Being a mom is hard work, and anyone who is a mom can relate. So why is it that we “mom shame?” Have you ever been the victim of mom shaming? Have you ever done the mom shaming? I am the first to admit that I mom-shamed the crap out of people BEFORE I was a mom. I just didn’t get it. “Why is your child throwing a tantrum in the middle of the food store? Ugh! Get them under control!” “Why is your kid so snotty, can’t you wipe their nose?” I vividly remember thinking that to myself numerous times, and substitute “food store” for a restaurant, mall, Target, you name it.
One time that sticks out in my head was on the way to our honeymoon. My husband and I splurged on first class seats, because why not, its our honeymoon! I was so giddy, happy, and newly married. I will also add, childless. Yes, I will gladly take that complimentary glass of champagne… keep ‘em coming! Everything was going fantastic, until… a mom and a toddler came into first class and sat RIGHT behind us. Great. Isn’t there a rule about children in first class? There should be. My husband is the calm one out of the two of us, so he told me to relax, be quiet, and just drink my champagne. About halfway through the flight, it started. The crying, kicking of seats, yelling, you name it. The thoughts going through my head were too bad to say out loud. I kept thinking… “Why aren’t you controlling your child? You’re ruining my experience!” My husband even gave me “the look” several times when he thought I was going to say something that I couldn’t take back. As we were leaving the flight, the mom looked exhausted, and apologized to everyone around them. The old me was praying they weren’t going to the same place we were. Can I get a refund, please? The new me empathizes with her.
Fast forward a few years, and NOW I get it. “You’re STILL breastfeeding? Isn’t your baby almost a year old?” That is still one of my favorites. “You mean, you are going BACK to work? Who is going to raise your baby?” “Do something, she is throwing a tantrum in public!” My daughter is usually pretty good and well-behaved, but she has her moments like all kids do. There are a few times that she was out of control in public, and we had to leave because she was causing a scene. Just this past December, she had an epic meltdown when we were on vacation in Disney World. Kicking, screaming, swatting at us, as we took turns carrying her out of the park. If looks could kill… Usually, the looks were from childless people, who just didn’t understand.
As a working mom, I also feel like I am the victim of mom shaming pretty often. I am a mom first and foremost, but I also have a life of my own. Exercising, spending time with my husband, friends and family, and shopping are all things I enjoy. Sometimes I get comments from people asking why I am going out to workout, when I should be home with my daughter. It’s hard, and I feel guilty. But do I stop being me just because I am a mom?
I have only been a mom for 2 ½ years, so there are definitely people more experienced than me, but here are a few things that I tell myself when mom shaming happens:
- They Don’t Understand – Either they don’t have kids themselves, or they are older and can’t remember what it is like to have young kids.
- It’s Not Me, It’s Them – In my experience the comments aren’t really about me, it’s about them and their insecurities.
- A Happy Mommy Is A Healthy Mommy – I thank my blog partner, Melissa, for this one. She reminds me that if I don’t take care of myself, then how am I supposed to be a good mom? Everyone deserves some time for themselves.
- Don’t Obsess Over The Shaming – This is something I am constantly working on. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I am easily thrown off by a negative comment.
- Take Time To Reflect – Before I lash out at the shamer, I remember that I once was the shamer. It all comes full circle.
- Stay Positive – Remember that you are doing your best for you and your child(ren). You got this, mama!
We’d love to hear from you! Share some of your tips for dealing with Mom Shaming.
Follow our journey! Click the button below to subscribe to our newsletter.