10 Ridiculous Things Moms Shame Other Moms For (So Maybe Stop?)

By
Share
Ad failed to load

When I first found out I was pregnant, I looked forward to the days ahead when I would make new mom friends. I imagined us reveling in the elasticity of our yoga pants and laughing at the shit our kids would say or do, convinced I was joining a special club of solidarity; a sisterhood; a tribe. Unfortunately, it didn't take long to realize that my new "tribe" wasn't all it was cracked up to be. I started noticing all of the ridiculous things moms shame other moms for, and realized that while I would find some wonderful mothers to share my parenting journey with, I would also be spending a significant amount of my time either defending my choices in the face of judgement, or choosing to ignore mothers who shamed me for my parenting decisions.

Who even knew that mom-on-mom bullying was a thing? Certainly, before I became a mom myself, not me. Alas, mom shaming is an unfortunate, yet somewhat significant page in the book of motherhood that almost every mother has experienced, in one form or another. I am lucky enough to have found a supportive group of mom friends, but I wasn't always so fortunate, especially in the beginning. There were times during my first weeks and months as a mother, when I was ridiculed or judged or questioned or even shamed for some of my parenting decisions. I'm all for becoming a better parent and gaining new knowledge, but some of the rude and blatantly judgmental comments I received were never intended to better me as a mother; they were intended to sting, to point scornful fingers, and to make me feel like I was wrong or ignorant or misinformed. Honestly, those comments had a way of making me feel like I was an unfit mother, even though (rationally) I knew I wasn't. Shame can be a powerful thing, people.

Unfortunately, I wasn't the first mom to be shamed by other moms, and I most certainly won't be the last mom, either. I can, however, prepare new moms for the road ahead, because believe it or not, when you know what you're potentially walking into, the shame and judgement is somehow easier to handle. Sometimes.

Ad failed to load

Choosing Formula

Giphy

I hated breastfeeding. I tried and tried and tried to be successfully at it, but I simply couldn't. It just never clicked with me or either of my sons, so at an early age they were both given formula. Although breastfeeding wasn't for me, I always have and always will continue to support moms that breastfeed, so it would be nice to receive the same in return. And while many of my breastfeeding friends have supported me without question when it came to my decision to bottle feed my sons, others made me feel like I had "given up" or "quit" or like I had somehow failed my sons.

Extended Breastfeeding

On the other hand, some women are amazing at breastfeeding and choose to do so for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, our culture has yet to completely desexualize the act of breastfeeding, so when a woman chooses extended breastfeeding, people say some ridiculous things to her; things that are judgmental; things that are gross; things that shame the mom for making a choice that clearly works best for her and her child. Women who practice extended breastfeeding take just as much heat as women who never breastfeed in the first place. The world is garbage and makes no sense whatsoever.

Vaccinating Their Children

Whether you are pro-vaccinating your children, or consider yourself to be somewhat on the fence, there is no denying the list of deadly diseases that vaccines prevent your child from catching. Vaccinations exist for a reason, and though there still may be speculation as to whether or not vaccines are linked to autism in children, most of the evidence points to vaccines being safe and extremely beneficial in protecting children from diseases. Many anti-vaxers are avid in their beliefs, but women who choose to vaccinate their children shouldn't be shamed for having different opinions or doing what they believe will protect their children (mostly because, well, it does).

Ad failed to load

Working Outside Of The Home

Giphy

As a woman who has worked outside of the home for the majority of my children's lives, I have faced more than my fair share of questions pertaining to the guilt others assume I must feel because I've left my children with capable and trustworthy caregivers while I sought employment outside of the home. While, yes, I do miss my kids sometimes while at work, I am capable of producing thoughts outside the realm of diaper-changing and story-telling. I love my kids, but I also love my career, and choosing to love both doesn't deduct from my maternal or professional aptitude.

Being A Stay-At-Home Mom

We just can't win, can we? If we work, we're told that we should feel guilty, but if we stay at home, people assume that we're just chilling out in our pajamas, drinking wine, and watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy all day while our kids just fend for themselves. No one truly understands the struggle of stay-at-home moms until they, themselves, have been elbows deep in a pit of tiny toys and dirty diapers. It isn't a glorious job title, and rarely does it ever garnish the praise or admiration that it deserves.

How They Gave Birth

Giphy

There's more than just one way to become a mom, some of which don't involve giving birth at all, so we need to stop telling women that their birth wasn't natural if they didn't have a drug-free, vaginal delivery. Whether you chose to use drugs or not; whether you had a scheduled or emergency c-section; whether you adopted or went through IVF or used a surrogate, the way in which your child was brought into the world shouldn't matter to anyone other than you.

Ad failed to load

Postpartum Bodies

If women lose their "baby weight" too quickly, their health is questioned, but if they don't lose it in a timely enough manner, or never at all for that matter, it's assumed that they're unhealthy or that they've "let themselves go." Neither assumption is fair. How about instead of critiquing every square inch of a woman's body, we just give it a standing ovation for the amazing things that it did (i.e. growing and birthing a human)? Women's bodies come in many varying shapes and sizes, none of which should be considered "ideal" or "perfect" or "normal." They're all beautiful and wonderful and completely awesome, so let's stop calling them anything other than that, OK?

Their Child's Behavior

Giphy

Sometimes kids are happy and cute and friendly, and sometimes they're sad and sleepy and cranky. Kids are emotionally unstable, but so are some adults, so when you see a child throwing a fit in the juice aisle of some overcrowded grocery store, try to remember that it's not fair to judge a mother (or a child) by one singular and fleeting moment of disturbance within an entire day full of better ones.

Co-Sleeping Or Sleep Training

"Co-sleeping spoils children." "Sleep-training is cruel and damaging." Is there a middle ground here that everyone agrees on? How about, "Every child has different needs, and every parent does their best to meet them accordingly?" Ahh, much better.

Ad failed to load

Their Chosen Parenting Method

Giphy

There are so many different ways to be a good parent. What works for one family may not work for another, and visa versa. No one should be judged for just trying to do what they feel is best for their children. We've all got the same goals in mind, but we take many different roads to get there. How someone else decides to parent their child has no affect on how you are able to parent yours.

We're all on the same team here, so isn't it about time that we stop shaming and start supporting?

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Things That *Will* Go Wrong Every Time You Plan A Kid-Free Night

The last time my husband and I went out to dinner alone was… actually, I can’t remember. But I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen a movie in a theater in the last year. Before we had children we used to go out all the time. But even with …
By Liza Wyles

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack