happens, I ignore it. Why? Because people who shame others, are idiots. As you can tell, typically I ignore people who fat-shame or mom-shame me.
The mom shaming thing came out of left field. From people, I never thought would do it. But they did. So ever since then, I’ve been on this whole anti-mom shaming kick. Mostly because, it’s bullshit. Not saying it doesn’t happen, but the fact it’s totally crap that it is happening. It’s bullshit that it’s a real thing! And the whole “shaming” thing needs to stop. For the sake of my anti mom shame campaign, I created this:
On my Facebook page, I posted a question. Asking all of the single and working moms, even the non-moms what are things that have been told to them. How this all started in my own life is this, I went to a boxing tournament. Posted it as a check in on Facebook. Then two people, who have no say in my life, they’re not family. They’re my ex’s family. Questioning me why I didn’t take my daughter. Well, it continued on until I deleted the post and then blocked his entire family. My choice to block them. It’s stupid to bring a fight to a Facebook post. And to protect my own security and sanity, I blocked them. There is nothing wrong with blocking people who cause misery in your life. So if someone tells you to stop acting like a teenager for blocking them, just tell them it’s none of their business. Do they pay your bills? No. Move on.
I’m a single working mom. Everyone who knows me knows this. They know I work hard and make sure my kid is happy and healthy. Anyway, I’ve heard every phrase in the in the book on how I’m a bad mom because I work full time and train.
Here’s a list of the top ten things that single/working/SAH moms hear all of the time. And shockingly, they were told these by women:
1. Time goes by so fast, spend as much time with them as you can.
Um, no shit. Trust me it felt like it was just yesterday I was sitting at home waiting to leave for school watching Sailor Moon and eating my breakfast. So yes, moms are well aware of how fast time goes. Especially when we look at our kids baby pictures. WE KNOW TIME FLIES! Stop telling us that. We don’t need reminders.
2. So, someone else watches your kid?
In a perfect world, a mom would be able to stay home and take care of their kids while they slowly lose their minds or become an alcoholic by drinking copious amounts of wine. But in the real world, people have to work to pay bills. So since you’re so entitled, and feel like using me as your personal project. How about this. I’ll stay home if you give me $5,000 a month. Why that much? Let’s see. Rent. I mean it’s kind of important having a roof over our heads. Especially in a decent neighborhood with a good school. Food. It’s kind of important to eat. Utilities. We do like water and electricity. Clothes. This isn’t a nudist colony. House, Car, and Health Insurance. Well I mean come on. If we get sick, we need to see a doctor. Gas. Need to take my kid to practice and school. After school curriculum. She needs to be a well-rounded individual and do every sport imaginable. What else. Anything that really helps with raising a kid.
3. You did something for yourself? Or are doing something for yourself? That’s selfish.
No, it’s not. When you have a kid that doesn’t mean you have to lose yourself. (Thank you Teta Sigita for helping me remember this). It took me a few years to realize this. Our lives do not have to be put on hold because we have kids. It doesn’t matter what anyone says. I’m not condoning abandonment. I’m saying it’s important that you have your thing, the one thing that keeps you sane from the endless days of watching Backyardigans, laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.
4. You’re a bad mom.
Kid you not, people say this to other moms. I’ve been told this! Why? Because they’re providing for their families? Because they’re maintaining a household? Because they’re doing their best to take care of their children? If anyone EVER tells you this, this is what you say: Go fuck yourself. Just be sure to say it with a smile.
5. You’re codependent because you get child support.
In some situations, like my own, women don’t get child support. Child support is supposed to help pay for whatever your child needs. They need clothes on their back, a roof over their head, electricity and water, and food in their bellies. Kids also want to try out different things. Like Soccer, ballet, martial arts, etc. All of these things cost money. School, health insurance, gas to get the kid from place to place, costs money. So the money that is given in child support, usually goes directly to whatever is needed for said child. Now, this is not the case in every situation. I won’t get into that in this article.
6. You’re selfish for working out/training. And letting your kid workout/train with you.
This one is from a dear friend in California. Who recently won California’s Strongest Woman in her division. I’m so fucking proud of her. And I’m proud of her daughter who wants and does lift with her. My friend knows her shit when it comes to lifting. And so do I. So if my daughter is training with me, I’m teaching her proper form so she doesn’t injure herself. And my friend or any other mom, or dad, is doing the same thing. So shut your damn mouth before you start talking.
7. You should be more ladylike so you set a better example for your daughter.
I’m so sick of hearing “You should be more ladylike.” Yeah, watch me be more ladylike by giving you the finger and drinking a beer. An amazing friend and mom in Kentucky told me this one. The eye roll I did almost caused my contacts to move to the back of my head. Before you say something like this, stop talking and walk away. Guarantee this woman you’re about to tell to be more ladylike, will happily take you down and beat your ass.
8. You should really learn your place in the home. You should be waiting on your husband's hand and foot and spend less time working out, playing, working.
Just no. This is the traditionalist. My poor friend, who’s a wife, mother of two, and an entrepreneur heard this a couple times. Unfortunately, this is what needs to change in the world.
9. You work a cleaning job? That’s trashy.
When I heard this one I damn near fell out of my chair. I immediately wanted to pack up my car and hit the road to my friend’s house and beat the person who said this to her. I just simply could not believe how ridiculous this was. This woman is working hard to earn a dollar, while her ex-husband sits his ugly ass in jail for domestic abuse. So now you’re going to insult her? Tell her that what she’s doing is trashy? She’s making a living! Leave her alone.
10. This one is for the women who choose not to have any kids: That I’m infertile, a career woman, desperately trying, selfish, don’t like kids, etc.
Never tell a woman she needs to reproduce. I’ve caught myself thinking or saying this before. And I had no right. So anyone I ever said that to, I’m sorry. But seriously. It’s none of your damn business if a woman wants a kid or not. And it’s not your choice if someone doesn’t want to have kids. It’s not selfish. It’s not anything that pertains to you. So shut it.
Let me be the first to tell you, you are not a Bad Mom. You are a mom. You are human. And you are you. You are raising your child the best you can. And doing an incredible job! There is nothing wrong with going out on a night your children are home. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy. There is nothing wrong with you for wanting your children to be healthy. Anyone who says otherwise, can bite it.
P.S. So I’ve been working on this article for probably 2 weeks. Mind you, I don’t watch TV. If I do, it’s binging on Netflix usually watching Firefly or the Underworld movies. So I had NO IDEA this movie was even being released. A friend of mine tagged me in the trailer on Facebook. But seriously, I cannot wait for this movie!! Click above to see the trailer for Bad Moms, starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn (plus Christian Applegate).
Kristy Kronas is a Certified Personal Trainer in the burbs of Chicago. She is a single parent and author with a children's book being published this fall! She has a passion for lifting, boxing, kayaking, and a hatred of running. Watch out for her new venture this September when she launches a daily podcast called the 'Daily Donut.' If you have any questions, comments, or just want to say hi, shoot her an email!