Last weekend, mother-of-four and Instagram sensation, Rebecca Judd, bravely shared on social media that she was having a tough parenting day.
On Friday night, she posted an image of herself on Instagram wearing The Hood’s tongue-in-cheek Winning top with the ironic caption – “'Winning is finally having my morning shower at 8pm. 4 kids solo is farrrrrrrkt.”
Bec Judd's Instagram post, wearing The Hood's 'Winning' tank.
The TV presenter’s admission that she’d had a tough day in the office, juggling four young children, including her six-month-old twin boys, alone, was both brave and refreshing.
After all, it’s not always easy to admit, even to our closest friends and family, that motherhood can be challenging, and at times, as Bec put it, “farrrrrrrkt,” let alone to 618,000 Instagram followers.
The former WAG’s post was also refreshing because Instagram has a way of making our lives, especially the lives of celebrity mums, look picture-perfect.
Bec’s post shattered that perception, and in doing so, made the rest of us - whose lives are far from picture-perfect - feel less incompetent as mothers and less alone.
Though not everyone felt that way. When the Daily Mail published an article about Bec’s honest Instagram post, dozens of readers wrote in outraged.
Most of the comments don’t deserve to be repeated. But to paraphrase, their collective sentiment was that Bec wouldn’t know what tough was given she has money, access to nannies and cleaners and doesn’t work full time.
I beg to differ, and vehemently so. No one knows another woman’s experience of motherhood until we have walked in her shoes. And until we do, let’s cheer each other on because God knows, there are days when we need it.
Bec’s post came just days after the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, gave a talk at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists about a series of films – Out of the Blue – produced by the Best Beginnings organisation, promoting good mental health for parents and their children.
During her speech, the Duchess said that while motherhood had been a “rewarding and wonderful experience,” she had also found it a “huge challenge” at times, “even for me, who has support at home that most mothers do not,” she was careful to add.
Again, instead of applauding the mother-of-two’s honesty, many media commentators were quick to judge.
In The Guardian, one columnist questioned whether Kate, despite being a mother, was qualified to talk about the experience of motherhood.
“Great wealth, nannies, domestic staff, palaces, princes and the like could be said to make someone a little less credible on the subject of the myriad pressures of modern motherhood,” she wrote.
While Kate may not have the financial pressures that some of us face, none of us will ever know what other pressures or challenges she faces as a mother-of-two. And as such, we should not judge.
Instead, let’s applaud Kate for her honesty. As she said in her speech, many mothers are “afraid to admit to the struggles they are facing due to the fear or shame of what others might think if they 'aren't coping”.
“Some of this fear is about the pressure to be a perfect parent; pretending we're all coping perfectly and loving every minute of it,” she continues.
In an era, when we can peek into a filtered and carefully curated version of other people’s lives on social media on a daily basis, the myth of the so-called perfect parent has never been more pervasive, which is why women like Kate and Bec should be applauded for trying to bust it.
“It's right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains,” Kate said in her speech.
In fact, talking about those stresses and strains is crucial in encouraging mothers who aren’t coping to seek help.
So, Bec and Kate, thank you for sharing your honest experiences of motherhood. Its important we hear them.