The shame of being a modern mom

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!)

Let’s be besties & connect!
Kelly Strausbaugh

Let’s be Besties blog
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8 thoughts on “The shame of being a modern mom

  1. Kelly, this is a wonderful blog. You are so right today is a much different era than the days of old. There are so many ideals out there we definitely have to choose what works best for us. I think the most important thing is to trust your decisions and to not second-guess yourself. I am being the best mom that I can be and I take great pride in that. Our home is a safe place filled with God’s love, peace, and forgiveness. As for the breastfeeding comment and the low IQ this makes me laugh. I was unable to breastfeed and my Evan is greater than 99.9th percentile. He is a true genius. It just goes to show there are a lot of people giving advice out there or rattling off statistics and odd information. It’s not all true. You are a wonderful mom and I have no doubt that Kolt will do Mighty things! You are an encourager and thanks a gift. Keep blogging, so many need to hear all that you have to share.

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  2. This was a long but awesome read!! I’ve never been one for co-sleeping but I’ve been doing it lately because paisley has decided to get up at 3…4 in the morning for I have no Clue what reason!! Parenting can be stressful and overwhelming at times but it is a blessing and the mom shaming needs to stop!! As long as your child has a roof over their head.. food in their bellies (whether it’s homade or not) and getting love then that’s all that matters!! I think you’re doing a GREAT job as a mother

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    1. YES. I love you for this comment!!! I feel like other millennial’s are pretty good about sharing and being positive, I get a lot of really good positive feedback for my friend group… but then I kind of feel like it’s sometimes the older generation… just because they don’t really understand what we’re doing or why we’re doing it, how different our struggles are! I feel like our generation is pretty open minded because we kind of have to be – I love my friends because I always feel so supported and I think that is so important. If I didn’t have my mom, my sister and my friends i’d be lost!

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  3. Every mom/parent goes through almost every one if these scenarios. Sometimes not even with their first child, but the 2nd or 3rd as well. I look at it like this, each child is different, even twins, and have their own set of needs. Your parenting of each child will be different matter how much you want to treat or parent them the same. Keep on keepin’ on! You’re awesome!

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  4. Great job Kelly…you totally hit the nail on the head!
    The tricky part (in the beginning) is choosing who your tribe will be. Unfortunately, that one becomes trial and error…with sometimes hurtful consequences along the way – as you see who deserves to be in your close inner circle.

    As you are quickly learning, you do not have to defend your actions or reasons why you do whatever you do….not just about baby raising, but all things related to your life!!!

    When you find the people that lift you up, support you in your decisions (whether they agree with you or not) …and make you feel like a million bucks…enjoy the beauty of a true tribe!

    There’s a simple phrase that I think sums it up…”never let anyone dull your sparkle.” 💫✨

    Shine on and embrace everyday (through both the valleys and mountaintops).
    As a Mom who is experiencing what it’s like for the first time in 21 years to not be “needed” by any of my kids for daily life, I’m eternally grateful that I did exactly what my heart told me to do with my kids over the years. I’m not a perfect parent (nobody is…despite what they may say), but I have no regrets!

    Always be true to yourself ❤️😀

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  5. Kelly, this is great! Thank you for writing this! So, I’m 14 weeks pregnant…and struggling. We always said we wanted kids, but this was unexpected. I worrying that im losing my identity, freedom, self. I’m scared that I won’t be a good mom. Society tells me I should be elated with joy and my life will begin when I give birth, but I just don’t feel that yet.

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    1. I can’t even tell you how much I relate to this!!!!! The hubs and I were married a few years, it was also a surprise. I just didn’t know if I was ready. I’ve never been a baby fan, never felt that burning desire to have kids. I knew I wanted them but was in NO hurry because I LOVED my life. My mom and sister even admitted they were nervous, just because they know me. It’s so terrifying in this world of Pinterest moms. Make your own baby food. Only breastfeed. Strollers. Mom friends. It’s all about that baby. No more freedom. Birth. Delivery! Losing the baby weight. SO MUCH PRESSURE! My pregnancy was ROUGH. The delivery was scary – his cord was wrapped, almost needed an emergency c-section. Trouble pushing! They brought in a MIRROR. Girl, I WATCHED myself give birth. Then they lay this screaming baby on your bare skin and all of a sudden my world shifted. Stars aligned. I’ve never felt more powerful, more aware, more fierce. I was one who talked SO MUCH CRAP about moms who stayed home, and realized after that I wanted to work from home. The love I feel for this boy has made me realize how fiercely God loves us. It’s strengthened our marriage, my confidence and my faith. Not saying it’s the same for everyone, some people don’t need that, but I must have. You don’t have to want to be around your baby 24/7. You can love them and still want your time, your friends, your career. No shame in this game!! Society makes us feel like we need to do it all ourselves, and that’s a LIE. Do me a favor – read “The Confident Parent” while you’re preggs, then read it again right before baby. Do not force yourself to feel ready. Be nervous! Talk to your friends! Pray! I guarantee they’ll ALL admit to the feelings you’re having. You WILL be a great mom because you’ll be YOU. You might be a different you, but you’ll be all that baby needs and it’s overwhelming, empowering… and scary!! Give yourself time to be excited! Took me a while… it shows that you understand what’s happening. And of course I’m here if you EVER need ANYTHING. Love you so much, keep being fiercely you!!

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