Weed Mama was conceived from the mom shaming I’ve witnessed (and experienced) around a mom’s choice to use cannabis to feel better. We all judge from time to time, it’s natural as it’s human to compare ourselves to others, and decide this is good and this is bad. It’s when we take it to the shaming place that’s so damaging to moms.
Moms are shamed by society in general for our parenting choices however when moms choose to shame another mom for her choices- wounding her, what does that accomplish? It’s time we call a spade a spade…
Mom shaming is bullying.
Mean moms have been around for awhile but with the internet and faceless conversations, it’s much easier to unleash on another mom in a moment of anger, like road rage except the mom group version.
We should be able to discuss our own experiences as a way to share notes, compare with other women so we can learn from each other. Open discourse is important and women should feel comfortable being open about both the joys and challenges that come with motherhood, without worrying they’ll be judged.
Shaming moms is closing that open channel. It changes the tone of conversations as we become more guarded with what we share.
Moms chime in on shaming
I asked my Instagram community to share their stories, and thoughts around mom shaming. The majority of the women who shared their stories with me, were shamed for having a c-section and formula feeding.
This is a topic people need to stay quiet about because what a woman decides is best for her own body, isn’t anyone’s concern. Breast feeding is great if you can or want to do it and you’re not a better mother if you do.
I had a c-section with my second child and what gets my blood boiling is when a mom is shamed for not having a vaginal birth. One mom shared with me that she was told to “try harder” (as if major abdominal surgery is somehow a piece of cake) by her physician when she asked for a scheduled c-section. She found a different doctor and was able to have the birth of her choice.
I also asked for a scheduled c-section for my second child because my first birth had complications, I was 40 yrs old and I knew in my gut that was the way to go. I was told it would be easier the second time and I was persuaded to give birth vaginally. In the end I had an emergency c-section under general anesthetic. I missed the birth of my son, almost bled to death and spent six months recovering.
How a woman chooses to give birth is personal, it’s her body. Both ways are difficult, both give you a baby born in the end and that’s what matters. The judgments around c-section births are invasive and absurd.
Moms are judged for literally everything
Moms are shamed for every little thing from nutrition, screen time, choice of toys, birthday parties, potty training, staying home or going to work and even sleep!
For example my kids didn’t sleep for three years, both of them. So that was six years of newborn sleeping hours I had to deal with and I was judged. It was a father that unloaded the most cruel and hateful comments. He literally called me weak and yes, after so many years of no sleep I sure was! Imagine seeing a mother who’s suffering from intense exhaustion and deciding to bully her instead of offering support?
I saw so much mom shaming on online baby groups and mom blogs. Just women putting down other women for the dumbest things, like using a plastic cup instead of glass.
I once read a blog post from a mom that went viral. She talked about how a mom group judged her for dressing in a hoodie and yoga pants and no makeup. She wrote a funny piece but she killed it when she said “I didn’t waste precious time putting on makeup and instead spend that time with my child,” shaming the moms who take the time to put on makeup.
She felt judged and in response, shamed the moms who do wear makeup and get dressed up when they go out. She lowered herself to the same level, becoming the mean mom because she felt hurt.
Mom shaming also comes from the intense pressure to be perfect, and it’s gotten worse during the pandemic as our choices are put under the microscope from a very divisive landscape we now face.
The supermom trope is toxic
We’re expected to have a perfectly balanced life, regardless of what’s going on. We’re expected to always be smiling, and never get upset. To always be attentive to our children while also keeping a perfect house, making every single meal healthy, socializing with friends, being attentive to our significant other. We’re expected to attend every PAC meeting at the kids school and volunteer for everything, and still somehow work a full time job.
We’re expected to have it all together and still take our vitamins, exercise every day, sleep 8 hours, look good and hey maybe leap over tall building in a single bound!
Even during a pandemic.
Take the pressure off of yourself. You can’t be perfect, you can’t. If you’re happy, be happy without apology.
Your choice to use cannabis is nothing to feel ashamed about
Cannabis is legal, it’s safer than alcohol and yet the judgement continues. The information is right there yet it’s ignored for toxic, antiquated ideas that won’t die. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years in ceremonies and medicines, it’s only been this past century that it’s been demonized, and mainly to demonize people of colour.
The stigma for moms- especially moms of colour who use the plant is intense and completely unfair. We can change this by not allowing the stigma to continue, and by standing up for moms who are being targeted with hate for her choice to use cannabis.
Cannabis can be helpful, no it’s not for everyone but then wine isn’t for everyone either. You know yourself; you know what makes you feel good and more present for your children. You’re not a bad mom for choosing cannabis to feel better.
Here’s the good news, while there’s still a lot of stigma around cannabis, it’s improving and becoming more socially acceptable, especially for moms.
I use the cannabis plant to feel better and I’m a mom. I’m not a perfect mom, I make mistakes, I can’t do it all, I worry about my children all the time. I worry constantly that I’m not doing enough for them, I worry that I’m failing especially during this pandemic.
I’m unapologetic in my cannabis use and the fact that I’m not perfect; I have to be to stay sane. It’s empowering to let that pressure drop, to embrace that you’re not perfect, to not care what anyone thinks about your choices.
I believe the way we can end mom shaming is to allow our children, especially our daughters see us as unapologetically imperfect. See us treat others with respect and grace, so they learn that we don’t put other women down for their choices, instead we aim to understand.
One mom from instagram, shared this with me:
“The patriarchy was founded upon oppression. Women oppressing women upholds the patriarchy”
This is a big topic and one to consider as it helps us put things into perspective. Women feel they need to compete with each other, perhaps from a survival instinct. While things are much more improved, the generational conditioning from an oppressive, patriarchal society isn’t going to cleanse itself so easily.
When we see other women as sisters and not as competition, we’ll reduce the shaming and competitiveness that happens when exhausted, scared, stressed out moms collide over something they disagree on.
Protect your energy, beautiful mama
Put up a shield and don’t let the shame in, instead fill your heart with warmth and love for yourself, your family and friends. Know you’re not perfect and you’re not supposed to be. Know you’re doing the best you can right now.
Know you’re worth is greater than you think. Know that you’re in control of your life at all times. Know that no one has power over you unless you let them.
Know you deserve to be blessed, know you’re a glowing, shining radiant mama who isn’t going to allow anyone to make you feel small, because you’re great.
Filter out the negative voices, filter out the noise and shift your attention to what fills up your cup with love. Feel gratitude for your beautiful self and all of your flaws because you’re perfect just as you are.
Before any of us choose to judge another mom, we must pause, ask ourselves why we feel compelled to judge her? Does she really need to hear our opinion? Do we know what’s going on her life right now? How can we show up for her with love instead? Sometimes saying nothing at all is showing love.
Always fill your own cup, never aim to pour out the cup of another.
Oh and never feel any shame in adding a few drops of cannabis to that cup!