This mum admits “mum-shaming” — both online and to her face — left her with anxiety and contributed to her postnatal depression.

Mum-of-two Donna, 37, shares how she experienced nasty remarks about returning to work, weaning her kids and even about letting them have their six-week immunisation jabs, shares The Sun.

Donna says: “I’d always dreamed of being a mum. I had images of myself making lots of pre-natal friends and us all hanging out and supporting each other through the first few years.

“I did make some friends like this, but I also experienced a darker side.”

Having had first child Connor, Donna returned to work in learning development and human resources after 16 weeks, having received statutory maternity pay.

Donna says: “For me, work was very important — not only for me and my career, but financially.”

But with Joseph, she went back to work when he was nine months old thanks to enhanced maternity pay.

She said: “I assumed I was a bit more hardened as it was my second child, but nothing prepared me for the nasty comments.

“I was just leaving the house one day and my parents had arrived to take the kids on the school run when two mums walked past. I heard one say, ‘Why did she have kids if she can’t look after them herself and work is more important?’. It was awful.

“Once I picked up my children and told one of the mums we were going away for a weekend break. Her reply made me feel sick.

“She said, ‘Oh, how are you going to cope looking after your children for a whole weekend, you’re not used to that are you?’.”

It was a similar story on mum forums. Donna revealed online how she had stopped breast­feeding her children at ten weeks and started weaning them at four-and-a-half months (from around six months is the NHS recommend­ation). She says: “One mum told me I was putting my child in danger. Another said I was selfish and the baby should come first no matter how exhausted I was.”

A friend even branded her selfish for allowing her children to have their six-week injections.

“She believed the vaccinations would give my children autism,” Donna says.

She adds: “I suffered postnatal depression and battled anxiety and sleep deprivation after pregnancy and, at the time, I didn’t realise how much mum-shaming contributed to this.

“I felt I couldn’t do anything right. I felt broken. When I was tired, emotional and doing my best at being a mum and returning to work, I wanted another mum to say, ‘It’s hard, but you’re doing a great job’.

“Everyone feels they have a right to impose their opinions on you and make you feel guilty.”

“I witness mum-shaming every day as I work with so many mums.

“They often share how they have experienced negative comments from friends, family, colleagues or strangers online. Sometimes they laugh it off, but sometimes they are really upset.

“Us mums put enough pressure on ourselves, so we don’t need extra negativity piled on us by ­people who don’t know us at all.”

Do you ever feel the same??

Share your comments below

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  • I bet I know who’s kids will be the most well rounded and prepared for life in general!

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  • Some Mums the only thing that “keeps them sane” (a few friends have used that expression) is to go back to work, even if it is only part time to have interaction with adults, especially if they are single Mums or the Dads work long hours night shift and sleep during most of the day. I know a couple of Mums even their Doctors have recommended they went back to work.

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  • Women can be such B*#$%*s. Men are never as harsh. And social media is a whole new ball game. It’s a tough world out there and we don’t need these horrid people on social media to make things worse.

    Reply


  • I was thinking about this article again and women’s struggles it occurred to me that men do not have this preoccupation with bringing each other down as much as women do to each other, unless women can unite we will continue to have power struggles in society.

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  • Be careful what you share on social media. There’s always someone ready to criticise and take your confidence.

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  • People are always going to say negative things. You have to decide how you handle it. People making negative comments about vaccinations are idiots so there is no point taking that to heart. I would personally never return to work so soon or stop breastfeeding so early so I have nothing supportive to say there. Just be confident in your decisions and tell people to back off. People think I breastfeed too long because my son is 2, we all cop negative comments.

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  • what happened to the good old saying “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all” no mum should have to endure this

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  • Poor mum! Mean comments and gossip actually say more about the person delivering the unkindness than they do about the person receiving the comments. It speaks volumes about their own insecurities and feelings about themselves. Such a shame!

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  • The old saying “if you can’t say anything nice then say nothing at all’ is so true and something many folks need to do.


    • Such a good saying and some of those old sayings do need to be applied in the present day!

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  • My comment would be to stay away from mum forums and get on with your life and those friends you know are like you and therefore non-judgemental. Social media seems to have more negatives than positives in my opinion.

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  • The one piece of advice I would give any mother (first time or 10th time round) is to avoid mum forums where people “offer advice” as it’s quite usually just a den of vipers waiting to strike!
    N.b. This page is totally different from the mum forums I’m talking about!

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  • People should keep negative comments to themselves. (I hope this isn’t a negative comment :))

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  • A very important skill in life is to learn to ignore other peoples opinion and take distance from negative people in your life.

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  • She shouldn’t be judge like that she’s a hardworking mum and has to juggle work and being a mum she deserves a medal

    Reply


  • Another reason I’m very private on social media.

    Reply

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