Assessment is a process that is inherent in human nature. Psychology has long studied the theory of attribution, which is a shortened thought process aimed at attributing certain traits to someone. Intuition, first impressions, and knowledge about a small part of a person’s life provoke this procedure. It is very painful because it disrupts the difficult process of building a personal, coherent self-image, self-esteem, or sense of self-worth. Additionally, negative evaluations provoke a sense of rejection, and the need for belonging is one of the fundamental ones.
Stop criticizing moms
Iwona Kilińska, the author of the “#StopKrytyceMam” campaign, thanks to her survey in which 200 women with children participated, showed that 95% of moms experienced criticism, lecturing, mockery, hate, shaming, and judging. 84% of moms lectured or criticized another mom, and 77% responded to their own criticism with criticism towards other mothers. 69% of the criticism was about feeding. These data show how significant this phenomenon is. Another source of judgment is online groups and forums, where topics such as feeding and changing diapers generate cruel bullying comments towards women.
Resigning from work
In Poland, 70% of women are economically inactive. This is a significant change after communism. They take care of children and parents. 77% of Poles believe that the most important task for women is being a mother and taking care of the household. It is difficult for men to accept women’s desire to return to work quickly. Often, women decide to resign from employment due to wage inequality. For these reasons, there is a problem with making decisions about life after giving birth to a child, both individually and in partnership
Life with a newborn
Women don’t really know what life with a newborn at home will be like. In the past, in multigenerational homes, they could count on help from mother, grandmother, or sisters. Now, they are often left alone. Still, most of the content about motherhood is sugar-coated, which further contributes to growing frustration. They ask themselves why they don’t perceive motherhood in a similar way? For comparison, in Scandinavian countries, right after leaving the maternity ward, fresh parents spend a week in a postnatal hotel to learn how to take care of the new family member.
According to a study by the Social Communication Foundation in 2006, fathers spent as much time taking care of their child as smoking one cigarette. Additionally, it was more difficult for them to take longer periods off work due to the child. Now, paternity leave is being increasingly used, but the PR of a father and the PR of a mother differ significantly. What is most often seen on social media is fathers experiencing adventures, fun activities, and play with the child. Mothers do all the chores around, laundry, cleaning, feeding, and putting the child to sleep. When a man takes paternity leave, he becomes a national hero. A woman does not become a national hero when she returns to work and performs all the duties she did before giving birth.
Menopause is still a taboo subject, and this may have come about because the topic of climacterium was medicalized and its symptoms were demonized. Additionally, the menopausal period is associated with the image of an old woman, a caregiver, involved in the lives of her family once again, this time in the home of her children. The opposite of this theory is the desperate clinging to youth. The most important thing during this period is finding a golden mean and living in harmony with oneself. It is worth fighting against stereotypes about hormones, which do not govern women but have a significant impact on them. Hormones adapt the body to changes. Unfortunately, it is easier to tell an upset woman that she reacts this way because she is going through a difficult time than, for example, apologizing for not doing something she asked me to do several times until she exploded.