Women face judgments in all aspects. And when a woman is also a mother, there are many moments when she is judged for the way she decides to raise her children.
Mom-shaming is a situation where a person criticizes or degrades a mother for her parenting choices. Many women face mom-shaming precisely because they have decided to raise their children a certain way.
According to a survey from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, mothers of young children face numerous parenting decisions, starting with choices about infant feeding methods and sleep position.
The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital asked mothers of children 0-5 years old about mom-shaming and the answers showed about ten mothers have been criticized for their decisions.
“Most mothers (61%) say they have been criticized about their parenting choices, most frequently by family – their spouse/child’s other parent (36%), their in-laws (31%), or their own mother or father (37%).”
According to this poll, mothers face less criticism from their friends.
Why Do People Tend to Mom–Shame?
According to an associate professor in the University of Washington Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, Nancy Kenney, mom-shaming is performed by people who try to control how mothers should act.
Society has created the idea and norms on how parents should raise their kids, especially mothers.
Bullying towards mothers can lead to serious mental health conditions.
“When mothers can’t meet these unrealistic expectations, they are set up to be disappointed, feel like failures, or become insecure about their parenting abilities… Data shows this can lead to an increase in rates of anxiety and depression in mothers,” says Laura Cipro, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
When mothers face bullying regarding their way of raising their kids, they feel guilty for their choices that may impact their well-being.
How to Deal with Mom-Shaming?
Mothers face different pressures at all stages of their children’s lives. To protect yourself from negativity is better to try not to pay attention to all the people.
Psychology Today has listed some tips on how to deal with mom-shaming.
There are as follows:
- Perfect parenting doesn’t exist
Despite the perfect life that some people claim to have, it simply does not exist. The same goes for the perfect parenting. Everyone makes mistakes, including the person who is judging you for your choices.
- Some people feel better while criticizing
Keep this in mind – some people want to make others feel bad, and that goes without saying that you don’t have to consider their criticism. Some people criticize with a harsh tone and they tend to generalize things. Try to challenge them with rational answers.
- Some people believe they know it all
I guess everyone has at least one person in their lives who thinks they know it all. They know how to parent even though they are not parents by themselves. These people tend to judge everyone because they think no one knows more.
- Mom shaming is often a cover for someone’s insecurities
There is a saying: “The most insecure people always have the most to say about someone else.” Keep this in mind next time someone tries to mom-shame you.
You can learn a lot about one’s insecurities only by listening to what they have to say about you.
- Stick with your supporters
Especially if you are a new mom. Stick with people who support your choices and your parenting style.
- Accept that some days you will feel as if you messed up
Let’s normalize that somedays we don’t feel like ourselves. It’s okay if you messed up something and it’s fine to accept that. Try to learn from your mistakes.
- Use your sense of humor as armor against judgments
Humor is the best cure. Try to answer everyone who judges you with a sense of humor. The more you respond with humor to all the criticism you receive as a mother, the less criticism there will be.
- What you take as a judgment may be ignorance
Some people are just ignorant and that’s the truth. Try to understand the background of the person who is criticizing you. What does that person think about life? How does that person approach different topics? How open-minded is that person?
- You know your child better than anyone else
That’s the biggest truth. No one knows your child better than you. You know every action of your child, so do not judge yourself based on someone’s else words.
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