Australian blogger Constance Hall is famed for telling things like it is on her blog and radio show, so it’s no surprise that she came out fighting when she was criticized for her weekly grocery shopping.
Mom of four, Hall shared a cute photo of her daughter, Snow, sitting in a packed grocery cart with her thousands of Facebook followers.
Hall captioned it:
“Me: ‘Going to Woolies, got a lot to buy so no kids are coming.’
Snow: ‘cool story.'”
Her daughter clearly had different ideas and joined her mom for the grocery trip. But what Hall wasn’t prepared for was the wealth of comments about the food in her shopping cart, including her apparent lack of fresh produce and the fact she chose instant noodles!
Eventually, Hall deleted all the negative comments and replied:
“Getting mum judged on your anti mum judging page. Then everyone attacks the judgey mum even though you’re an advocate for women sticking together. And if I was to drink the stiff bottle of scotch that this thread made me want to drink I’d be judged for that.” She went on to say, “The bananas and celery and carrots and potatoes and onions and garlic and mandarins and apples aren’t visible in this picture — wasn’t thinking about [grocery cart] angles, I also buy a lot of fruit from the markets and [her partner’s] mum is bringing us fresh fruit from her trees today. Should I post the receipt?”
Over 9K people have liked the photo and many of her fans have reacted in support. But Hall’s post begs the question: Have we reached a new low when a mom is judged for the contents of her shopping cart? Some commenters even felt obliged to notify Hall that she wasn’t packing her grocery cart correctly. Yes, you read that right! “You’re squishing your bread,” wrote one. Another said, “My ocd cannot handle the way that [grocery cart] was stacked.”
Do people not have better things to do with their time?
Hall felt compelled to defend herself by stating that she spent $350 and she feeds nine people. I have also felt the eyes of judgment cast over my own shopping cart when running into people I know at the local supermarket. One woman commented on the two bottles of wine she could see in my cart, saying, “Looks like someone is having a busy weekend.” It seems we can’t do anything without being shamed.
Back in August, Beyoncé was trolled for posting a photo on Instagram of her enjoying a single glass of wine. Immediately, the breastfeeding police were quick to wonder if she should be drinking at all and whether she was choosing to feed her newborn twins this way. Kelly Clarkson fed her daughter toast with Nutella and posted the cute picture online. The amount of abuse she received was incredible. One commenter even accused her of child abuse!
A recent survey conducted by the University of Michigan for the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found that two-thirds of the 475 moms interviewed had been mommy-shamed. Sixty percent reported that they have been criticized for their parenting style, most often from their own family members. Additionally, twelve percent of new mothers reported feeling judged by other women. Interestingly, 56 percent of the moms had stopped criticizing other moms as a result of facing criticism themselves.
We have all been there, and honestly, how did mom-shaming leave you feeling? From the very moment I had my son and the midwife told me he was cold and needed a hat, to the next morning when another midwife was shouting at me that my son was too warm, I have felt criticized as a mom. I am certain that as a new mom it fueled my anxiety, making me uncertain of my choices, ultimately contributing to my postpartum depression.
One seemingly innocent comment would linger in my head for days and I would second-guess myself, feeling like a total failure. Every mom is in the same boat just trying to do their best, each using their own methods. Motherhood isn’t a case of “one size fits all.” We should be supportive of each other’s choices, even if we don’t agree with them. By doing so, we breed confidence in women and their ability to judge what’s right for their family.
When the survey reported that 42 percent of women said that criticism made them question their own choices as a mom, you’ve got to wonder who the critics think they’re helping. Moms have enough to shoulder in life without having to deal with gossip and judgment.
So the next time you are grocery shopping, put the bread wherever the heck you please and stand tall against any judgment. Ladies, you are doing a swell job.