Well before you even give birth, you might be painfully aware of the fact that just as social media has made "the village" of parenthood so much smaller, it is also often a breeding ground for mom shaming. At times, it can be tough not to zero in on the latter and allow it to prevent you from opening up and asking for support for fear of being judged. And then, when you do reach out for help, you might feel sheepish or embarrassed. One mom recently summed this phenomenon up beautifully in a post that's going viral.
Wisconsin mom Shelby Beck took to Facebook on August 20 to share an incident that occurred while she was at the park, alongside a serene image of her L.O. looking at a children's book in the grass.
"This morning, while at the park, I noticed a mama playing catch with her toddler as she swayed back and forth, patting the tush of the newborn tucked tightly against her chest," Beck wrote. "A while later, I glanced up to see her approach me. She shrugged her shoulders and quietly said, 'I’m embarrassed to even ask, but do you happen to have sunscreen we can use?' As if she was somehow ashamed that she forgot to pack sunscreen today."
This lead Beck to write the following open letter to her "fellow mamas."
"Please ask me if I have sunscreen. Ask if I have baby wipes, diapers or even extra snacks.
Ask me if your toddler can sit down and play with us while you find a shady bench to nurse your newborn.
Hand me your phone and ask me to take a picture of you with your sweet babies—we all know mamas aren’t in enough photos.
Ask for help. Ask for love. Ask for anything.
Even though we are strangers, please ask me.
It’s not easy being responsible for little humans but it’s easier if we help each other out.
We’re all in this together."
Since Beck posted the letter, it has wracked up 2.9K comment, a whopping 297K shares, as well as 443K reactions.
Many moms applauded the sentiment. Kimberely Potter wrote, "I 100 percent agree. We are all raising the future and are in this together. We all struggle at some point and nobody should feel ashamed to ask for help."
Brenda Boyle shared, "That is such a beautiful gesture... I wish I had asked for more help when I was a very young mama!"
Shelby Beck later commented in the thread, observing that the reaction proves her heartwarming point, "Since telling my story, I’ve received sweet messages from people all around the world sharing stories of kindness and love. What more proof do we need that regardless of where or how we live, we're all in this together."