Mom shaming: When you shame a mom on the Internet, at the school, at playdates, or anywhere for that matter. Anyone can be afflicted with this disease of the heart. It has been seen in mom’s and non-mom’s alike.
This “disease” takes on many different sizes, shapes and forms. I hear more and more people with a lack of understanding or knowledge of other parents’ circumstances, choices or decisions regarding their kid(s) and it seems to be contagious. Instead of being supportive they assume they know and comment negatively. Most of the carriers of mom shaming don’t have the ability to empathize with challenges of other parents, but have no problem telling them how they’re wrong and how they should be doing it or should have done it better. Remember, hindsight is 20/20.
I read this article today and, yeah, the mom was obviously having a rough day. It was Mother’s Day, her kids were too young to do anything for her, she was single, and she was reading all these wonderful things wonderful husbands were doing for their wonderful mommy wives and she was upset/frustrated or whatever. Is what it is, but what really got me were the comments. It wasn’t hang in there it’ll get better, or “Happy Mothers Day” I’m sure your kids appreciate you more than you know, etc. No, a lot of them were: You need therapy. Your kids should be taken from you. What kind of mother are you? You don’t love your kids and it’s obvious. Your kids are going to grow up with problems because they can tell you don’t like them. Etc. It just went on and on. I truly couldn’t believe it.
I think I’m a top-notch mom (big grin on my face and happy dancing…okay, maybe not happy dancing but feeling pretty sure of myself as I say this…okay, maybe not sure of myself, but a little sure….), but I have had some bad days. Here are some prime Mom Shaming opportunities.
- I’ve had to rush my daughter to the ER before. —- Milla drank the children’s Advil I left on the table while getting her some water. I was SURE this was going to put her into a coma and they may need to pump her stomach. I measured it quickly and arrived at ER telling them she had 3-4 tablespoons and they laughed and said she’d sleep good after checking her out. Still feel guilty about it though.
- I lost my daughter in a McDonald’s playhouse and called the police. — I was sure some pedophile had stolen my beautiful, little princess and I had every episode of Law and Order SVU running through my mind. Cici was hiding under the slide the whole time. I was up the playhouse, all around it, questioning parents and generally in a paranoid frenzy. Cici thought it was hilarious. We found her when she started uncontrollably giggling. Yep…I never went back to that McDonald’s. I mean, how could they leave that space under the slide that she could fit in? lol. j/k. My fault. No more hide and seek with the kids. They’re getting too good at it.
- My daughter has pooped in an aisle at Party City. — Yes, that’s right. Pooped. Full on blowout. Cici was looking at Little Mermaid party gifts next to me when she tooted and I was like, “geez sister, peeyoo”. However, when I looked at her she had deer and headlight eyes and then I saw it running out her pant leg. O.M.G. . Me scooping her up, “Me: Cici where is your PullUp? Cici: On Ellie (her baby doll) at home.” Can you say MORTIFIED? Disgusted? Gagging?
I can only imagine what the other parents at the ER, McDonald’s, and Party City were thinking. AND, these are just three examples that immediately come to mind. This doesn’t include Milla’s corn starch snow angels in the kitchen, Cici’s injured mouse friend (EEK), or a multitude of others. Kids are kids, parents are human. Some of these things are ridiculously funny to look back on, some of them were learning opportunities for them (reviewing stranger danger and why not to hide from mommy) or for me (the lid on everything should always be on tight and up high even if they’re sick for their safety-Advil or my sanity-Cornstarch). Granted, there are exceptions to every rule and you can argue the gray areas. But most of the stuff I hear isn’t gray area it’s just straight mean — so let’s review some basic human principles:
- No one is perfect. Not you, not her, not him, not the President, not anyone.
- Venting is a release of built up emotions. I might feel overwhelmed and say “I need a vacation”, but I personally can’t be away from my kids for much time before I’m calling/texting/ready to get back to them.
- Just because someone is having a bad day, doesn’t mean they’re a bad parent.
- Your way of parenting is not better than their way of parenting. It’s just different.
- Being a parent has ups and downs. Things will get better, then they might get worse, then better, rinse, repeat. So lend an ear, or a hand, and be supportive of others.
I realize it’s a day and age of reality TV: Kardashians, Dance Moms, Teen Moms, Real Housewives, etc. It’s a digital age where we are fed the lives of others and expected to have an opinion on it. However, try to realize being a parent isn’t a reality show. Being a parent is caring for and loving a little person so much you would do anything for them. REAL parents are constantly trying to improve, do the best, and be the best for their little people. This life is better than reality TV because it’s REAL–unedited, unreviewed, moment by moment living. Embrace it, enjoy it, and learn from it because none of us are perfect and so many of us are truly, desperately trying our best.