Mom-shaming is a real thing and worst of all it’s done by other moms! I’ve been on the receiving end of mom-shaming. It does not feel good. Honestly, it makes me feel like I am not good enough to be a mother.
Some things that have been said to me are: “You shouldn’t let him sleep like that”, “You shouldn’t leave that plugged in where he can reach it”, “Why are you exclusively pumping? Why don’t you just breastfeed?”, “Why switch to formula when breast is best?”, “I did ‘this’ with my kids and they turned out fine”. “Why don’t you get a job and put your kid in daycare?”. I could go on and on.
Sometimes a mom, especially a new mom, is struggling to figure things out. She doesn’t necessarily want your opinion or advice but maybe just needs reassurance that everything is going to be okay and that she is doing a good job.
I can’t tell you how many times I was offered unsolicited advice and it just downright hurt my feelings. ‘Yes I know that you raised several kids and they all turned out fine but that doesn’t mean that I have to raise MY child the way that you did. Please let me learn and experience parenthood first hand.’
I think that it comes down to everyone being different. That’s what makes the human race so amazing. Every single person is created uniquely. What does that mean? We all go through similar experiences but we won’t experience the same emotions or trials or pains. Every mother has a child in a different way whether that be by natural, drug free birth, epidural all the way, home birth, adoption, or by unforeseen circumstances. Does that make one mother (or father) any less than another? No! We need to start building each other up instead of judging and tearing each other down.
As I sit here in my vehicle, in my driveway with a sleeping little boy in the back seat I ask you to offer grace to those who may have hurt you with their words, advice and opinions. I know that it isn’t easy but Jesus has offered you grace more times than you will ever know. I am in the same boat. Grace is a learning process but it does get easier.
“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”