It might take a village to raise a child, but what happens when everyone in it has a different opinion on how kids should be raised? Most moms are familiar with the unfortunate concept of "mom shaming," which is when people (typically strangers, but it can absolutely apply to family and friends) judge, ridicule, and harass moms over how they choose to raise their children. As much as this constant pressure to do everything perfectly impacts mothers, some argue that it impacts their families, too. That's why this blogger is speaking out on how mom-shaming affects kids, and honestly, it's an important reminder for everyone.
What sets mom-shaming apart from criticism or constructive feedback is that it's usually over benign and inconsequential parenting choices that are personal to each family, not, for example, objectively putting a child in danger. "We are making the best choices for our family," Janie Porter, who runs the blog She Just Glows, told WFLA. "That does not entitle us to pass judgment on anyone else's choices for their family. We need to support each other and love each other through powerful reinforcement, and coming together as a team rather than breaking each other down."
Porter argued that the constant shaming makes moms second guess themselves, and that self-doubt can have a ripple effect on the entire family. "You start thinking oh gosh maybe I am doing this wrong," she said, before explaining that parenting is not a one-size-fits-all ordeal. There aren't pre-prescribed rules or guidelines that work for every kid, all the time. "Each choice that I make in regard to parenting is going to be different for each kid," Porter said.
On her blog, Porter writes about important issues related to motherhood and womanhood, dispelling many of the major misconceptions about what it means to be a new parent. In one post, she explained that after working as a TV reporter for 10 years, she quietly judged stay-at-home moms who said they were tired. That was, until she tried it herself:
In my former life, I would silently laugh when my stay-at-home mom friends would complain. “Oh I’m so tired,” they’d say. You’re tired? I got a call at 1am for breaking news, and I was live eight times before noon. What I didn’t know was they WERE tired. In a much different way.
Porter is also outspoken about the unreasonable pressure on moms to return to their post-baby bodies right after they deliver. In fact, Porter said on her blog that she's "bored of the pressure to be thin" after kids, arguing that she wasn't going to let the stress of gaining weight take away from enjoying the precious time she has to have fun with her kids while they're still young. On June 21, Porter posted a photo with her kids to Instagram, reminding moms that their kids don't love them because they are thin or not or beautiful or not... they just want you to be there for them.
You are the last person they see before they fall asleep, and the first person they lay eyes on in the morning. When they are sick, tired or hurt, you are the only one they want. To your child, you are a place. A place that is safe, warm, beautiful and for which there are no substitutes. It doesn’t matter if you’re overweight, not wearing makeup and haven’t showered since last week. You are everything. Love yourself. They need you to.
Porter's incredibly grounded and reasonable approach to not only parenting her own kids, but refusing to give into the ongoing madness that is shaming other moms for how they do or don't approach motherhood themselves is a crucial reminder for everyone: nobody's perfect, and everyone's doing the best they can.