So this week Cog and I went on our first ever play-date. Maybe it’s weird that it’s our first one since she’s a year-and-a-half old, but whatever. While the other mom and I were chatting she kept saying things like “I know it’s bad, but…” and “I know I probably shouldn’t…”. This is something that I do as well, and you know why? Mom-shaming.
So many moms, and not just moms, really, other people too are critical. They judge every mistake, every tiny detail. When you are a mom people place you under a microscope. This doesn’t happen so much with dads because in this patriarchal world, dads sadly aren’t held up to the same standards as moms. Dads are held up to more human standards, and moms are held up to incredibly impossible standards. Thus mom-shaming.
Moms feel the need to apologize for being who they are, and raising their kid in a way that works for them. It’s not fair. It throws our self-worth in the toilet and causes many moms to have anxiety about their parenting.
Things I’ve been criticized for:
Not letting my daughter have sweets
Not feeding my daughter healthy enough
Nursing too long
Wanting to quit nursing too early
Being too watchful
Not being watchful enough
Not being able to take sexist jokes directed at my daughter
Spending any time away from her
Spending too much time with her
Buying her too many books
Dressing her in boys clothes
Dressing her in a sweater dress
Letting her eat food off of our (clean) floor
Not letting her eat food off of a public floor (“It’ll build her immune system”)
Honestly, it seems like anything that a mom does is open to criticism. I’ve heard people mutter about me under their breath “I wouldn’t let my child…”. In my humble opinion, people who do this can shove it where the sun don’t shine. Being a parent is really hard, made only harder by the fact that everyone has an opinion on how you do it. I mean, obviously, it’s fine to comment and act when there is neglect or where a child’s welfare is concerned, but judging every single decision a mom makes? What you say about others says a lot more about yourself than it does about them.
In addition to everybody having their own parenting methods, there are other factors at play. Not everyone is on the same level. Some of us are battling mental illnesses, others of us don’t have support, or we aren’t doing well financially, or some of us have strong-willed children. Before you judge someone, you must walk a mile in their shoes. If you can’t do that then you have no right to be mom-shaming them (not that you’d have any right to begin with).
Nobody is perfect. N O B O D Y .
What happened to the days of ‘It takes a village’? When did people decide that the only right way is their way? Is the only way we can feel good as parents by saying other people are bad ones? Shouldn’t mums be understanding of each other’s plight? Don’t you think we should be lifting each other up rather than shoving each other down? What are your thoughts?
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