Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Mom shaming is a thing with two horns and a tail

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Ever since I became a Mom I have been judged for my choices. Not that the judging hasn't happened earlier, but I kept my mouth firmly shut rather than explain my choices out loud to people who thought it was fine to poke their noses in my personal stuff and had no idea what the term boundaries meant. Now I do realize that Mom shaming is a thing. Yeah, mothers are judged for their choices. All the time.

Going back to work so soon after the baby is born? How could you be so cruel?

Oh, you are a stay-at-home Mom? Don't you feel bad for not earning an income than slog around all day in your pajamas watching your kids? Is this really the kind of example you want to be setting your kids?

Bottle feeding? Why would you do that! Formula is the devil's food. No loving mother should subject her kids to anything that comes from other than her own breast. 

Still breast feeding? When do you plan to stop? Is it really necessary to take out your breast as soon as your child cries? Why don't you try pacifying him/her?

I mean, really? Don't even get me started on the questions that have come my way. I can go on forever. How a mother brings up her kids is her own choice! There is no need to be nosy or overtly curious. If she chose to be a mom, then she most certainly knows what her baby wants or needs. And she definitely needs no judging from others in addition to the mammoth task of bringing up her children.

I thought the questions would stop once the babies turn into toddlers. But hell no, if anything they seemed to have gotten more and more personal and even outright rage as to how dare I allow my kid to throw a tantrum in public! 

We all have our own ways of parenting. What works for me may not work for someone else. Just like each kid is unique in his or her own way, there is no one size fits all formula that work. There is no right or wrong way. In my case, I let my kids get it out before I can actually get them to calm down. My method of parenting is trial and error. I make mistakes. I watch, I learn, I grow. And if that makes me a bad mom, so be it.

But the sad thing is that a lot of the judging comes from other women who are most often mothers themselves. We all know that underneath the polished facade, there is a mother who's waiting to crack. Who binges on chocolate when her kids are asleep and let's face it, who feels guilty for yelling at her kids while at home. But if you have it all under control, if your kids are tiny angels, good for you. That person is unfortunately not me. 

There is no such thing as a perfect mother! One who feeds her kids organic food, never loses her temper when the said kids refuse to eat it and still has not a hair out of place and never, ever loses her cool. The day you can show me a perfect mother is the day I can show you an unicorn, trust me on this. We all have our good days and not so good days when we exist on cups of coffee and couple of hours of sleep, if you're lucky, that is. 

Instead of judging, how about trying to understand what the other mothers may or may not be going through? She may be having a child who's not like yours or she may be struggling with her own issues or maybe she's just having a bad day. You don't have to help but at least keep your opinions to yourself instead of going over and offer unsolicited advice when not asked. Because, if she wants help, she will ask. Until then, quit with the mom shaming. Please. 

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