I’m not perfect; I’m guilty of passing judgment and making assumptions and believing that my way of doing things is the right way. I also like to think that I’m pretty good at admitting my flaws – because I’m not perfect. I’m pretty open about my imperfections and the fact that my kids aren’t perfect. I don’t assume I’m doing everything right in the parenting department, but I also believe I’m going a pretty good job at this whole motherhood thing. I mean, my four kids are happy, healthy, cared for and they live a good life; so they have no complaints. They go to bed mostly uninjured at night, they’re happy, they’re loved, they’re well-fed, well-traveled, smart and we provide them with just enough dysfunction and embarrassment to make them awesome.
I know that there are people in my life that mom-shame me; fortunately, I don’t care. My kids have it good. I have it good. We are a happy bunch, so no one else’s opinion matters to me, because I can’t justify unhappiness in my parenting decisions. However, I hear it. I choose to ignore it, because I know how dangerous it is. And no, I am not innocent of mom-shaming. I’ve done it, but I try to reserve my judgment of the parenting styles of others for myself and my husband. Because here is the deal; mom shaming sucks. Kids are tiny little terrorists even when they’re sweet and amazing, and moms are in this together. We are not in this to pit ourselves against one another and make life more difficult than it has to be. I like to surround myself with like-minded parents because we have the same ideas and concepts, and there is no competition.
I’m happy to admit that I do not understand the baby-wearing thing. I don’t let my kids sleep in my bed – and I never will. I am not into attachment parenting (I’m into unattaching my babies from me because I do need a few moments without kids crawling up my behind at every second). I breast fed for a second because my supply sucked, and I don’t feel that bad about it. I give birth to tiny babies and I have to supplement with formula to keep them healthy and, you know, alive. I’m okay with that. I didn’t let my kids cry it out, but they all sleep through the night before they were 3-4 weeks old, and I’m proud of that. I don’t believe in letting my kids rule my life. I don’t believe in having kids you can’t afford. I believe that kids should be taken on vacations and should get to experience the world. I don’t believe in catering to my kids every second of every day; they need to learn to entertain themselves. I also don’t believe in trophies for participation. I believe in healthy competition and I believe in letting kids be kids.
But guess what? I also don’t care if you think differently than I do. As long as your parenting is not hurting your kids, or my kids, I don’t care what you do. If you do everything differently than me, I don’t care, but I don’t understand why you care so much about how I parent.
Mom shaming sucks. Our kids are all little monsters at time. They’re not perfect. They’re not; sorry moms on Facebook pretending their kids are perfect – we all know you are a big, fat liar. And we all know that we’ve been there with the kids in the middle of supermarket in the midst of a meltdown. We should be supporting one another. Kids are not always easy, but that doesn’t mean we need to be hateful. No one is perfect – parents or kids. I’m here to tell you why I think that mom shaming is dangerous. Maybe my opinion might not change the world, but maybe it will help one or two moms who are shaming others to stop. Or maybe it will make one or two moms in the middle of feeling ashamed of their own parenting skills learn to let go of what other people think and do what they feel good about.
The new trend is a bad one; it’s mom-shaming in a way that’s far more public. It’s video-taping or photographing a woman doing something in public that someone might not agree with and then posting it on social media. It’s wrong; it’s disgusting, and it’s not always what it appears to be. Videos and photos are easily manipulated and edited, and it’s not productive. It’s never all right to video tape a woman breast feeding in public and posting it to the internet no matter how you feel about it. It’s not all right to video a woman yelling at her child and post it online. Want to know why? You never know what these moms are going through. That woman feeding her kid in public? Maybe she likes to breast feed her baby and that’s it. Or maybe she cannot afford a pump or formula, and this is the only way her kids can eat. That woman yelling at her kids? Maybe she is rude. Or maybe she’s going through something you have no idea about, and she’s at her wit’s end. You don’t know; so why make it more difficult on women?
Mom-shaming is bullying
Ladies; judging other mothers for their parenting style is just plain bullying. There is no right or wrong way for anyone to parent. We are all doing the best that we can, and we can’t do anything else. Who wants to be a bully?
What kind of example are you setting for your kids?
When you mom-shame other moms for their choices (choices, quite frankly, you have no idea why they made), you show your kids that they can take the place of judge. That’s not their job. It is not your job to make other mothers feel badly about not breast-feeding, or choosing to work or not having a choice in the matter when it comes to working outside the home. When you do this, you show your kids how to be tiny little jerks. Not cool.
You’re setting others up for failure
I know of a mother who spends her time making sure she tells the entire world why everything she does with her kid is right and everyone else is wrong, as if she is the only person with a kid in the world. Everything she does is right and no one can tell her any differently because they are wrong; but she can tell you how wrong you are about everything. She is a self-proclaimed expert on all things from breast-feeding to sleeping to car seats to medical information to clothing to diapers to everything in between – and she is actually the only person who cares. For me, watching her is amusing since I feel, personally, that my own way is superior. Not that I’d mention it, because again, I don’t care. But, it does make me very sad to see the reactions of others who are constantly questioning their own parenting because this person is so adamant about pointing out to them that they are wrong. Some people don’t have big personalities and some people aren’t confident in their parenting, and that means you’re making their job even more difficult. Let it go.
It speaks highly of your own insecurities
When you spend so much time judging others for their parenting choices, it makes most everyone else assume that you are deeply insecure. I prefer moms who do things their own way without forcing their opinions on others. I think all moms do. I think that when moms want to know what you’re doing in a parenting situation, it’s because they’re looking for advice. I feel moms will ask for advice when they want it. If they don’t ask for it, don’t give it. It makes you seem defensive and insecure, and it cannot be good for your own confidence.
Mom-shaming can make others feel bad
No one is perfect. I get a lot of mom shaming in my life because I’m vain and I enjoy materialistic items. I make time every morning before my kids wake up to do my hair, makeup and choose a stylish ensemble. That’s important to me. When I feel I look good, I feel confident and ready to tackle the day. But I get a lot of mom shaming for that in the way of hearing passive aggressive comments such as “Moms who look perfect are more concerned with themselves than their kids,” or “It must be nice to feel comfortable enough to ignore your kids to focus on you,” or “I could never be that selfish.” I also have some OCD cleanliness issues and my house is not dirty. I get a lot of “Good moms have messy houses.” No, good moms have messy houses, clean houses, okay houses, no houses; good moms have happy kids – and my kids are happy in their clean house. Mom-shaming makes people feel bad about themselves and their choices. So being clean and well-kempt is now a sign of a bad parent? Those who mom shame can take anything and turn it around; there is always a way for these women to make other moms feel bad. I refuse to feel poorly about getting up at 5 am to take care of me or about having a clean house or car. Sorry.
It’s just not nice
Really; we are all entitled to our opinions. But they should be left at that. Discuss it with your husband. Think it to yourself. But keep quiet.
No one has time for this stuff
Really, no one. If you have time to try and pick out the flaws in everyone else to make yourself feel better, you have too much time on your hands. Allow me to suggest you use your ‘internet’ time to do something more productive.
It’s going to lose you friends
It’s true. No one wants to be friendly with someone who constantly puts others down. We’re in this together. It’s not a competition. Our kids are all individuals, and it’s just a little ridiculous to me that so many of us feel the constant need to put others down. I don’t want to be friendly with women like that. Why be that woman?
It might mean you’re not happy with yourself
People who like to make other people feel badly about things tend to have issues with themselves. Here’s an idea; focus on what makes you feel unhappy with you and fix it. Being unkind to others does not make you a better person. It makes you a bitter person. Guess what? When you do something nice for someone else, it can change your whole world. Try it.
It’s just plain stupid
Can I get an amen?
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