Definitions, examples, & solutions for the latest obstacle moms are facing
Whether a targeted jab at a mother's parenting style or a seemingly harmless eyeroll at a social media post, mom shaming is yet another challenge new moms are facing.
What is Mom Shaming?
Mom shaming is known as bullying other moms for their parenting choices, which can be done in an intentional or unintentional manner. Unfortunately, this is an easy action to fall into. It's one of the oldest proverbs in the books: "Think before you speak". Make sure you are conscious of what you are saying and how it can hurt someone's feelings before voicing your opinion.
This shaming can take a mental toll on a new mother by making them question the own decisions they have made for their child. Laura Cipro, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, spoke of how this can affect mother's mental health, "When mothers can’t meet these unrealistic expectations, they are set up to be disappointed, feel like failures, or become insecure about their parenting abilities...Data shows this can lead to an increase in rates of anxiety and depression in mothers.”
Here are 5 examples of mom shaming:
- Discussing post-baby bodies
- Judging breastfeeding choices
- Comments on work/life balance
- Portraying a perfect life via social media
- Comparing milestones of children
Solutions to Mom Shaming
Tips for handling situations like these include using disarming statements such as, "Thanks for sharing your opinion". This can end the conversation and show that you think differently than the person mom shaming without escalating the situation or feeding into their bait.
Another way to prevent and address the issues is to reframe your thinking. Take a step away from your immediate emotions and try to understand other people's choices and how they may have came to that decision. Always support other mothers. You are going through this time together and support is more important than criticism. Not everyone knows what is going on behind closed doors, so it is important to stay positive and understandable and not let anger overtake the situation.
Motherhood is a unique journey for every mom, and no two experiences will be exactly alike. Try not to be too hard on yourself or others while navigating motherhood!
Acenda Cares for Moms
Our team of Motherhood & Family Advocates provide pregnancy and child development resources for new and expectant parents from prenatal care through kindergarten. We're here to help answer your questions and provide useful pregnancy and parenting support when you need it most. Best of all, our resources and support services are completely free for all families.
For more information about our SPECIALIZED PREGNANCY AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, please call 856-431-4180.