11.06.2017

This Dad is Saying Stop the Mom Shaming

For years, I was the one judging moms going out in public where their kids were in pajamas and I would say, “Is it really that hard to get your kid ready?” Or reverse that and wondering why they themselves couldn’t’ get ready. People this is just the tip of the iceberg with mom shaming. Now being a parent and having been shamed myself I have to say—enough mom shaming!

Mom Shaming in a New-er Way

Years ago there was no such thing as social media. And by years ago I don’t only mean when my parents were kids, but even when I was a kid. In fact, when my sister was having kids social media wasn’t really a thing. Why am I talking about social media? I think we know. Social media has made mom shaming explode even more.

We as parents, and individuals in general, get on social media first thing and in the morning and late at night. Scrolling through all the images and stories we compare ourselves to other parents doing what they feel is best for their child. Then for some reason we think that since they aren’t doing it the same way as us, we have to say something—mom shame.

What things do we mom shame?

When it comes to mom shaming I have some major pet peeves and here are my five biggest:

Breastfeeding.

We get it — you popped out a baby naturally, had more milk than the local dairy farm and your baby latched to your boob effortlessly. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that not everyone had it that simple. And even if moms don’t say it, they can feel really crappy about themselves watching you whip out your boob without missing a beat in the conversation at church.

I hear from friends of mine all the time having a hard time breastfeeding. They have literally tried everything, but sometimes some women just can’t do it. Remember: You don’t know what another mother’s reason is for not breastfeeding. Maybe she can’t, maybe she doesn’t want to or maybe she just survived a double mastectomy from breast cancer and breastfeeding isn’t an option. Whatever it is, trust me when I say, a mother will do everything she can for her child, and she has Google and Facebook just like you. She knows what her options are, so just support her. Enough with the “breast is best” comments. So calm down!

Organic snacks.

Those little Goldfish or bunnies can really define what type of mom you are — or can they? I am guilty of this one myself. One day I am giving my kids the freshest fruits and vegetables while judging those giving kids all the fruit snacks they can. Then we quickly make a stop at Swig and I order them Raspberry Sprite. No parent wants to give their child toxic food, and we’re all trying to be as healthy as we can be, but let’s face it — it’s hard.

One day it’s GMOs, the next it’s synthetic ADA in organic milk. If you choose organic bunnies, that’s totally fine, but stop rolling your eyes when your friend pulls out those old-fashioned Goldfish. And if you’re the one pulling out the Goldfish, don’t feel like you have to make an excuse for why you’re feeding them to your child. It’s OK.

Pinterest parties.

I am 100% guilty of this one myself (check out the animal party we did here). When (and why) did we even start this ridiculous trend? To make ourselves feel bad? It took me forever to get the perfect party with handmade decorations, glorified dessert tables and matching hats for guests. What is wrong with just picking up some cupcakes, balloons, and a simple dollar store “Happy Birthday” banner? Nothing.

I was going to far when I bought these expensive balloons, was taking a picture of my son (he was two at the time), and he let the balloon go. I was so upset and suddenly I realized I had turned into a monster. Of course, you then take 100 photos in hopes of getting one good shot and shamelessly pin, tweet, Instagram and tag it to every social media channel you own — just to make sure all your mom friends have seen it. I was making my child’s birthday not fun, it was becoming a show. At the end of the day what’s more important; the kid or the tiny party details?

Mom jeans and other fashion fails.

So, you dropped the baby weight in two weeks, or you always have time to get a weekly mani/pedi. That’s awesome — good for you. Believe me, if I could find the time I would do it too, but when moms start calling other moms sloppy, it means war. And really, aren’t there days that you just stay in your workout gear because you can’t find time to shower and get ready? Any mom who claims she gets beautiful every day is lying, or a celebrity with 10 personal assistants. (Even Beyoncé wears sweatpants to the playground.) Don’t judge your mom friend if she doesn’t have time to hit up the local salon as often as you. If you’re too cool to be seen with someone in mom jeans or no makeup at lunch, well, then, you just might find yourself eating lunch alone a lot more in the future.

Working moms vs. stay-at-home moms.

I saved the best for last — this war is really bubbling up these days. Mothers slam other moms because they work too much and don’t spend enough time with their kids. Then those moms lash back, saying you have a meaningless life except for catering to your kids. It doesn’t matter which side of this fence you’re on — we’ve all been burned.

Maybe that working mom has no other choice. She may really want to be at home with her kids, but someone has to pay the bills. And maybe the income that’s coming from her husband isn’t enough and there needs to be a balance.

And you — stay-at-home mom — you know there are days when you want to just escape the kids and be an adult, but maybe you can’t because it’s more expensive to pay for day care than it is to be at. When did it become okay to slam a mom for her career or non-career choices? Everyone makes the decisions that work best for them and their family. Just let it go!

At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to be better parents for our kids. No family is the same, so quit comparing yourself to everyone else. Plus, who knows, maybe someone is out there comparing themselves to you. We fight so much to stop bullying for our kids, but then turn right around and bully other parents because they don’t do things the way we think they should. So knock it off. And if I see bullying on social media or in person I will call you out. Believe me, it won’t be pretty.

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