I just found out one of my all time favorites, Jennifer Aniston, is doing a movie called Mean Moms. That is totally fitting because tonight I’m going to be on TV talking about just that. Local ABC affiliate KTUL interviewed me as a “local blogger” to talk about Mom Shaming. I am no expert, but I am pretty sure mom shaming can come in lots of forms. Almost always from ignorance. Once I got to thinking about it I realized I had a lot to say so here it is…
We all know the judgy eyes. The “ERMYGERD” looks we get from other women, especially other moms. The story is Mean Moms and the hot topic of mom shaming. Well I think it’s total crap. Most people need to worry more about themselves and their own families before throwing shade.
(My husband just introduced me to the GIF Keyboard on my iPhone so I am playing around.)
First things first, there is NO right way to parent. We need to keep health, safety, education, and the individuality of our kids in the fore front!!!
Mom Shaming occurs on social media, TV, society or even from the socio geographic expectations of mothers today. I think that since the constant sharing and parenting opinion explosion online, it’s ruined self confidence and mothers being able to trust their intuition. My grandmother and mother’s generation succeeded with amazing grace and flying colors without the judgement that many Mom’s feel today. Why? Because people still had interpersonal conversations and there was NO internet.
So there is real life and then there is social media but the line is being blurred more everyday. When you share your life experiences online someone is going to judge and comment, so be prepared.
I think of the line from Field of Dreams,
“If you build it they will come.”
“If you post it they will judge.”
I am ashamed to admit that I too have judged moms. I have been shamed by both other moms and my own family members. I have been to the point of tears and having my husband call someone asking them to take the comment down. “Kids learn what they see.” “Maybe he needs more attention from his mom.” Really? Wow? How did you come to that expert opinion based on a picture of a toddler?
Here is the thing. Most women are sensitive beings, and moms are on another level of vulnerability because we feel exhausted, frustrated, under appreciated, and dare I say it, jealous, or even worse, envious of others. I am raising my hand right now. Hello. It’s human emotion. If you can honestly say you have never felt any of those emotions then you are prolly a liar, a saint, or on some sort of medication I need to know about. Lately I try and laugh, because there is no such thing as having it all. But, oh how we try! So how do we overcome these demons?
own your truth
embrace the chaos
keep it real
I find comfort, happiness, and even validation when I share my parenting experiences with my mom, sis, and my best friends. I tell them all the disgusting and hilarious things that go on behind the share button. Pictures of laundry piles, and that my kid just pooped on the floor and I need a cocktail or 4.
When my best friend and I walk into public places with our 4 boys under 4, people look at us like we are aliens with 6 heads packing heat. Hello. Its fine! We have to eat too. Sorry I made you annoyed and uncomfortable for a few seconds of your life. COEXIST!
The thought that children should be seen and not heard is absurd and ancient.We are all sorts of crazy. Anyone with sleep deprivation and unrealistic expectations is set up for meltdowns and failures… Sometimes I want to join my one year old’s tantrum and scream in downward dog too. Until you actually participate in a #reallife tantrum and experience the misery, embarrassment, and the utter exhaustion it takes to handle one then… BYE FELICIA!
Our parents and grandparents lived in a different time. They didn’t have to worry about what other people had because it was not continuously shoveled into their face everyday. They didn’t feel pressured to lose their baby weight in 5 weeks. We are supposed to be automatically happy the second our child is born. These unrealistic expectations of the average American mother are overwhelming, to say the least. It can be a losing battle. The CONSTANT comparisons can make even the most confident woman question herself and convictions.
As I have explained in previous posts about my struggles with postpartum depression, I definitely felt judged. Even more so when I would talk about taking medication. People feel they have the right to know and voice opinions no matter what the subject. It is exhausting and honestly sad. For some reason some of us feel like we need to validate our choices while others choose to hide them. What works for some does not work for others. Conformity is not the answer. Acceptance and support is what mothers need.
My mom used to have a couple sayings that would DRIVE ME CRAZY when I was a kid. Now I think they fit in nicely with this post.
“Well that is why Baskin Robins makes 31 flavors,”
“To each his own.”
People judge us. Whether working, staying at home, working from home, part-time working, private schooling, MDO, church-going, atheist, public schooled, home schooled, fast food eating, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, vegan, paleo, city-based, suburb living, farm living, single or married, every woman has the right to choose what is best for her and her children. We do not all have to agree. This is America after all.
I will say it again. What matters is our kids! We need to stop worrying about all the other crap, and focus on what is important.
Building respectful children who learn manners and know how to treat people is our responsibility as parents. Our job is to help them navigate this scary and intimidating world while celebrating their differences and learning to love themselves.
We live in an over-the-top politically correct society. I think this subject of Mom Shaming will continue until someone creates MomBook, which implements rules of courtesy and etiquette. People will continue to give their 2 cents even if they have NO sense at all. Unfortunately there are a lot of ignorant and judgmental people in the world.
Just Happy Mommy