Mom Shaming Is A Big Problem And What Can Be Done To Stop It
Parenting is tough. In fact, parenting is the toughest job out there because it involves the parent being the nurse, the cook, the chauffeur, the tailor, the teacher, and maid all in one without any type of pay. However, at the same time, the rewards from it are priceless. And so many moms and dads out there are truly doing their best considering children do not come with instructions.
However, you hear of so many mothers who are truly doing their best, being judged for their parenting style by strangers that they see in person, by strangers online, and even by family members. That means those who are judging their parenting style clearly don’t agree with it and they feel the need to voice their opinions, which causes more harm than good. This form of bullying is referred to as mom shaming. Sometimes another factor that is responsible for mom shaming is jealousy. The bottom line is that there are so many mom shaming stories around that are quite mind-boggling.
The mom shaming examples out there range from mothers being shamed for what they feed their kids, to mothers being shamed for allowing for their kids to be awake past the hour that they would normally go to bed. The reasons for this type of bullying are endless, unfortunately. Let’s now go over some of the most common mom shaming examples that you hear about quite often.
Mom Shaming Examples
In an ideal world, unless a child was visibly being abused or neglected, people would mind their own business, and not make harsh judgments towards mothers who are clearly doing their best. However, we all know that this world is less than ideal, and that is why there are so many mom shaming stories. Now let’s share some of the most common mom shaming examples that you hear about the most.
Shaming Moms For Bottle Feeding
The most common example when it comes to bullying mothers is when moms feed their babies formula instead of breast milk. That is because ‘breast is best’, but in many cases, it is less than ideal for mothers to nurse their babies. Additionally, there are plenty of moms who don’t want to breastfeed and they should not be judged for it. That is why you hear the terms mom shaming and breastfeeding quite often in the same sentence.
It is true that breast milk is the most natural source of rich nutrients for babies, however, baby formula still has many benefits and even though it is not natural – it provides the nutrients that the baby needs as well. Baby formula that is sold must meet the strict FDA requirements as it is. That means formula fed babies turn out just fine as those who are nursed. And there are plenty of reasons that moms are unable to breastfeed aside from those who choose not to do so. Some of those reasons for moms being unable to nurse their infants are:
- Mothers that have to be on medication for the sake of their physical and/or mental health that would end up passing through breast milk which can harm the baby.
- Moms that have to go on chemotherapy if it was discovered that they have cancer during their pregnancy.
- Some hormonal imbalances can cause mothers to have a low milk supply such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which means they are unable to breastfeed their babies since they don’t produce much milk.
- Babies that have a rare allergy to breast milk must be bottle fed
- Breastfeeding can worsen postpartum mental illnesses such as postpartum depression and mothers who are suffering from it are advised to discontinue
Those are just some of the many reasons that mothers are unable to breastfeed their babies and they should never be judged. And many of these mothers probably did want to nurse their infants, and when these mothers are mom shamed for not breastfeeding, it stings even more.
That means mom shaming when it comes to breastfeeding is not acceptable and at the end of the day, fed is best. And the mom shaming does not stop in regards to breastfeeding.
Shaming Moms For Feeding There Kids Junk Food
How many times have you heard of mothers being criticized for feeding their kids fast food or readymade food that is full of trans fat and lacks the proper nutrients? Probably more times than you could count. The ones who harshly judge these moms for feeding their kids foods that are less than ideal are the ones who will only feed their kids organic and GMO-free foods because they have the time to plan their meal times out.
It does not occur to these particular individuals, who make these harsh judgments, that most mothers are extremely busy and really do not have the time to run off to the organic supermarket and make them meals from scratch. Most moms are struggling to get by and are struggling to stay organized which is why they resort to getting their kids fast food for dinner. Sure, it is not the ideal meal, because it lacks nutrients. However, even though that is the case, their moms are making sure a major need is met which is the fact that they are feeding their kids.
Those who mom shame these mothers for feeding their kids unhealthy foods, are not in their shoes, and do not know what their struggles are. Perhaps one of their kids has a special need and the exhausted mom is having to take her child to the doctor or to the therapist which leaves her very little time to prepare an organic and GMO-free meal, let alone going to the organic supermarket to get the ingredients to make such a meal. And the mom shaming examples do not end there.
Shaming Moms For Co-Sleeping
Many people who judge parents for co-sleeping literally believe that they are keeping their babies in the same bed as them which would be dangerous. However, that is not the case, and co-sleeping has different meanings. One form of co-sleeping is allowing the babies to sleep in the same room as the parents, which means their ‘nursery’ is in the same room. And, there are also bassinets that serve the purpose of co-sleeping which means it attaches to the bed, and these bassinets are designed for this purpose so they do meet the safety standards.
Another reason that many parents are shamed for co-sleeping is that the baby’s independence may be stifled and they may become too dependent on their parents by the time they are too old to be wanting to sleep in the same room as the parents. Either way, it is not of anyone’s business as far as how they choose how their baby’s sleeping arrangements. And, the mom shaming does not end with that as well.
Mom Shaming For Sending Kids To Public School
Private schools are there to provide children the highest quality of education around, whereas public schools only provide education that is mediocre, but still adequate enough for children to learn what they need to learn in life. Parents who send their kids to public school are frequently shamed for their parents making the decision to send them there for their education.
What those who make these harsh judgments towards these parents don’t realize, is that the majority of parents do not have the money to send their kids to private schools. And that means their kids will need to go to public school, even if that means they will receive an education that is just okay, and not exceptional. Parents who send their kids to public school must not be judged for making that decision because the cost of living as it is nowadays is very high and the cost of private school does not fit in the budget of most parents.
Shaming Mothers Who Practice Self-Care
Unfortunately, many people believe that the lives of any mother, ends as soon as they bring their child into this world. In other words, if mothers dare to give themselves time to take care of themselves, while not involving the baby, they are accused of being selfish.
Especially mothers who drop their babies off at daycare and go to the gym or spa. Those who shame these mothers, frequently do it out of jealousy since they were not the ones who were fortunate enough to have that luxury. However, the fact of the matter is that mothers must take care of themselves, in order to meet their needs, even if that means risking judgment from others.
If these mom’s needs are not met, then they will end up burning themselves out which means they will not be able to care for their babies. After all, you cannot pour from an empty cup. Those who shame mothers who are caring for themselves so that they can recharge, and be the best version of themselves, often forget that fact.
Shaming Working Moms
One of the most common mom shaming examples around, involves working mothers. That is right. Quite often mom shaming is thrown towards working moms, because it is believed that mothers must spend time at home with their babies. However, maternity leave in the USA is not overly generous, and the cost of living is very high. With that said, many mothers don’t have a choice, other than to go back to work, since very few households can get by on just one income alone. And many of these mothers want to stay home with their babies, but they need to contribute to the household income.
There are also many mothers who do choose to stay at home and attempt to bring in some income by looking for legitimate work at home opportunities. However, even though these work from home moms are staying home with their babies, they too, are not going to be able to give their infants their undivided attention, all of the time, because they need to work.
The bottom line is that no parent should ever be judged for the parenting choices they make and their parenting style because it is no one else’s business. And with that said, what can be done to stop mom shaming?
How To Respond To Mom Shaming
The mom shaming statistics are high and it is hard to say if it really is higher nowadays than it was back decades ago. It is only more noticeable now because of the internet, which did not exist back then. And that is why all of this mom shaming is brought to the surface a lot more. Mom shaming studies have shown that this type of constant bullying has a negative effect on mothers, and it does nothing, but harms their confidence and self-esteem.
If the parent is being shamed by a stranger, at a store, or at the park, then it is best for them to just walk away and forget about the judgy person. They must always remember that some people, such as the shamer, will never keep their noses out of other people’s business, and it is a reflection on those who shame – not the parents.
The same applies to parents who are being judged by those online who they don’t know and can’t see. They can block them, and then walk away from the phone or the computer to cool down, regroup, and be reminded that those who are judging them, think they are powerful because they are behind a screen and cannot be seen otherwise. Again, it is a reflection on them and not the parents.
If a family member is the one who is mom shaming, then that can be somewhat trickier. The parent being shamed can always defend themselves, and their choices. However, they can also change the subject of conversation, if the judgemental family member doesn’t stop. And sometimes it is best for these family members to have limited contact as well.
Some Of The Best Mom Shaming Comebacks
If you were being mom shamed for feeding your kids processed foods from fast food joints, or readymade meals from the supermarket, you could use this mom shaming comeback:
The last time I tried to cook up an organic meal, I was so tired that I added 5 times the salt that I had intended. It came out so bad that the dog didn’t even want to eat it. After that happened, I knew I had to save myself some time and energy and order fast food or grab something quick at the supermarket. After all, my kids need my undivided attention. In order to be able to give them that, I need energy. And if I cooked up organic meals, then my energy would be used up, as I found that out the hard way. By the way, you should try out the new burger place that just opened, as I got takeout from it last night for the kids. It was amazing!
If you are a working mom that was shamed for going back to work, you can use this comeback:
I know it is terrible that I have to go back to work, and be away from my baby. I mean, it makes me so sad to be stuck late at the office on certain days. However, we do need shelter, we need electricity, we need clothing, and we need to afford to live. Not to mention, we need money to afford health insurance, and my partner’s income alone, will not cover the necessities so I have no choice but to work, because what is the alternative? And by the way, speaking of health insurance, did you get your flu shot yet?
If you were mom shamed for practicing self-care, especially if you had left your baby with the nanny while you went to the gym, you could use this comeback:
Oh I know I have it so good while I have a nanny watching my baby while I run off to the gym to take care of myself so I can be the best version of myself. After all, I need to be at my very best so I can give my baby my very best. And let me ask you a question. What happens if you attempt to pour something out of an empty cup? If you guessed that nothing will come out, then you are absolutely right. That is what will happen to me if I don’t have the nanny watch the baby for an hour so I can go to the gym to recharge. And that is the last thing I want to happen. How else will I take care of my baby if I have no energy to do it anymore? Now you see why I hired the nanny to watch the baby while I go off to the gym to workout and refresh myself?
If you have been shamed for sending your kids to public school instead of a private school, then you can use this response as a comeback:
Oh, I do know that the private school provides a better quality of education. However, unlike yourself, we are not made out of money. We kind of have other expenses to take care of each month such as covering the costs of utilities, property tax, groceries, clothing, and other necessities. And we kind of like having some extra money around for entertainment because we all need an escape here and there to get away from the monotony of the stressful life of raising kids. Not to mention, we have to put away money each month for our old age and for our kids’ college.
And unfortunately, that means we really don’t have any money left over to send our kids to private school. So what is the better alternative? To take out a loan which means we will be in debt beyond our ears? Our kids need to have balanced and calm parents, not stressed out parents due to being in serious debt.
If you are a mom that co-sleeps and you have been judged, then you can use this following comeback:
I am sorry if you don’t agree with how I practice co-sleeping with my baby. However, I kind of want to make sure that not only is my baby feeling secure and safe with me around but that I also get enough sleep. Because if I end up with too much sleep debt, I will become very depressed and when you are depressed, you are not able to give 100% of yourself. And when that happens, how will I be a good mom to my baby? Now, do you understand why co-sleeping works for us?
Finally, one way to how to handle mom shaming when it comes to those who criticize moms for formula-feeding their babies, instead of breastfeeding, is by using this mom shaming comeback:
Oh yes, I know that breast is best. However, because of the fact that I have (insert reason here such as having low milk supply due to having PCOS or having to go on medication), my baby will starve or become ill if I tried to nurse. And that is not something that anyone would want to see happen! With that said, thank goodness that we live in a time when formula that does meet and even exceed the FDA requirements exists! Otherwise, it is unthinkable what would happen to our babies that were born to moms that could not produce that liquid gold.
And, if you are mom shamed for any other reason, you can always be creative with the most mom shaming comeback by giving too much personal information that would answer their mom-shaming question to the point that it makes them uncomfortable. Or, you could rely on the power of mom shaming quotes.
Mom Shaming Quotes
The way to respond to mom shaming is up to you if you want to walk away, distract a judgmental family member, or use any of the best mom shaming comebacks. However, there is another way to handle this issue as well. And that is to stick to other moms who clearly get it and who will support you because they have been shamed, and understand it all too well.
In fact, many mothers who are victims to mom shaming have banded with other moms to support one another. They also created many excellent mom shaming quotes as well as the best anti mom shaming memes, and they share those with one another.
As a matter of fact, moms who have been shamed will want to look at many of the mom shaming quotes around that reassure them how much of an awesome job they are doing. That is because, as it was said before, kids do not come with instructions and as long as the moms are doing anything they can to make sure their kids are loved, cared for, fed (even if it is chicken nuggets for dinner each night), and are provided shelter – then they are doing great.
The fact is that moms are truly winging it. And yes, mothers will make mistakes because that is what being human is about. There is no such thing as perfection. And those who are doing the mom shaming are not anywhere near perfect themselves. If these mothers who have been attacked keep that in mind, it will also be easier for them to respond better to the judgemental remarks.
That really means these mothers will not allow those harmful remarks to offend them too much if they consider the source. Anytime a mother has been bullied and judged by someone before the mom allows those offensive words to get to them, they need to ask themselves this question and that is:
Has the person who judged me ever walked a day in my shoes? And you know what the answer to that is, and the answer is no of course. It is critical to always keep that in mind because those who judge other mothers clearly have no idea what they are talking about. And, there will come a time when those who mom shame will be harshly judged by someone who knows nothing about their situation. That will cause them to think about all of those times when they chastised other mothers for various reasons in the past, and they will regret their actions.
It is very true that those who are given a taste of their own medicine will develop empathy because they clearly will not like how they have been treated. And, they will finally see that the impact that they had on others who they had judged unfairly. Some would say this type of thing would be karmic, and with that said, if you are unable to think of a good mom shaming comeback, you can always say that the one who is judging that one day they will end up being shamed for something that is no one else’s business but their own. Or, they will get shamed for something they cannot help.
Here is a perfect example of mom-shaming karma that has been known to happen. A judgemental mother who had been successful with nursing her baby chastises another mom who feeds her baby with formula. And the judgemental mother gets pregnant again and finds out that during her pregnancy she has cancer. That means as soon as the baby is born, she will need to go on chemotherapy and radiation therapy. That means she will not be able to breastfeed her baby and will have to put her baby on to formula.
She would feel quite foolish for judging the other mom harshly for formula-feeding her baby because she would be in the same position. It is a known fact that if you are on certain medications, let alone cancer therapy medications, breastfeeding is not an option. That is because the components of the medication would go through breast milk which would be toxic to the baby.
Another example of karma coming back to a mom shamer would be that the mother who sends her kids to a private school that shamed a mom that sent her kids to public school had to stop doing it. That would be due to the fact that her husband was laid off and they could no longer afford to send their kids to private school. Then the only option would be for them is to send their kids to public school.
Unfortunately karma does not always find these judgemental people. And even if it does, some people will still keep with their judgemental ways. That is because people who lack empathy of any kind will always be around. There is no way to change them. However, any mom or dad that is being shamed by others are the ones who will make the decision on how to respond to mom shaming and are in complete control of how they will be affected by the hurtful comments.
Either way, there are so many mom shaming stories which show you that people can’t mind their own business, and any parent that is being judged harshly should always remember one thing. They feel the need to judge because they have their own junk to deal with and feel the need to reflect it onto others. It is never about the parents, and most parents out there deserve medals for doing a great job since parenting is really the hardest gig around.