Oh, The Mom Shame
The one HORRIBLE thing about Motherhood that I've discovered (and hate more than anything), is how mean and hurtful other Mothers can be.
Actually, just how mean and hurtful ANY OTHER HUMAN can be towards a Mother.
Why do other people feel the need to hate on a gal just trying to raise her kiddos? I'll never know.. But what I do know, is that it is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS AND POINTLESS, and it needs to stop.
So what are the Mamas around us being shamed for these days?
Here are some examples:
"While I've been judged for having an epidural, buying name brand baby food, the worst shaming has probably come from those who are anti-cloth diaper. People assume it's 'gross', expensive, or even just time-consuming. None of which were the case for me! I would just respond with, "Well, it's my kid's butt, I don't really care what you put on yours."
"I have a 2-year-old named Olivia who was a preemie. I have felt the wrath of mom shaming numerous times, but the one that really affected me the most was being shamed about co-sleeping. My daughter was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism. She still wakes up multiple times a night and after months and months of sleep deprivation I started co-sleeping with her. I frequently get comments like "She will be sleeping in your bed at 16!" You know what? That sounds great. I love to cuddle and think it improves our bond!!"
"Going anywhere with 2 toddlers in tow is a daunting task, but adding special needs into the mix makes it almost panic-inducing. I have my share of "get your child under control" looks, and some people have even been bold enough to comment on my parenting and his behavior while I am trying to keep my 2-year-old safe while dealing with a 4-year-old's public meltdown. Once I worked up the courage to take them to storytime at the library. It was not going well, but I figured once she starts reading the book and singing the songs we will be better, so I am just trying to manage until it starts. The librarian starts by explaining that children need to not be disrupting the class in order to participate. She then stops so everyone can stare at me while I try to carry both of my children out of the room by myself before they continued. I have sometimes wished for a bright neon sign to hang above my son's head that says, "I'm not a bad kid, I just have Autism!" so people would understand instead of making assumptions about me or him. I wish people would stop judging long enough to see past the sensory overload and see how funny and kind and smart he is. Mostly I wish that people would see a mom doing the best she can with her life and smile or offer to help. We miss out on so much when we start judging and shaming others."
"I had a situation where a stranger came up to me and was trying to tell me how I shouldn’t let my daughter bring so many toys with her in the store. I just walked away and ignored her but after made me feel bad because I have many close friends and family members with special needs kids and some of them need to have their favorite toys with them to comfort them. So it made me think of how awful people can be and not even know what someone’s is going through and I couldn’t imagine how bad someone who has a special needs child who needs this would feel."
"I think as the mom of a large family, i have 7 children, people are often shocked at the amount of children i naturally gave birth to. This however does not stop them from the following rude phrases ...
"Do you have a tv?"
"Do you know about contraception?"
" Are they all yours?"
" Why would you want so many children?"
I've never asked a mom of 2 why they don't have more? As moms we should be respecting each others life choices, family sizes and parenting options. Moms need to build a community of support for each other regardless of how many children each mother has."
"My name is Amanda. I am an Aussie mum of 2 children, Hailee-Nicole & Alexander. I was born with a physical disability, known as Spina Bifida. All my life I have been told that either I couldn’t or shouldn’t have children, by so many people. But I wanted to have children... I have, I have had biological children of my own, and proven them all wrong!!"
“I have experienced mom-shaming for how I parented my child with ASD-type tendencies. We are currently going through the diagnostic process after years of therapy and referrals from our pediatrician. One mom had enough of my child’s difficult behavior and said that he was not “normal” and that I was not taking the issue seriously enough. Another mom whose child was diagnosed at a very young age told me that my son could not possibly have ASD since his tendencies were so minimal compared to those of her son. From one direction I am told that I am not taking my son’s needs seriously and from another I am told that I am overthinking his behavior. Both belittled my efforts as a mother and made me feel unsupported and judged. But through these and other experiences, I have learned to always give the benefit of the doubt and to offer encouragement and grace to other moms. We all have bad moments, days, and struggles. When we encounter other moms we can either ease the burden or add to it. I hope to always help lighten the load.”
I will never understand why there is so much negativity in the world. How a person could tear another person down without hesitation. Maybe I've grown soft since becoming a Mom, but it blows my mind how quick people are to make judgement on others.
If I want to give my baby formula instead of breast milk, at least she's being fed.
If I want to use disposable diapers or cloth diapers, does that effect anyone else? Nope. My kids butt is covered.
If my kid throws an epic tantrum in the middle of a store, does that make me a bad Mom? Absolutely not.
If my kid doesn't learn as quickly or as easily as other kids her age, does that mean I'm doing something wrong? Nope. Sure doesn't.
Before you comment or look down on someone else, put yourself in their shoes. How would you deal with their situation? Humble yourself enough to know that everyone in this world has struggles and issues just like yours. You never know what another person might be dealing with, especially another Mom.
Motherhood is one of the toughest jobs, even without all the shaming and criticism.
Be kind. If you put out enough positivity, you might be pleasantly surprised by how much positivity comes back to you in return.