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STOP MOM SHAMING

by Tina von Hatten

If you have ever been pregnant or happen to have children it is highly likely that you have experienced mom shaming. According to this survey, 6 out of 10 moms have been criticized about how they parent their young children.

I want to scream this from the highest mountain top and every street corner!

Whatever happened to, “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all”? Is it just me, or has this mommy shaming gotten worse now that we are surrounded by social media? Everyone has an opinion and feels that they HAVE to share it.

Mom shaming hurts women

I’ve seen it happen to others, I’ve experienced mom shaming myself and it is horrifying. Who gives anyone the right to pass judgment on how you raise your child? 

Lysa Terkeurst motherhood quote

It is so easy to pass judgment on another parent. It is easy to pass judgment on the mom of the child who is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store; or the mom who is breastfeeding their child in public; or the one that chooses to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. But do we really have a right to call a woman out on her choice? 

Mom shaming a woman for making a decision that she feels is right for her, her child, and her family is none of our business. If a woman chooses to bottle feed her baby, she shouldn’t be put down for it. You don’t know if she tried breastfeeding, struggled with it, and now carries that guilt in her heart every time she sticks a bottle in her baby’s mouth. She doesn’t need anyone to shame her. Why are we so quick to judge?

It’s none of your business

Now, where there are situations of neglect and abuse, someone needs to intervene. However, that is not what I am referring to. Most moms try to inform themselves on different parenting topics, especially the big ones. 

There are books written on literally everything in regards to children and I have read several myself, but that doesn’t make me an expert. Some advice might work for one child, but it would be detrimental to implement with another. So how can anyone from the outside make that judgment without knowing the situation, the family, or the child? It’s none of our business. 

Outsiders often feel it is their duty to tell a mom that she is wrong. Oftentimes, this is supposed to be meant as constructive criticism. It often comes from well-meaning grandparents, in-laws, and friends. 

Here’s the thing, it is easy to say “YOU’RE WRONG! I’M RIGHT! DO THIS.” It is easy to look in from the outside and pass judgment. Far too easy. But does this advice actually help the mom? More often than not, the mom is left feeling worse than if nothing had been said at all. So maybe everyone would be better off keeping their opinions to themselves.

Moms are people and deserve respect

Being a mom is one of the toughest, messy, exhausting, and most rewarding things I have ever done. Motherhood is tough and anyone who claims otherwise likely isn’t a mom. 

As a mom, you are on call 24/7, you give your life, your body, and sometimes you give up your sanity for your children. Moms are some of the most resilient, strong, and caring people you will ever meet. 

Anyone who is a mom has had moments where she feels that her parenting skills suck. She has days where she wishes she could crawl back into bed and pull the covers over her head. 

I’ve had those days. I’ve had those days where I felt like I was ruining my child or that I didn’t know up from down. On those days, I call up a friend and have a good long chat. I ask for advice because I know that others have walked this path before. 

If a mom asks for your advice, by all means, give it. But if she doesn’t, keep your thoughts and opinions to yourself. Let’s make the world a friendlier place. 

Unsolicited advice:

  • When you see a mom who is having a rough day, say something nice. 
  • Don’t judge. In most cases, you don’t know what she is going through or how much thought she put into her parenting choices.
  • Wait until she asks for your opinion or advice before giving advice and don’t criticize her. 
  • Chances are the other mom feels enough mom guilt and is critical enough of her own parenting that she needs a hug and not harsh judgment. 
  • Think about how you would want to be treated. Do you like people telling you what to do or how you are doing things “wrong”?
  • Be a friend. Moms need to be surrounded by people who empower them and lift them up. They beat themselves up enough as it is.

If you have ever been mommy shamed, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you are not a bad mother.

Tina von Hatten

Tina von Hatten is a homeschooling mom, author, and blogger at http://underthreeacres.com. She and her husband Sascha run a small homestead with their 8 children in rural Alberta.

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