When someone mentioned to Gylisa Jayne that she didn’t think she was the “mum type” the veiled insult preyed on her mind, and prompted her to pen a post urging judge-y types to cease and desist.
Someone said to me a few days ago, that she hadn't thought i was the type ' to be a Mum'. I shrugged it off because if…
Shrugged it off?
A seemingly flippant comment from a friend sparked some soul-searching and a carefully composed Facebook post for this thoughtful mum.
“Someone said to me a few days ago, that she hadn’t thought i was the type ‘to be a Mum’. I shrugged it off because if there’s one thing I have learnt about motherhood, it’s that people will say c*&ty stuff a lot, and they don’t always mean it. I can’t have shrugged it off too well, because it’s played on my mind ever since,” Gylisa wrote.
“It’s one of those common phrases, we label ‘Mother’ and have a stereotype in our heads. A ‘Mother’ has to live up to a certain standard, and it isn’t just taking care of your own kid… Mothers are meant to sacrifice every aspect of themselves, to fulfil their role. Mothers aren’t allowed expensive bags, or shopping trips out, or to have a fresh manicure every few weeks. Mothers aren’t meant to have tattoos, or coloured hair or piercings.”
Life experience doesn’t count you out
Judgement is not only often based on appearance or retail habits, Gylisa wrote. Often it rakes over old coals and is historic in its flavour.
“Mothers aren’t supposed to have histories of being reckless, feckless or just plain fun. Mothers aren’t meant to have had a colourful life of experiences before they bear children, they are expected to forget their identity to raise someone else. But how can we raise our children effectively if we haven’t experienced a bit of life beforehand ? Without navigating my own chequered past how could I possibly hope to guide a new soul through similar times?” Gylisa wrote.
She quite rightly points out that the decision to have a child is a significant one, and that women don’t enter into it without serious thought.
“When we become mothers, it isn’t because we are just dying to wipe someone else’s a*se. It’s because we want to add to our lives, and watch someone else grow. It might be because after everything we have been through, we have finally found some stability – and having a family of our own helps us feel grounded.”
Gylisa urged those tempted to judge to think again and value the diversity and depth mums of all kinds bring to the parenting – and our community – experience.
“Motherhood isn’t an exclusive club that you can only get into if you look or act the right way. It’s full of women that all have lives and tales and colourful histories. Women of every type, from every background and every descent. Women that swear, women that don’t, women that are real, and women that don’t give a fuck about what you think….”
“I might not fit someone else’s expectations of how I should be, but my daughter reckons I’m doing a pretty good job,” Gylisa concluded.
From where we’re standing, she looks to be spot on with her assessment.
Have you felt mum-judged by others, because of your history, habits or looks?