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Becoming a mother is a transformative experience, full of joy and challenges. While raising a child, mothers are often inundated with advice and opinions from family, friends, and even strangers. In today’s society, it has become commonplace to share every detail of our lives on social media, including parenting. However, with this openness comes the possibility of judgement and criticism from others, also known as mom shaming. Mom shaming has become a pervasive problem, with mothers often feeling attacked and judged for their parenting decisions.

There are various reasons why people engage in mom shaming. One reason is due to personal insecurities. Criticizing another person’s parenting may make them feel better about their own choices. This can be especially true if the mom shamer is dealing with personal struggles or unfulfilled expectations. It’s important to remember that mom shaming is never acceptable and can create a negative cycle of criticism and self-doubt.

Another reason for mom shaming is cultural expectations. Some individuals believe that there is a specific “right” way to parent, and anything outside of that norm is considered wrong or inadequate. These beliefs may come from cultural or societal expectations. When a mother deviates from these expectations, she may be met with criticism and judgement.

Lack of understanding is another reason why people engage in mom shaming. Sometimes people may not fully understand a mother’s parenting choices, leading them to criticize or judge. Instead of trying to understand or have a discussion, they may resort to criticism and judgement.

Fear is another reason why people engage in mom shaming. Some individuals may fear that a mother’s parenting choices could harm her child, leading them to criticize or judge. For example, they may fear that a mother who formula feeds her baby is not providing adequate nutrition or that a mother who co-sleeps is putting her child at risk for SIDS.

Finally, jealousy is another reason why people engage in mom shaming. Some individuals may envy a mother’s parenting style or the bond she has with her child and feel the need to tear her down. This can be especially true if the mom shamer is struggling with their own relationships or parenting experiences.

So how do we know if we’ve been victims of mom shaming or even if, without wanting to, we have been responsible for engaging in it? Well, do any of the following sound familiar?

Breastfeeding: Mothers may be shamed for breastfeeding in public or not breastfeeding at all. For example, a mother may be criticized for exposing too much skin while nursing in public, or conversely, for not breastfeeding because of a medical condition or personal choice.

Parenting style: A mother’s parenting style may be judged or criticized by others. This can include co-sleeping, sleep training, attachment parenting, or other parenting methods. For example, a mother who practices attachment parenting may be criticized for “spoiling” her child, while a mother who practices sleep training may be criticized for “neglecting” her child’s needs.

Career choices: Mothers who choose to return to work or stay at home with their child may be judged or criticized. For example, a working mother may be criticized for being “selfish” and not spending enough time with her child, while a stay-at-home mother may be criticized for being “unproductive” and not contributing to society.

Child behavior: Mothers may be shamed for their child’s behavior in public. For example, a mother may be criticized for not disciplining her child enough or for allowing her child to throw a tantrum in public.

Physical appearance: Mothers may be shamed for their physical appearance, including their weight, clothing choices, or overall appearance. For example, a mother may be criticized for gaining too much weight during pregnancy or for not losing weight fast enough after giving birth.

Dietary choices: Mothers may be shamed for their child’s dietary choices, such as following a vegan or vegetarian diet. For example, a mother may be criticized for not providing enough protein for her child or for “forcing” her child to follow a specific diet.

Screen time: Mothers may be shamed for allowing their child to spend too much time with screens, such as TV or mobile devices. For example, a mother may be criticized for using screens as a “babysitter” or for not providing enough educational opportunities for her child.

Reproductive choices: Mothers may be shamed for their reproductive choices, such as choosing to have multiple children or not having children at all. For example, a mother may be criticized for having too many children and being a “burden” on society or for choosing not to have children and “selfishly” prioritizing her own desires over starting a family.

Mom shaming can have a significant impact on new mothers, both mentally and emotionally. One potential effect is that it can contribute to feelings of guilt and self-doubt. A mother who has been shamed for her parenting choices may begin to question her abilities as a parent and wonder if she is doing something wrong. This can create a cycle of negative thinking and contribute to anxiety and depression.

Another potential effect of mom shaming is that it can damage the mother-child relationship. When a mother is constantly criticized or judged for her choices, it can create tension and stress in the relationship with her child. The mother may feel defensive or disconnected from her child, which can impact their bond and emotional connection.

Mom shaming can also contribute to feelings of isolation and loneliness. When a mother is constantly judged or criticized, it can be difficult to feel like she has a support system or a safe space to turn to for help. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can impact the mother’s mental health and wellbeing.

Finally, mom shaming can create a culture of judgement and division among mothers. When mothers are constantly comparing and criticizing each other, it can create an environment of competition and negativity. This can make it difficult for mothers to support each other and work together to create a positive and nurturing environment for their children.

The effects of mom shaming can be significant and far-reaching. It’s important for all of us to work towards creating a more supportive and empathetic environment for mothers and families. By recognizing the impact of mom shaming and working to address its root causes, we can work towards creating a more positive and uplifting culture for mothers and their children.

Author: Guest Pillowfighter

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