This week I experienced my first dose of mommy shaming. Honestly, I’m surprised it took this long.
Let me give you a little background:
I have done Bikram Yoga for the last eight years. It’s 90 minutes of the same 26 yoga postures done in a 105 degree room with 40 percent humidity.
Now, it’s the dead of summer, and I live on the actual surface on the sun (Texas). I have taken a sabbatical from Bikram Yoga during this pregnancy due to how hot it is outside and how difficult it is to stay hydrated even while shuffling my pregnant self from air conditioned building to air conditioned building. Bikram Yoga, in itself, is safe to do during pregnancy (with posture modifications), but y’all, it’s too dang hot for me right now.
Now that I’ve tooted my own exercise horn, let’s get down to the mommy-shaming bit. I have a lot of yoga friends from my eight years of practice. Most of these people are on all forms of my social media. My Instagram is full of pictures of my animals and my food. (Typical Millennial, am I right?)
Last week I craved doughnuts. I’ve been pretty good about the foods I put into my body, but I also keep a healthy dose of reality and know that my body is designed to give my baby exactly what he needs. My sweet, darling husband picked up powdered doughnuts for me when he went to the store, so of course I had to Instagram them (see photo)!
Well, I got shamed for my doughnuts in the comment section by a fellow yogi (who has no children). I was told that I wasn’t making healthy choices for my baby and that I needed to “do it right and hand-make the doughnuts if I was going to choose to eat them,” (insert eyeroll here). She finally ended her judgement train with, “I thought that you ate healthy, that’s all.”
Now, I originally brushed this off and didn’t respond. “Rise above” was what I had echoing around my brain as I scrolled past her words. But then I thought, “No. She, and others like her, will feel justified in continuing to patrol pregnant women’s bodies like we’re fair game. I cannot stand for that, even if it’s as small as a couple mini-doughnuts. (My raging feminism and some low blood sugar rage may have taken over.)
My response to her was simply, “If someone, and especially a pregnant woman, does not explicitly ask for advice, it’s best to just move along without offering any.”
Y’all. If you get shamed, don’t be afraid to speak up! Do not let those who do not know your everyday life feel like they can openly make judgements about you and your choices with no consequence. This is your baby, these are your choices, and it is absolutely none of their business.