Today is February 27, 2019, which is pink shirt day. If you have children I am sure you are aware of pink shirt day. It is a day we all wear pink to stand up against bullying. What a great cause! However, on this day there is one form of bullying that is often overlooked: Mom Shaming.
Being a mom is quite possibly one of the hardest and most thankless jobs out there. If you worked for a boss that often screamed in your face and kicked you during a diaper change I am sure you would quit. Obviously, there are a lot of great moments: snuggles after a long day, hugs and many kisses. I think we can agree that we are all doing the best we can with the tools we have been given. Can we please start treating each other as such?
Have you ever been nervous about posting a picture or feeling like you needed to add a disclaimer so people realize you aren’t a bad mom? I remember looking at a friend’s recent picture of her little guy. He had learned to hold his bottle (one of the greatest accomplishments for mom’s sanity! Yay freedom). I remember thinking, “Wow I wish Hailey could hold her bottle!” as I went to the comment section to write just that I noticed someone else’s comment. “You know he really shouldn’t be laying down to drink. It is so dangerous!” A bit of debate ensued. Why would this person take a loving photo taken by a mother and make it into anything but that? You have little to no idea what happened before, during or after that photo was taken and if you are that concerned with the child’s safety you should speak to the parent privately. If you call someone out publically you are a bully and you are mommy shaming.
The other day I was so proud of Hailey. We went to a birthday party at a kid’s gym. She was showing such bravery and determination. I had taken a video of her climbing up a slide but before I posted it I had a thought, “would someone say something about me allowing her to climb the slide at 14 months old? Is that too young?” The slide did have a coating that made it tacky so I knew she wasn’t going to slip and I was right there. I decided to add a disclaimer.
Every child needs to be parented differently. My choices for my child are just that: “My CHOICES”. If you are not the father or the mother of a child you do not get an opinion. I have chosen to limit the amount of sugar Hailey gets. I have an insane sweet tooth and it has been a real struggle for me. Sugar is fun but doesn’t have much in the way of nutritional value. I have been told I am nuts, crazy, stupid, and not fun. I don’t really care what you think. This is a decision my husband and I (let’s be honest mostly me lol) have made. It doesn’t make me a better parent than you and it certainly doesn’t make me a bad parent.
Whether you work 70 hours a week or stay at home – You are a great mom. Whether you bottle feed or breastfeed – You are a great mom! Whether you feed your kids organic kale smoothies or ice cream – You are a great mom! Someone else’s great mom-ness does not invalidate your great mom-ness.
Let people make the decisions they feel are best for their children. If you have a genuine concern for a child’s safety (Yours or theirs) speak to the parent privately and leave the shame at the door. I guarantee if you speak to this person about the research you have found, or what your doctor has mentioned in a factual non-shaming conversation they are a lot more likely to listen. If your concern is really for the child isn’t that what you want?
So again, for the people in the back, “NO MORE MOM SHAMING”. Let’s stand together to raise the best kids we can! The best way to teach your kids to be kind is to lead by example.