I became a mom about a decade ago, during the time of the so-called “Mommy Wars,” when parenting bloggers—the vast majority of which were women—often used their social media platforms to promote their style of parenting. During this time, women felt pressed to find their “tribe.” Their exclusive breastfeeding tribe, their working mom tribe, their attachment parenting tribe, their cloth-diapering tribe.
Let’s face it. Moms are often competing with one another even though they really should be supporting each other because every mom is literally winging it. Kids don’t come with instructions, and kids with special needs definitely come with ‘fewer’ instructions than typical kids. At least with typical kids, you know exactly what to expect when it comes to reaching milestones and such. That is definitely not the case when it comes to kids with special needs.
My point is that moms and dads (and dads are not shamed as often unless they do something that is uncalled for because let’s face it, the pressure is always on mom!) are often doing their best. Yet moms are the ones who face the most judgment. When these moms are feeling judged, this isolates them even more and is detrimental to their mental health. And now that we are dealing with a pandemic, the stresses are even worse when it comes to parenting. But yet, these moms are being judged harshly even more than ever now. Why?
Oh well, that is easy. That is because moms who don’t like another mom’s parenting style feel that they have the perfect right to judge other moms. For instance, you know how breastfeeding moms shame moms that formula-feed. Nevermind that many moms that formula-feed their babies really wanted to breastfeed but could not due to having a lack of supply due to hormonal imbalances. Perhaps they are maybe on medication that they need to be on that does not allow them to breastfeed. And besides, if a mom chooses not to breastfeed, that is her business.
Another common shaming issue has to do with moms allowing their kids to take up a lot of screen time. Is that really their business? Especially during the pandemic when that is the only way to keep kids busy while trying to maintain sanity? The problem is that moms are judging other moms harshly, especially during a difficult time, while they really need to support one another. Parenting is difficult shit, and it is time to support parents instead of judging them. Any good mom that wants the best for her kids is winging it! And if you are a mom and reading this, you know this as a fact as well.