I got pregnant at 21 years old, and then worked in an office as an entry-level writer at 22 — a place where women 5, 10, 15 years older than me hadn’t had kids yet — so I certainly had moments of embarrassment and insecurity about being such a young mother. Insensitive comments, shocked responses, blatant assumptions — I’ve heard ’em all.
But then as I got older, more experienced, I realized that it’s not just young moms who feel insecure and judged — it’s all moms. (And age is just an easy target.)
So Facebook forums are telling you that you’re a horrible mother for poisoning your baby with formula, or that you started with solid foods too early (or too late or incorrectly), or that you’re breastfeeding far too long. You don’t love your kids enough, or you love them too much. And as wonderful as the Internet can be for community and information, it can also be an easy and anonymous way to attack and hurt.
Turns out I wasn’t the only younger mom who felt the sting of judgement from time to time. An Early Mama reader decided to be proactive after experiencing something or someone who left her feeling deflated — whether it was a mean Facebook comment or a rude woman at the grocery store. She started writing letters to other women, spreading love and lifting moods (including her own in the process).
And so she inspired me to start the #SpreadLoveNotShame movement, to spread more kindness and positivity through the same channels that have the potential to bring us down. Check it out:
Use Facebook to share a photo, wall post, or status update with the hashtag #SpreadLoveNotShame.
(This is a message I sent to my little sister.)
Or send a tweet with the hashtag #SpreadLoveNotShame.
And I’m so happy to see it on Instagram, too. In a world where social media can easily be used to judge and shame, it’s nice to see the kindness (and gratitude!) spread.
Pass It On
…And it’s so lovely to see recipients pass on the kindness to another friend.
It’ll Brighten Your Day
Spread some nice messages to the moms in your life, whether you tweet, Instagram, or snail mail a note. Why not make someone smile today?
So join in by sending out a quick tweet (or even penning a short letter) to a friend who could use some uplifting.
Funny thing happens: Suddenly your spirits are lifted as well. And that’s something we all deserve.
Read more about it on Early Mama.