Before I became a mom, there were things I would say, think, and believe about motherhood that, today, I would consider to be the definition of mom shaming. Some of those thoughts were informed by internalized misogyny and sexist ideologies I hadn't yet unlearned. Some of them were informed by unfair and insensitive ideas about family dynamics and women. Some of them were just the result of outdated parenting ideologies.
Whatever the source of the mom shaming thoughts and beliefs were, I'm glad I now actively do my best to be mindful about these issues. We all should be more mindful, in fact, and not just for the sake of our own wellbeing as moms, but for the sake of other moms who could benefit from more support and understanding. Even those of us who do our best not to judge someone else might not always be aware that our comments can be shaming.
In so many ways, it's the subtle ways that we mom shame that hurt the most. But when we acknowledge these subtle jabs at other moms, they can serve as a point of departure for conversations about how to unlearn harmful stereotypes about women and motherhood.