Prisoners of Shame
Our shame starts at a young age and is carried with us throughout our lives. We are judged from birth. Did Sally crawl before Sarah? Did Joey walk at the right age? Why won’t Sally talk? Milestones were established to ensure babies were healthy and progressing. Parents made a competition of these milestones, feeling shame for the children who didn’t make the grade and having unjustified pride in those who excelled.
We were shamed into good behaviour by our parents, siblings, peers, friends, boy/girlfriends, teachers, employers, partners, and children. We feel guilt and remorse. We have regrets.
We want to be right as mothers. We want to know that the decisions we are making for our children are the right ones, so, we shame those who do it differently, to justify our choices. “I breastfeed” says one mother, “I work” says another, and ‘the battle of the perfect mother’ is on.
Shannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?
For more information check out her website. www.shannonpeel.com