Mommy Shaming. Guilty?
Updated: Mar 29
I can’t believe they let their toddler sleep with them.
Who does that? Feed kids pizza and all that processed food?
I would NEVER give my baby formula. Do you know what’s in that?
Her son is still in diapers? He is 3!
She is poisoning her kids with vaccines.
OMG, She’s still breastfeeding?
You have to be kidding! She is a stay-at-home mom and she hired a Mother’s Helper!
This type of judgmental rhetoric happens in preschool parking lots, playgroups, online, and anywhere moms gather with their little ones. I have always been quite surprised by the blatant attacks moms launch on other moms who are most likely doing what they think is best for their child(ren). I started to ask, “Why?” What's the point? Don't we need to support each other and be there for each other when things go sideways? Shouldn't we be cheering for each other and sharing tips on how to get your toddler to sleep rather than judging where he sleeps? I thought we’d look at a few reasons this ridiculousness is happening.
Fatigued and Overwhelmed
Yes, we are tired. We are spread thin. We are caffeinated and snappy. We can’t attack our two-year-olds when they throw a tantrum because they don’t want to leave the playground. So next best, attack another mom. We go home tired and horrified that our toddler slapped us in the middle of the playgym, go online and rip another mom for co-sleeping with her 2.5-year-old or vaccinating her baby.
Envious and Disappointed
It seems like some women just have it ALL. The mom who is able to hire a mother’s helper although she is not working, the mom who has gotten pregnant so easily and effortlessly with no problems (it just happened!), the mom who married the perfect guy who is this and that and on top of it...he’s handsome or rich, the mom who somehow is in fantastic shape with all parts up and perky, prancing around at the poolside with a baby on her hip and her two-year-old in tow, the mom with the perfectly spaced apart kids (almost two years to the date!), I can go on and on because from what I’ve experienced, the list is long. This can cause disappointment in any woman who is not grounded in security and is having feelings of worry and fear. Like attracts like and moms in this delicate state of being and feeling band together and go for the jugular.
Exasperated and Edgy
Have you ever given unsolicited advice to another Mom? I remember a time when I was at the library with my son and he did not want to leave. As I was putting him in the stroller and buckling him in, he started hitting my arm. A nearby mom started telling me how I have to not allow him to do that and how I MUST tell him if he hits again, I will hit him back. Then give him the death stare. “For his own good and for you to strengthen as a parent”. Her exact words. He was 25 months old.
I know this mom was trying to help, but she came off as aggressive and judgemental. She continued telling me how fed-up she was trying to do it all and needed to leave.
Being a parent isn't the easiest and at least for me, I get overtaxed and cranky, especially at the end of the week. We moms, no matter our circumstances, are doing our best to do it all and this can weigh heavy with irritation and grouchiness setting in.
We are quick to snap, exhausted, and worried we are messing up these beautiful little souls we love so wholeheartedly. We are doing our best, or so we think and we are judging others because our inner monologue is one of fear, worry, and doubt. We can do much, much better Ladies. We, moms, need each other! We need to support each other in the journey of motherhood. I need to know I’m not the only mom who feels like I don't know what I'm doing or that my daughter ate chicken nuggets and a crayon. Let’s build up to not knocking each other down, let’s celebrate rather than deflate. Let’s set an example of support and camaraderie for our kids. It's what we want for them, isn't it?