We are raising children in a generation where our parenting skills have been a hot topic of controversy because anyone and everyone has the ability to throw in their two cents. It's getting pretty bad, and we have created a serious trend of mommy shaming because someone does something differently than we do, or differently that things were traditionally.
It's 2017 and in case people did not know this by now, there are plenty of "right" ways to parent our children. They do not all look the same. We have new options for feeding, medicine, punishments, and so much more. Our parenting philosophies all seem to be different which has led to tons of moms feeling like we aren't doing things well enough for our babies or providing them with the best.
Moms are blasted on social media now instead of just dealing with an overbearing mother-in-law who has an opinion on everything. We are now subject to hundreds of opinions from mommy groups, Instagram trolls, and everyone else who has discovered the internet. People blast pictures of how our family looks, drives, and behaves but what these pictures often lack is any real sense of who is just in the photograph.
These shamers catch one moment in time and run with it when really we are all just doing our best to raise responsible, respectful little humans.
12 Showing Too Much Skin
Women today have greatly evolved in how we present ourselves. Often times we like to show skin. Maybe some of us even wear bikinis at the beach. GASP. We all remember when Kim Kardashian West posted some provocative, nude selfies on Instagram and the internet nearly broke. She was so heavily criticized for doing that in the context that she is a mom. It was all fine and dandy before having children to wear what we wanted, but how can we do that to our babies?
Let's just get this out for the record: our kids aren't hurt by how we dress. We shouldn't have to throw out a whole wardrobe because it isn't "motherly." Is there really such a way to dress that represents that we had kids? No woman should have to hide her body because she once carried a baby (or a couple). In fact, we should be able to show them off because we are proud of our bodies.
11 Taking A (Kid-Free) Vacation
Just because we are parents does not mean that we do not deserve some time off. Maybe we want to relax and enjoy our spouse. That should not be a bad thing. We will probably honestly have our own mom guilt so we really don't need other people making us feeling like bad parents because we took some time for ourselves to refresh. It can also be important for our marriages to have grown up time without chasing little ones and get frustrated over schedules and tantrums.
People seem to believe that once we have children we should want to do everything with them so of course that includes vacations. While every mom obviously adores spending time with her kids, it does not mean that she doesn't need some time to refresh. We do a lot for our families and in order to give so much we have to refuel our batteries every now and then. Sometimes a vacation sans kids will make us better mothers in the end instead of the heartless monsters that some people think.
10 Working A Job That's Not 9-5
Having kids is all the more financial stress which means as parents we need to figure out how to bring some income into our families. Our schedules are hectic, and we would obviously prefer to be able to work less hours and make more money. This is why a great deal of single moms and married ones have unconventional but legal career such as exotic dancing or adult movies.
We have coined these jobs as a great way for women to pay the bills through college or their single days, but for some reason we shame women who have mouths to feed at home for doing the same thing. These women are doing what they have to or want to to take care of their children, but they receive shame because they aren't working the normal 9-5 job or pulling overnight shifts at the local diner. That's really not fair because maybe these hours and money are what is the most beneficial to her family.
9 Get On Birth Control
Once we have kids, we are basically racing the clock for all of the questions about when we will be having the next one. Some women just want one. It's okay to have an only child. It's not some forbidden thing, but so many are scoffed at because there is a belief that only children are bratty, spoiled, etc. We shame women because they do not want multiple children to provide built in socialization for their children.
There are plenty of people out there who do not want kids in general or are fine with just one. But as a society we have come to expect women to constantly have baby fever and act that if they don't, something must be wrong with them. Women shouldn't feel like they need to have more than one baby just to fulfill some societal pressures or expectations.
8 Leaving The House Without The Baby
Once we become moms, many of us lose a great deal of our individual identities. It probably doesn't help that many of us feel like complete shut ins for a few weeks/months when we first come home with baby. Those of us who do leave the house for the sake of our mental health, sanity, or relationships are often shamed for it because why would any woman ever want to be away from her children?
Does anybody remember the internet freaking out because Chrissy Teigen dared to have a date with John Legend soon after having baby Luna WITHOUT bringing her baby. GASP! The model wasn't alone. So many moms are criticized because we want to spend quality, alone time with our spouse. After all, our marriages do still need work despite being parents. We can't just live our lives solely revolving around our babies and never grab a bite to eat without having them in tow.
7 Pouring Yourself A Glass Of 'Juice'
Now we aren't talking about drinking excessively or drinking and driving, but women are still allowed to have a glass of wine even after we have kids. Now obviously do not drink while pregnant if that disclaimer is really necessary.
Anyways, so many women have bashed moms who have the occasional glass of wine after a long day of whining kids. Can we really blame moms? It's not an easy task so sometimes a drink is nice to relax.
There's a big difference to drink casually and occasionally than to have a binge drinking frat party in the living room after bedtime. We should trust that most adults and parents do know their own limits, and there is really no need to punish an adult woman for doing something that any of us would do just because she has kids.
6 You And The Pizza Delivery Man Are On First Name Basis
We are all guilty of buying a chocolate cake, pint of ice cream, or stopping at our local drive thru on occasion. It's okay to have a treat, but many women have been shamed for doing so because it "isn't responsible" for their children. No one cared what we ate before we were parents or what the contents of our grocery cart was. They didn't pay attention to our take out habit or the fact that we were on a first name basis with the pizza delivery man.
We have created a large controversy about what we feed our children honestly from the moment they are born with the breastfeed or formula feuds. Now we are all about organic versus processed foods, but maybe we should worry more about if our children are fed and healthy. Many moms admit to being shamed in the grocery store for the items in their cart because their fruit wasn't organic. They get mocked and scoffed at by other moms because of what they sent their children for lunch at school or snacks for soccer practice.
5 Having You Time
Once we have made a baby, it somehow seems crazy that we would ever want to "practice" making one again. We constantly get a hard time from relatives, mom groups, and any other random person who overhears we might actually want some alone time with our significant other.
It's an entirely different ball game if we are a single mom and have alone time with someone else. As long as we are being careful and protecting our children as well, where is the harm in being a woman? After all, we all have needs. That does not change simply because we become moms. Our lady parts don't shrivel up and fall off after child birth despite what some people think so maybe we should stop punishing and judging women for using them.
4 The Phone Is Always Beeping
Today we go to the internet for everything. Sure it has its pros and cons, but it can be a great resource. We find mommy support groups there, parenting hacks, milestones, and even fun toddler meal ideas! We find our news there and often times use our phones to communicate with colleagues, family members, and friends so it's no surprise that moms today often have a smartphone in reach nearby.
There are so many people though who disagree with this and consider these moms to be unfocused, distracted, lazy, or just plain selfish. Why would any woman need a little gadget when she has a precious baby right in front of her? Maybe she wants to keep her sanity and those virtual mom groups have become a village for a great deal of us moms today. Sure it may look different than chatting on the landline with Susan from down the block or reading the newspaper, but essentially parents have been multitasking for centuries and the smartphone is just the newest tool to do so.
3 Letting The Crab Out In Public
We have all seen those pictures of the poor woman in the grocery store with a flailing, red faced child. The caption is often extremely unthoughtful and rude because they are rarely posted in a positive context. So many moms are criticized because they dared to leave their house when their child was in a less than perfect mood.
Kids are unpredictable. Maybe little Johnny was just great until he got out of the car at Target. But we still have to get things done. We as adults do not get to stay home and hide when we are in a less than great mood. So yes that means sometimes we have to drag some not so happy kiddos with us while we run errands. It's just life, and we will all be the woman with the flailing tot at some point. (Anyone who thinks otherwise clearly does not have children). Show some sympathy, don't shame a woman who is just trying to get things done despite her kid's mood.
2 Working Outside Of The Kitchen
It's 2017 and a great deal of households have two incomes. That means there are two working parents. But when people think daycare is bad, the blame immediately falls on the mother who decided to work outside of the home instead of be a stay at home mom or homemaker. So many women are questioned why they wouldn't quit their jobs as soon as baby is born. No woman should be told or feel like she is less of a mother because she works outside of the home.
Many moms are pressured or called selfish because they would like to have a career in addition to motherhood. Why is that a bad thing? What should be important is that the baby is being well taken care of whether it be by mom, dad, relatives, or some type of child care while mom works. It is not a bad thing for women to have a job outside of the home simply because we are moms. We shouldn't have to revolve our identity solely around being a mom.
1 Divorcing Your Man
So like 50 percent of marriages in the United States do not work out. That means we have a ton of divorced people, and yes a great deal of them do have children. Being the woman in this situation, a ton of us get shamed because we did not work things out for our family. Wouldn't any child be better off in a two parent household? No. We do not need to teach our children to settle for less or that an unhealthy relationship is normal.
While divorce is rising in popularity, there are still so many people who believe those that divorce and have children are selfish. It's possible it's old-fashioned thinking, and the idea that there was only one way to "be a family." Either way, it is an utterly ridiculous belief as no divorce is easy on anyone, especially the parents. Maybe instead of slamming people because their marriage did not work, we should encourage them to successfully put their children first and coparent with one another.