13 January 2015

Dear Mom Shamers: Here's 5 Ways to Cut That Shit Out



It seems to me that mom shaming has been a worse epidemic than the flu as of late. It's a not-so silent but deadly virus that has a way of creeping into your mind and when it spreads, it kills your fellow moms’ self-esteem, confidence and respect in parenting. Unlike some diseases that slink around quietly in dark corners and look for places to hibernate, the mom shaming virus has a loud and presumptuous host that likes to be all up in your face and in your business.

Mom shaming takes on many different sizes, shapes and forms. The most easily recognizable symptoms in a host suffering from mom shaming are those with a lack of understanding, empathy and knowledge of other parents' circumstances, parenting choices and decisions regarding their kid(s) yet, assume they know and comment anyway. Most of the carriers of mom shaming don't have the slightest clue as to the individual challenges other parents or children possess yet, they seem to have no problem telling you how you're consistently doing it wrong and how you should be doing it better when it comes to the choices you make for your child(ren).

Other symptoms of mom shaming include, but are not limited to:

·         A very closed-minded individual coupled with a loud, overbearing mouth which is willing to yap and bark at all times and in reaction to any and all parenting issue, discussion or Facebook comment thread.
·         A know-it-all who refuses to accept that their point of view or position on a topic may not be the only view to consider in a parenting situation or issue.
·         A high and mighty sense of worth and "wealth of knowledge.” A "Tsk, tsk sweetie..." mentality.

Common side effects of being exposed to a person with the mom shaming virus include mental, emotional and physical exhaustion. At times, you may feel weak, self-conscience, depressed and have feelings of low self-esteem as a parent.

But there is hope.

To those of you who find yourselves constantly dealing with the barrage of self-righteous, know-it-all parents, here's my non-board certified medical advice to you...


Okay, all sarcasm aside, let's get serious for a minute about mom shaming. This is a problem I've noticed more and more lately among parents - specifically mothers. Why is this? Why do some women make it their business to be up in everyone else's business? Furthermore, isn't parenting hard enough without having to listen to someone who makes you feel like a bad parent simply because of the choices you make for your child?

Why are we so hard on other moms?

The short answer?

Because we all think our way is the right way and if you don’t agree, then you’re automatically wrong. #sadbuttrue 

So what can we do to end mom shaming and judgment?

ONE. Realize that no one is perfect. As you’re judging and shaming away, did you ever stop to think that maybe something you’re doing isn’t quite up to par or right? We are all guilty of something. No one ever has this parenting gig completely figured out. I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. Other moms aren’t perfect and it’s OKAY. There has never been a perfect mother in the history of the universe and guess what? The world is still spinning. Allow all mothers and fathers to make mistakes with grace. It’s the only way we all learn to grow as people and parents.

TWO. Only give advice when other moms ask for it. I will be the first to admit that this one has been hard for me at times because when I see someone who I think is struggling, I immediately want to jump in and help but what I see as a “problem” or a “struggle” may be completely normal for the parent in question. I’ve come to learn to offer advice only when it’s asked for and explain what has worked best for me, but otherwise, just listen or leave it alone.

THREE. Understand that all moms are doing the best they can. Realize that just like you, other moms are trying to find what works best for them and their unique family. Each parent makes thoughtful decisions based on their family’s needs and it will not always be the same as what your family needs. Respect your boundaries and keep the focus on your family only.

And if for some reason none of these suggestions seem to work for you, there is always the one tried and true method that never fails...

FIVE. Simply mind your own business. Unless you sincerely feel that a mother is putting their child {ren} in harm’s way that will result in permanently harming or scarring the child, stay out of it. You may not know the reason as to why they are doing what they’re doing but you don’t need to know. It’s none of your business. Not your zoo, not your monkeys.

We are all individuals who come from different backgrounds with different beliefs. Not every child is the same nor are they all cut from the same mold. Doesn't it stand to reason that different methods and ways of parenting work for some and not for others? Parenting is hard enough without the mom shaming added to it. Instead, let’s support one another and lift each other up as confident, capable women and parents. The old adage, “It takes a village” may very well be associated with raising kids but I think it also whole-heartedly applies to supporting each other as women in our roles as mothers.


What do you think? What’s your advice for dealing with mom shaming?
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

11 comments:

  1. Brutal honest truth here. Thanks for this reminder.

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  2. Freaking AMEN. I tend to stay out of any Facebook discussions unless directly asked. Also, since becoming a parent (because, you know, before I had my own little monster, I knew exactly how to parent) I've taken to realizing each parent does what they have to to survive. Props to all the mommas (and dads) out there. This parenting gig is no joke.

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  3. Yes. I really don't give much advice unless directly asked. I honestly don't really have any mom shamers around me, and I'm totally happy about it!

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  4. I can think of a whole group of people that need to read this!

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  5. I've been thinking so much about this lately (there you go again, reading my mind) and after careful observation in various mom FB groups, in person, among bloggers...I feel like we have a tendency to bring this on ourselves by qualifying everything. For example, in part of a Chicago mom group on FB and I feel like everyone ensures they write (organic, sugar free, homeopathic, etc.) in front of anything they write. Perhaps I'm the only non-crunchy mom ever, but IT EXHAUSTS ME. To the point I barely blog and rarely go on FB. Let's give ourselves some grace, ladies!!

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  6. I love this post so much. Being pregnant and going through what I believe is best for me is hard for others to expect because they clearly know better. And I never noticed until now how many people out there can be so mean!!

    I honestly don't even express my opinion on anything because it's just my opinion. If someone asks a question or needs just an ear. That is what I am hear for.

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  7. It's so easy to question, judge and place ridicule but I think enough's enough. Why can't we just support each other? I think the worst thing you could do as Mom to another Mom is to judge the road she walks. Every child is different. Every family has it's ways of doing things. Instead of taking the time to be judgy, take the time and support, encourage and connect.

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  8. We see somebody else doing a different way than we would and we think that if they are right than I am wrong and visa versa. I think a lot of the judgy comes from insecurities like that. I like number 5, mind your own business. That kid isn't your kid, that situation is never what it looks like. Just offer some love and support instead! Mom shaming is so ugly.

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  9. What about #4?

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  10. Hope this doesn't make me the judgy asshole....

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