There you are scrolling through your Instagram or Facebook, reading posts about parenting, and advice. Something resonates with you so you click on the comments. There you see a mile long list of people judging the author of that post for her take on raising her child.
Now you feel attacked because seconds ago you were nodding along like “hell yeah mama,I feel you!”
Or, maybe you joined a group on Facebook for mothers. Maybe a topic is on a particular parenting method you’re trying out. You write a question because, let’s be honest, none of us actually know what we’re doing here. You ask for help on whatever subject you are stuck on. You post, and close out your phone hoping some angel will help you out, and make you feel like you’re not alone on this.
An hour later you check your post, it’s blown up. Many lovely, supportive mamas have written back to you giving advice or saying “you got this!” “Do you!” … but then there are the few “I don’t know if you know this but that’s NOT how you should do this”, “I would NEVER!”… you know what I’m talking about.
Here you are, a tired, confused, mentally drained mama just trying to figure out how to raise a kind, happy, little human, grasping for a life line… instead they cast you out to sea without a raft.
Listen ladies. This mom thing isn’t easy. It’s hard, like really, REALLY, hard.
We put our heart and soul into every waking moment we have with our kids. We want the best for them. BUT NO ONE HAS A HANDBOOK!
Not to mention the fact that every single person, mother and child, are so different. What works for one kid may not work for the next.
You may have found the perfect parenting book for you, and the methodology works like a charm for you and your kids. Maybe your family is exactly as you want it… but guess what, your idea of the perfect family may not be mine! You know what else? It’s totally fine.
We all come from different places, different types of families, different backgrounds, so it doesn’t make sense that there’s a one size fits all method of parenting.
I’m so happy that you give your child zero screen time ever, and that it works for you. Seriously, I applaud it, and I tried that. But when I’m trying to get dinner ready and my daughter is overtired cuz she refused her second nap, snacks won’t distract her, she refuses to play independently, wants to be held, and I’m home alone… I let her watch 20 minutes of tv and feel ZERO guilt. Someone else may give their kid a few hours of screen time a day and I want them to feel ok with their choice too!
Just because I want to limit my kids intake of screen time, doesn’t give me the right to tell someone else how they should raise their own kid. I knew this inherently before becoming a mom, so I kind of thought everyone would.. turns out I was wrong!
I have decided to incorporate montessori and Waldorf style parenting, and a respectful parenting approach when it comes to raising my daughter. I joined some Facebook groups for ideas on activities, ways to set up our home to be helpful in this, and support. I don’t do everything by the book. I’m a firm believer in taking what works for you, and leaving the rest.
I never really post, but have seen post after post of new moms trying to learn how to incorporate some of these things, being berated for not doing it the “right” way. Some people are purists, and if they see a mom say their kid is doing anything that strays away from the exact ideology they scold!
You bet your ass I comment on those posts, backing up the poor mama who reached out for help and got yelled at instead.
Moms, you know how exhausting and hard figuring all this out is. So why are we attacking one another for having different beliefs and making different choices?
If you disagree with another mom’s choice of how she feeds her kids, how much screen time she allows, that she lets her kids play princess, that she isn’t pushing gender neutrality, that her 3 year old still has a binky, that she lets her son have a doll, that she cosleeps, that she doesn’t cosleep, or anything else she may choose to do, DON’T COMMENT.
Yep it’s that simple.
If you see another mom being judged for asking a question, or stating how she does something, back her up. Tell her she’s doing an amazing job, and doing the best for her kids.
All that matters is that she’s taking care of her children. That they are loved, fed, and supported. It doesn’t actually matter how!
It’s hard enough trying to learn what works best for your kids, and how to approach all the curves parenthood throws at you. No one needs a negative Nancy telling them they’re doing it wrong on top of it all.
Let’s be the kind of people we want our children to be. Kind, happy, and supportive.
If someone tells you about something they are doing with their kids, and it doesn’t align with your type of parenting, just smile and nod. You’re entitled to raise your children the way you want, and so is she.
Lift one another up, don’t tear another mom down. We’re all struggling in this together. Yes, even the moms who claim to know it all… surprise! They don’t!
Don’t let the mom-shamers get you down either. For every opinionated loud mouth mama I have met, there are 10 more who are ready to cheer you on.
My best mama friends and I do everything completely different and somehow we all still manage to tell each other we’re doing amazing when we need to hear it most. Find a mom tribe that supports you through it all.
Remember that we all feel lost, like we are failing, or don’t know what the heck we are doing at times. Be kind, always.
The way you’re treating others shows your children how they should treat others. So before you go shaming another mom on the internet, or in real life, think about how you’d feel if your kid did that to someone else.
We’re all gonna get a little mom shaming from time to time, and for those moments I like to use the beautiful words from Shawty-Lo: “Big ups, to all my haters!”
You do you mamas, I support you. You got this!