Mom-Shaming is like a sickness. Take something beautiful and corrupt it with words that decay the very thing we love. What's up with all the negative these days? I have a kid. SO WHAT? He's topic of a lot of my conversations and generally the highlight of what's going on in my life. But when others make the choice to Mom-shame, wether it be other mothers or childless acquaintances, it shows the gross disrespect for what it takes to be a parent. You think any of this is easy? It's not. The general attitude these days is so negative. Maybe it's the political climate or the economy, or maybe I just know a bunch of assholes. I don't know what the answer is but let me list some observations of Mom-Shaming and maybe you will get the idea of what we're working with:
The Childless Life Expert: The person with no children who thinks and says everything that comes to their mind, even when it's A) extremely wrong B) extremely offensive or C) unsolicited commentary on how you live your life. Yes I have a child and am a devoted parent. No, I don't live my life as carefree and reckless as I used to. Yes, it is a lot to deal with. No, I don't hate my life...so stop insinuating that I do. It's like this: when I leave the house to socialize (sans kiddo) I need that time away. I liken it to how you feel when you get out of work or finish a big project. We just need a break. It recharges the batteries but when people say such things as "thank God I don't have kids...that must suck" or "you need to get out more, that must suck" I want to run back home to my child...who, by the way, I have left and given up valuable time with. Let's face it, you're not being cool or sound intelligent when you say this...you're just a dick. Just because I have a child doesn't mean that I'm not human. I miss hanging out at the bar til the morning hours, movies whenever I want and eating at great restaurants that don't have an animatronic band and serve shitty pizza. I respect the fact that a lot of people I know have chosen not to have children. That's great. That's not my life but I appreciate yours. When you shame me it hurts, and that's the truth.
The Relatively Annoying Shamer: This is a relative (like, for example, a mother-in-law) that judges and comments on every parental move you make. The little digs, the persistent side-eye, or the flat-out ignoring of your rules...you become like a ticking time bomb. All parents appreciate advice when we need it, but when the relative in question disrespects your authority every time you step through their door it puts distance where the distance doesn't need to be. When this happens, do yourself a favor and nip it in the bud. A respectful, "I appreciate all of your advice and thoughtful consideration of our child, but please remember to adhere to my rules so that we present a unified front and create a cohesive family unit." You're the parent and what you say goes, and that's the truth...Sometimes Granny has to back the hell up.
The FB Shamer: Yes I have a child and I post about said tiny person on social media. I am proud of my accomplishments as a parent. If I hear you say one more time "do you post enough pictures of your kid, I mean geez," followed by an eye roll Someone better hold me back. I will come across the room and put you into time out or put soap in your mouth. You must spend too much time with the "Childless Life Expert" (aka DICK) that I mentioned above. How dare you think that your opinion on what I post to social media regarding my child is a place for you to shame me? You post your stuff and I'll post mine but please...leave your judgment for politics and poor fashion sense. I think my kid is adorable and that's the truth, so deal with it or unfollow me.
The Mom-On-Mom Shame: This is when one Mom shames another Mom/Parent. The worst offense of them all, I believe, because you should know what we're all going through. It's hard enough without having another Mom commenting on your choices as a parent. We all have the same end goal. Survival. So why do we feel like we need to judge one another on how we choose to raise our kid. Listen, he's mine...not yours. So if I don't choose to breastfeed my child until he's 4 or he's not speaking Mandarin in his after school oboe lessons; if he happens to eat a happy meal once in a blue moon or doesn't live off of wheatgrass and barely, it's our choice and by any stretch of the imagination is he going to grow up any less loved or cherished than anyone else's child. I am thankful with every sunrise and sunset for a happy, healthy child. I know some people cannot say the same, so shame on US ALL for this type of preconceived notion that what works for us should be the way everyone else does this parenting thing. The truth is NONE of us are really doing it ALL correctly.
If you're finding yourself in one or all of the categories (remember: to be honest, I have totally been guilty of one or all of these at some point so I'm speaking from experience) please reconsider what seems like no big deal to you, but is actually a huge problem. It's hard enough to be a parent, but it's even harder to feel isolated from friends and society. Being a parent is just a part of who I am. My interests are diverse and expand beyond poopy-diaper discussions. At the end of the day all that I want is to raise a happy and well-rounded child, and you want me to raise a happy and well-rounded child, so stop shaming and start supporting cause this shit ain't easy...#truthbomb.