Being a mom is hard… correction, being human is hard. We have to constantly deal with the critic in our own head as well as the critics around us. We are constantly bombarded with opinions that may change and affect what we think about ourselves. This is too often something that moms know all too well.
In this blog I wanted to again write a more personal and research-free post. If you allow me and give me a chance, I want to talk about mom shamers. Even as I write this word my word processor tells me this word does not exist!! Underlines it in red and asks for correction… but my friends… it is real.
–The Oxford dictionary defines the word “shamer,” as someone who publicly mocks or criticizes someone for reasons such as their appearance or behavior; usually with the intention to make them feel ashamed or humiliated.
So what is a mom shamer? I define it as another person, usually a woman or another mother who thinks it is their duty to criticize or present unwanted opinions and judgments onto another mother usually with the intention to call attention. These “mom shamers” can be any of the following:
• Moms at a party or public space who judge the way another mom dresses herself or her children and thinks it is her duty to let that mom know she made a poor outfit choice! “She shouldn’t be wearing that.” “That is not appropriate for a mom.” “Eww look at how she looks in that.” “Those are clearly pre-baby clothes.” –Although this might sound comical or a plot to a mean moms movie, it can really hurt the way women feel about themselves and their role as a mother.
• Moms who insist on advising other moms to change their child’s eating habits claiming that their way is the “healthier” way and that you may be hurting your child with what you do.
• Moms who see another mother with multiple children and automatically think things about her as a person… such as; “she’s probably on government help,” “Does she not know about protection?” “They probably have different dads,” or suggest to that mother that they should just STOP having kids.
• Moms who judge other moms for their personal choices such as; the choice to breastfeed or not, immunizations, the language their children speak, co-sleeping, or whether the mother has chosen to only have one child.
• Moms who act like they are the regulators of the parenting world, and find the need to pass any judgment onto another mother despite not knowing the other’s personal circumstances.
• Moms who think they are so wise that they have it all figured out. They feel obligated and sometimes find joy in breaking other women down by undermining their ability to parent.
So you may get the point by now… and may ask yourself why I even bother to write a post about this. Well the truth is, being a mom is the most self-conscious and self-involved job that a woman may have. A job that does not pay in money… but a job that pays in memories. Encountering mom shamers can be detrimental to our self-esteem. It can make us question everything about our parenting choices, and sometimes even make us regret choices we were sure were the right fit. So how can we learn to recognize these mom shamers, and how can we block their negative energy before it attacks and takes over? Here are some tips
• If someone’s advice is not positive or constructive… learn to say “thank you for your advice but the way I am doing things is working for me now.”- If they are not building you up… do not let them tare you down.
• If someone’s idea of being a mom does not fit your idea or needs… learn to focus on your strengths and improve on the minor flaws. DO NOT try to fit their mold.
• If after speaking to them you feel emotionally drained or defeated… learn to distance yourself from them and focus on yourself and family. After all, when you get home it is just you and your life.
• If their opinions or advice were not warranted or asked for… Then you most likely were fine to begin with and they are merely reflecting their true self in their words.
*Remember- What someone does or says to you is a reflection of who THEY are… and not who they say YOU are…
As always thank you for reading and I hope that the next time you encounter a mom shamer you will know how to better REJECT and DEFLECT. Please check out my other blogs and leave messages, comments, or suggestions.