Have you ever felt like the choices you make as a parent are the subject of viral shaming trends? Not fun.
I’ve been a mom for almost five years, so I’m not exactly the expert on all things parenting, but my lived experiences across borders (provincial, social, economic, and other) has exposed me to an array of shamers and shaming that has opened my eyes to the underbelly of being a mom.
This article in HuffPo Parents about momshaming has made me reconsider why this topic is so prevalent for us as women and mothers. My husband wasn’t even aware of terms like “mom guilt” or “momshaming” (which grinds my gears about how gendered these topics are, but that’s a story for another time). When have you been made to feel shame for a choice you’ve made?
Bonnie talked about how she’s felt envious of other moms’ homes/milestones/tracksuits last week – me too, girl – and I think that envy and shame are branches on the same tree.
I had an accidental momshaming experience with a good friend of mine recently: we were talking about sleep regression, and I shared some advice. Not realizing that the topic was a sensitive subject, the stories I shared made her feel judged for the solutions that were working for her and her family. She was hurt. It was a shitty encounter, but to resolve it I used the advice in the HuffPo piece: Reserve judgement or advice. Prioritize community. Compliment and look for the good in them and help them shake off negative comments and, if you feel you must, articulate feedback in a way that is geared towards their betterment, not their destruction.
As a community, let’s make a pact: let’s build up our own confidence and support one another, in a world of comparing and shaming. #whateverittakes has gotten me this far.
If you want to take this a step further, beyond building your community, try this on-topic read, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.
Kelly- The momsTO Leadership Team