Double standards are still very much at play when it comes to parenthood.
Being a new mum is supposed to be one of the most fulfilling times in your life. But it seems like as soon as your child is born, a target is immediately slapped on your back that gives other mums - and anyone who has ever known a mum - free reign to tell you what you’re doing wrong. You’re breastfeeding too much or too little; you're not losing the baby weight fast enough, you shouldn't be leaving your child with "a stranger" - no matter what, it's never the right thing.
Criticising new mums is far too easy. Non-parents have the luxury of ignorance, whilst mothers with older children can feel the need to tell people how they did it differently. Mum-shaming is so common that around 61% of new mums say they’ve experienced it. Disciplining methods topped the list for most-shamed topic, whilst napping, child safety and breastfeeding were high up there too. It begs the question: Can you ever win as a new mum?
Mum-shaming is by no means exclusive to us mere mortals. Everyone from Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigen to Reese Witherspoon and Victoria Beckham have come under fire, whether it be for their personal parenting choices or, as more often the case, just for living their lives.
Now the latest celebrity mum to face the critics is Amy Schumer. After giving birth to her first child just two weeks ago, Schumer took to Instagram to announce that she was "back" as she posted an image of her performing stand-up and cue the nasty comments.
"Already???? That’s insane!!! And inhumane. Contract or not you need to be allowed at least 6 weeks for maternity", one comment read. People hit her with direct messages asking her to "take some time". One user asked: "Didn't you birth a human like 5 minutes ago?". There were also other comments that were even more unnecessary, referring to Schumer's placenta - but that's a conversation for another day.
Proving the best way to fight Instagram comments is with funny, Schumer responded by posting a photo of her herself sitting on a bed in underwear and a pumping bra, rubbing her eye as she pumps breast milk whilst "sending love" to those who shamed her.
Sadly, Amy Schumer was not the first mum to be shamed and nor will she be the last. While most mums are shamed over returning to work too soon - or at all, Meghan Markle experienced mum-shaming in an entirely different way. When news broke that the Duchess of Sussex was skipping out on the tradition of posing for photographs with the new royal baby just hours after labour, critics came for Meghan.
The keyboard warriors were mysteriously quiet though, when new dad Prince Harry was back at work just three days after Meghan Markle gave birth, jetting to the Netherlands for the official launch of the 2020 Invictus Games.
"You are amazing, Harry," read one Instagram comment. "Love your heart," gushed another fan.
Comparing the public's reaction to new mum Amy Schumer going back to work (and shaming Meghan for not returning to the spotlight "early enough") and new Dad Prince Harry doing the same really highlights the fact that double standards are still very much at play when it comes to parenthood.
From sleepless nights to learning how to master nappy-changing, surely, being a new parent is hard enough without judgement – regardless of whether you're the mum or the dad.