Anyone planning on mum-shaming Kate Beckinsale for having a life post-motherhood had better be prepared for the clap back.
On Monday night the 43-year-old actress took to Instagram to share a video of herself dancing with her mates.
To most of the world it looked like the ‘Underworld’ star was having the time of her life, throwing some shapes on a night out. Good for her.
But one social media user didn’t see it that way and didn’t think the mum should be out enjoying herself, but at home looking after her children. Yawn.
“Go home and take care of your kids. Hehe!” the user commented.
Infuriating in so many ways, including the fact that Kate only has one daughter, who is actually 18 years old. Gah!
Thankfully though Kate was more than capable of firing back.
“What’s amazing is it is no longer the 18th century so now that my one child is grown I don’t have to stay home (while she’s out with her own friends) playing the pianoforte, getting consumption or trying to secure her a marriage,” she responded on Instagram.
“But thank you for the quaint blast from the past.
“Oh and I can vote now too!” she added.
*clapping hands emoji*
Maybe she’s been taking fight-back lessons from Chrissy Teigen in terms of epic responses to mum-shamers, but Kate’s well-judged comment obviously touched a nerve as she quickly got an apology from the original poster.
“It’s just a joke. I guess a horrible one. Lol. Sorry,” he wrote.
But while it’s easy to dismiss the incident as some light-hearted lols, the comment proves that people still think they have the right to comment on, and judge, women’s behaviour.
Does Kate not have the right to enjoy a night out with her friends merely because she’s a mother? Should all mums hang up their dancing shoes the minute they give birth?
Chrissy Teigen faced a similar backlash when she went out to dinner with husband John Legend, leaving her baby daughter, Luna at home. You know, because how dare she have a normal life now that she’s a mother.
Like Kate, Chrissy doesn’t let the trolling get her down and we’ve come to love her witty retorts putting the keyboard warriors well and truly back in their boxes.
“I went to dinner. People are pissed. Good morning!” she tweeted after getting shade for her baby-free date night.
But mums shouldn’t have to defend themselves for having a night-off. It’s hard enough to find the time to hang out with your friends post-parenthood, without having to face the judgy judgy comments of strangers who believe those who don’t spend every second, of every day doting over their offspring are bad parents.
Wanting, or in fact needing, time out from parenting doesn’t make you a bad mum, in fact I believe it makes you a better one.
Don’t underestimate the positive power a night away from the kids can have on a frazzled mum. A chance to escape the nappies, the wet wipes, the potty training and rediscover a little of who you were pre-baby.
Even the most devoted parent needs time to just switch off and be ‘them’ for a while. To remind themselves of the person they are away from their family.
Being able to actually concentrate on an entire conversation without having one ear out for a crying baby or having to piece together what someone else is saying through the constant ‘mum?’ interruptions can be utterly blissful.
And let’s not forget how mentally therapeutic fun and laughter can be.
Sometimes mums just need to be people for a while, to let their mind be theirs for a few hours. For their brains not to be filled with school runs and sandwich fillings, to kick back and let loose – eat, drink, dance, enjoy.
Grown-ups aren’t the only ones who benefit from their mums taking some time-out. A night out with your friends offers some much needed recuperation, which often means you can return to mum-duties feeling refreshed and reinvigorated. Happy mum, happy baby and all that.
There’s the question of sexism in all this shaming too, because while mums on a night out often do so under the scornful gaze of the guilt-police, dads rarely receive the same level of scrutiny.
Just ask John Legend. While Chrissy’s parenting skills were called into question just for going out for dinner, her husband, an equal parent, was not subject to the same criticism.
Something he himself noted when he took to Twitter to question the parent-shaming divide?
“Funny there’s no dad-shaming. When both of us go out to dinner, shame both of us so Chrissy doesn’t have to take it all. We’ll split it,” he said.
So let’s all ease up on the shaming mums for daring to have a night out shall we?
Because your ability to want and need to have fun doesn’t stop the minute you become a parent, and nor should it!
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