It is everywhere!
What is it? Pretty much a form of bullying but with grown-ups. It is judging other moms for the decisions they make for their children.
It’s been around for a long time – probably forever. But with so much information with pictures and status updates and blogs and Pinterest and and and… it’s kind of in our faces now.
Do you use cloth diapers or disposable? Do you co-sleep or does baby sleep in a crib? Do you feed your kids organic food or does their food contain artificial ingredients? Do you practice baby wearing or do you put them in a stroller? Do you breastfeed or use formula? Homeschool or public school? Stay-at-home or working mom? And lately… are you anti-vaccinations or pro-vaccinations?
Maybe you are strongly on one side or maybe you are a mixture. Whatever your parenting decisions are, I think it comes down to one question:
ARE YOU TAKING CARE OF YOUR CHILDREN?
Are your children getting the nurturing they need from you?
Or are you neglecting them and making them feel unloved?
Likely the answer is the same for you as it is for me and most every other mom out there – WE ARE DOING OUR BEST. We are doing what we think is best for our child. And, sometimes, we might doubt ourselves. Sometimes, we even “Mom Shame” ourselves. I have personally gone back and forth with all of the above questions and tried many different options – just to find what works for me and my child. I have five of them and what works for one doesn’t always work for another.
Admittedly, sometimes I have felt pressured into making certain decisions by other moms:
“I want to make the best choices for my children and so-and-so does this with her kids and they seem well-rounded. I’ll do it like she does!”
Just to find out that it doesn’t work for our family.
Or on the other side – “Her children are super crazy and she does this with them so I will definitely NOT be doing that with my kids!”
Do those statements sound familiar?
Why do we do this?
We are all learning as we go and are constantly evolving as mothers.
We also have the need to be right. The problem with this is – we are only seeing what we know and have “researched” in our quest to be a great mom and when someone does something that goes against what we’ve learned, we tend to judge their choices.
However – we all have different lives. We all grew up in different environments and have had different life experiences. Maybe that mom who chooses to co-sleep with her baby has had several miscarriages and has longed for this child for so long and now that she has him, she wants to snuggle with him all night. Fine. Maybe the mom who uses disposable diapers doesn’t have access to a washing service or her own washer at home. Okay.
Maybe those moms are afraid to speak out in public for fear of being criticized for their choices. And now they avoid going to playdates even though they desperately needs to be around adults sometimes.
How can we stop?
Just stop. Just do not judge. I have done it myself and have had it done to me. Most moms are guilty of it and most know how it feels and it is not good.
We never know why someone is making the decisions they are making and it is absolutely not our place to judge them.
Just be nice and accepting to other moms. We are really all doing the best we can with what we know and what we have been given. Because, really, none of us were REALLY prepared for this Motherhood thing. Ultimately – we all just want to raise good kids.
Let’s encourage one another with love instead of blame. Let’s just stop the Mom Shaming.
Hey – you! Mom reading this – You are doing a great job! Keep it up! Your kids know they are loved and they are blessed to have you as their mommy!