Let’s talk about mommy shaming. USA Today recently reported that 78% of Millennial moms have experienced shaming or judging by their own mom or family. And the number just grows when you consider friends, acquaintances and yes, even total strangers. And it happens all the time. It’s happened to me, it’s happened to you, and you hear about it on social media non-stop. There are even Facebook groups dedicated to ridiculing mom shaming. There’s a name we call these tyrants: Sanctimommies. It’s unavoidable, it’s undeniable, it’s life.
When someone criticizes my parenting, I try to take it with a grain of salt. One, they don’t know me. They don’t know how I parent. Two, my mama always told me that when someone points a finger at you they’re pointing another one right back at them. They’re likely insecure about the very thing they accuse you of, and they’re simply verbalizing those insecurities right back on you.
But it still hurts. My instinct is to defend myself, naturally. Because, seriously, I’m doing the best that I can. Aren’t we all?
I mean, is anyone out there intentionally half-assing this parenting thing? I suppose there is someone out there that fits the bill, but certainly no one I know.
We’re all working our butts off. We’re all immersed in fear, guilt, worry, and emotion. Doesn’t parenting keep us all up at night at least every now and again? Is anyone sleeping soundly — confident their parenting is 100% the best approach fro their children’s future? (If you answered yes to this question, I look forward to reading your best-selling book).
And don’t misunderstand me. I’m not always the victim. I can be pretty judgmental. I think we all are. We have structured our parenting around what we think is the best approach, so it’s hard not to look at another approach and think it’s misguided. But when it comes down to it, if each of us is doing the best that we can — with the tools, the experience, the situations, and the resources available to us — is it really our place to criticize?
I mean, let’s look at this from a different angle. It’s pretty freaking awesome so many of us our putting our hearts and souls into parenting. I love knowing that we all care so much about raising our kids, being good parents, teaching them how to grow up to be responsible, loving adults. When you look at it that way, criticism seems downright absurd.
I’m doing the best that I can. Some days I suck. I know, trust me. No need to point it out. But some days I feel like Mary-friggin-Poppins too.
Some days I want to crawl in a hole and hand off the role of “mommy” to someone else. Other times, I wish I had a soccer team of kiddos to love, and who would call me mommy.
If you are a mommy, daddy, or primary caretaker whose main goal is to be the best parent you can be, do the best that you can do, and raise your kids the best way you know how… I applaud you. We should all applaud you. You’re doing the best that you can.