You don't know her story, so please stop judging it!Posted by Rachel Hollis on Tuesday, March 14, 2017
After an estimated five minutes of sleep the night before, Rachel Hollis — of The Chic Site — was in a Starbucks desperately waiting for a caffeine fix when she overheard an upsetting encounter between two pregnant strangers.
"As I'm walking out, one of the pregnant women says to the other woman — she was just asking her questions about her baby — and said, 'Oh, did you nurse?'" Hollis recalls. "The woman was like, 'Oh, you know, I did for a couple weeks, but I really struggled with my first baby.' And the other woman was like, 'You didn't breastfeed? Oh. Well, with this baby, you definitely need to work on that. This is your child's health. I mean, you really couldn't give it more than two weeks?'"
Hollis stops the reenactment there, as she gets beyond frustrated just thinking about what she witnessed. "I just watched a total stranger shame a total other stranger, who is, by the way, like, 10 months pregnant, in a freakin' Starbucks," she says. "And so I'm just gonna take a quick moment to say: you are not allowed to tell anybody else how to live their life. How dare you."
Hollis continues, ending her rant with a number of valid and powerful comments about being women who support each other rather than women who shame each other, especially other moms.
You are not allowed to shame another mom who is likely doing her very best — you don't know her story; you don't know how hard it is. If you breastfeed, that's incredible! But not everybody has that ability. . . . Whatever the reasons are, you don't get to judge. Please, please . . . we are supposed to support each other. And never more so than for another mom who is trying her best.
And maybe your intentions were good, but it doesn't feel like that, because as moms, oftentimes we're beating ourselves up for 50 things. So when you come over the top — a stranger or a sister or a best friend — and shame someone further, it only beats them down into the dust; it doesn't make them think that they can take anything on. . . . I have to put this out into the world: please be kind.
Please know that you don't know her story, even if you look at her and make a snap judgment that she should be doing something better, that she could be doing something better — that is not your place. Your place, as a fellow mom and a fellow woman, is just to love and encourage her where she is. Please, be thoughtful with your words.