One thing I have learned from parenthood is that well meaning people will give you loads and loads of unsolicited advice. In my case, it was often older ladies attempting to shame me as I attempted to enter a store. My oldest son was 30 lbs at 6 months old and as large as some two year olds. But, he was only 6 months old. I was often berated in public by strangers because I didn’t make him walk.
Um, sorry, ma’am, but I am not dragging my 6 month old son around on the floor by a leash like a slug because YOU are uncomfortable about his size.
Needless to say, moms have to develop thick skins and opportunities abound to help that process along. But why do we do this to each other?
It’s one thing for one mom to ask another mom for some advice or for an idea in how to handle a situation more successfully. It’s quite another to decide to publicly instruct a total stranger over something that is not life or death. Now, don’t get me wrong, if a child is in danger, I will say something with little regard to how it comes across, but is it really anyone’s business how another mom feeds her child, cares for her child, etc. if they are healthy and happy?
Moms often spout the platitude, “every child is different” but they often forget that every mom and family is different, too and that is okay. They also tend to neglect that these differences in children often necessitate differing parenting techniques in order to best nurture the child. A family with multiple children often has to deal with each child differently because the children need that.
Kim Simon writes an insightful piece exploring why mommies, in particular, are so mean to each other on the Scary Mommy blog. Warning, the language is raw, but she makes some very valid points. Check out her article, The Top 7 Reasons Why You’re Mom-Shaming. It’s good stuff.
So next time you see a mommy who is learning the ropes, how about offering a kind word instead of butting into her business. I know that I really appreciated the kind words I received on occasion.
Were you ever mommy-shamed?
Till next time,