It’s 2017, and sometimes it feels like a totally different era. Everyone is preaching love, condemning hate and shushing those judgmental people.
Different religion? Doesn’t matter, as long as you’re nice. Different color of your skin? Old news. Everyone’s awesome! Different gender/relationship status/social standing? Whatever, dude, live your best life! Oh wait – you’re a mom? Gosh, you’re doing something wrong.
Are you breastfeeding? Gross, put those puppies away in public! No one needs to see that!
Feeding formula? Wow, didn’t you know #breastisbest? Your kid will have a low IQ, hope you’re cool with that.
You went back to work after having your child? What are you, some kind of monster? Babies need their momma!
You’re staying home with your child? Um, does feminism mean nothing? Couldn’t wait to drop that career, huh? Typical. Thanks for setting us back 100 years.
Working from home part-time to try and have the best of both worlds? Who do you think you are? Pick one!
Co-sleeping? Just don’t roll over the baby! Never mind that people have co-slept for a million years, but you’re probably going to mess it up. You’ll spoil that baby!
He’s in a crib? Can’t you hear him crying for you? Don’t you have a heart?
He’s crying and you picked him up? Don’t you ever want him to be independent? Stop coddling him!
She’s crying and you’re ignoring her? You’re damaging her self-esteem! Make sure she knows she’s safe and someone loves her!
You never put him down, you’re going to ruin that baby. I can’t believe you think that’s appropriate. Baby snuggles? Please.
She’s always on the floor by herself, how’s she going to trust adults and learn how to be emotionally stable?
You’re posting pics of your kids on social media? Don’t you know someone can get your information and find them? How irresponsible.
You never post photos of your kid, so you must be ashamed of them. Don’t you have anyone to snap a family photo?
How young were you when you had kids? Wow, you’re probably going to regret that.
You’re older and having a baby? Don’t you know that means it’s a higher risk pregnancy? Didn’t you consider adoption or surrogacy?
(Insert approximately one million other judgey/shaming comments that I’m sure we’ve all heard)
Here’s the thing. Parenting is personal. Yes, your child will ultimately be a reflection of your parenting, no matter what happens. If your kid is awful in public, people think you’re just as bad. If your kid’s an angel, they’ll think you’ve done everything right. But guess what?
It. Doesn’t. Matter.
People think what they want. They will make comments. The mom-shaming is REAL. In 2017, you’re shamed for wanting kids, having kids, not having kids, not wanting kids, treating your dogs as kids… it does not stop.
It may seem a little aggressive to write this, but I’m over it. I’m over feeling like what I choose to do with MY child, and how my husband and I choose to parent, is somehow wrong. Because it’s different. It’s different than how our parents raised their kids, and how our grandparents raised theirs. Why? Because it is! It’s a totally different era!
It’s scary. Yes, we have more advantages as a mom. Cool gadgets. Many have the option to work or stay home, or cloth diaper, or regular diaper, or make our own baby food, or just do whatever we want. We can be helicopter moms. We can be hands-off. We can home-school, public school, un-school.
My point for this article? Be confident in your parenting. Trust your instincts. Need help? ASK. We are independent and fierce, but sometimes we need our tribe. Make a mom friend. Keep your non-mom friends. Trust your husband/partner/whatever. Be honest with your mom, if you’re lucky enough to have her in your life. Find a great role model and talk to them. Talk to others. Listen. And then – decide for yourself.
It’s a tough world out there mommas, so let’s be the best we can be for our babies, and let’s love and support each other.
(Need to vent about a mom-shaming moment? Drop it in the comments below and see that you’re not alone!)