It’s so common these days that there’s a term for this negative phenomenon: mum-shaming, and I am fucking sick of it.
I am talking about mums shaming other mums. Don’t even get me started on the judgemental people who DON’T EVEN HAVE KIDS! I see it almost every day. Out in public and most commonly, online. We’ve all been guilty of it at one point or another, pre or post baby. We’ve judged another mum in the mall or the in the playground and it needs to stop.
We’re all in this together you know, this crazy roller coaster we call parenting. Nothing can make you question your abilities and decisions as a parent like a death stare in the local food court, a rude old lady coming up to you in the supermarket and telling you “that kid shouldn’t be out without a warm hat on” or “that child should be in bed”. Hey, Doris – go shove your opinions up your as$.
Get stared at for feeding your kid with a bottle (god forbid if that’s formula!)
Get stared at for getting your boob out in public.
Get judged for feeding your child packaged food.
Get judged for using non-organic ingredients.
Get judged for allowing your child to sleep with you.
Get judged for having them alone in another room.
Get judged for letting your child have a dummy.
Get judged for letting your child scream in need of comfort.
Get judged for buying your kid expensive toys.
Get judged for not stimulating your child enough.
Getting judged for choosing to front face your child after 2 years.
Get judged for still rear facing them.
Getting judged for going back to work ‘too early’.
Getting judged for choosing to be a stay at home mum.
Getting judged for enrolling your child into a daycare centre so you can provide a better future.
It many of the above cases, it’s a no-win situation.
I came across a great article which outlined why we might be doing this.
- You’re bored
- You’re angry
- You’re jealous
- You’re overwhelmed
- You’re exhausted
- You’re not sure of your own identity
- You’re dying to be recognised
Being a mum is fucking hard and having somebody question your decisions makes it even harder. Mum shaming is not always direct. It can be a criticism, unsolicited advice (generally with an ulterior motive), dubious facial expressions and general negativity (directly or indirectly) at another mum regarding her parenting choices or even worse, a personal dig.
I suffer from anxiety and depression and know too well how hard it is to hear that somebody thinks you’re not a good mother. Putting myself out there like this has led me to receive some truly awful comments and it really is disgusting that people think it’s OK.
If you have a few moments, watch this.
I think in order to fix a problem we need to recognise that there is one and collectively, do our bit to combat this nasty, rising habit.