What we cook, what we wear, how often we look at our phones, whether we swear, or drink, or go out; it’s all fair game in the court of public opinion.
Especially, especially, if a mother works to earn an income.
This is something that every working woman knows to be true, and that every new mother learns very quickly.
Take for example Khloe Kardashian.
In the three months since the reality television star became a mother to daughter True, Khloe has been criticised for everything from her postpartum workouts, to stopping breastfeeding, to holding her baby incorrectly.
Sure, she’s a Kardashian, so she’s ‘asking for it’ – but she’s also just simply a new mum. Which is why there was a moment this week that broke her.
She explained her frustration with the constant negative backlash in a tweet, saying that “Mommy shamers r at a high right now.”
Khloe’s had enough, and so have I.
Mommy shamers r at a high right now. I’m sick, at a charity event & I’m getting slack 4being here bc I have a baby? Her dad is watching her while I’m trying 2bring awareness 2an amazing organization. But either way, what’s wrong w a new mom letting daddy take over 4a few hours?
— Khloé (@khloekardashian) July 30, 2018
Is Khloe having fun without her baby at this charity event? Probably. But is she also doing something for herself? YES.
And do you know what else Khloe’s doing? She’s makin’ money. Bringing home the bacon. Demanding the dosh.
It doesn’t matter if you think she’s already got enough – she’s allowed to make more. Khloe’s currency is her relevancy; since giving birth, she’s chosen to maintain her high profile and keep working with a three-month-old. She needs to do it if she wants to keep the high-profile career she has. And, by all appearances, she wants to do it.
I know a lot of mums who would have done the same, had they been able to afford nannies – or had husbands who didn’t believe that once a woman becomes a mother, that’s all she is.
But amongst the trolls, there was a revolutionary moment of brilliance which emerged from the storm clouds. One of the first responses to Khloe’s tweet just nailed what all working mums need to know:
I think that one of the most important things a new mom can do is ensure that she maintains her own separate identity. Being a mom is a huge bonus, but it’s not the core of who you are as a person. Keep doing you. Fuck everyone else.
— Linz DeFranco (@LinzDeFranco) July 30, 2018
“I think that one of the most important things a new mom can do is ensure that she maintains her own separate identity. Being a mom is a huge bonus, but it’s not the core of who you are as a person. Keep doing you. Fuck everyone else.”
Thank you, thank you, random stranger on the internet Linz DeFranco (who, on closer inspection is actually a big deal, but I apologise, I hadn’t heard of her here in OzLand).
I literally couldn’t have said it better myself – although I’ve tried.
I’ve written that women should keep their own sense of identity – and remind themselves of it – as a daily practice to help maintain their independence. And that income and career also go a long way to helping with that.
I’ve written that women need to be on top of their own finances – even as SAHMs who aren’t earning a traditional income – because a man is not a financial plan.
A photo can’t do justice to this skirt. Crushed cream silk ruffles – no ironing, SO comfortable. If I were ever stupid enough to get married again, I’d wear this skirt. And simply bought at my local market from a @ladystartups called Polita that isn’t even on Insta. #workingmomlyfe #stretchyfabricismyfriend #mybosssaidilookedhottoday
I’ve also written about society leaving women alone to earn a living (or not) however they choose, in an article called, “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be rich; just don’t trample on people to get to the top“.
And now all of those pieces have just been summed up perfectly, in one perfect tweet.
So you can forget my lengthy rationales, and reasonings and musings. You can even set aside the concept of feminism, and Sheryl Sandberg’s Leaning In palaver (no disrespect).
The only argument we need here is that every mother has a right to choose what’s best for her and her family. All mothers feel enough guilt already; we do it to ourselves, every day, with every choice we make. We don’t need the judgement from other people, too.
So, in the great words of Linz DeFranco, I say to all working mothers: “Keep doing you. Fuck everyone else.”
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