This post is sponsored by Similac. I was compensated for this post but all opinions are our own.
At OurFamilyWorld, we are incredibly passionate about finding a way to end bullying for children. We’ve written enough on the topic to fill a library and we won’t stop until the bullying ends. Today, though, we’re going to talk about a whole different type of bullying: mom-shaming.
What is mom-shaming? Sadly, something that happens way too often and something that we’re probably all a little guilty of. Check out The Mother ‘Hood video (if you haven’t already seen it!) and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about!
End Mom-on-Mom Bullying and Create a Sisterhood of Motherhood
Notice how all the groups of moms were acting like crazy playground bullies? The scary part? It’s not really an exaggeration. Maybe we’re not gathering in parks for a rumble all “Outsiders” style, but I’ve watched that scene unfold countless times on parenting forums, blogs and playgroups.
Name calling, belittling of lifestyle choices, threatening comments- these are all forms of bullying. We don’t tolerate it when it happens to our children. We don’t raise our children to treat others that way. So why do we do it to each other? Why do we tear each other down over choices like cloth versus disposable, breastfeeding versus formula feeding and so on?
We all make different decisions when it comes to raising babies. Every step of the way, every mother chooses what is best for HER baby. Rather than bullying each other over a difference in opinion, why not create a supportive sisterhood of motherhood so we can all build each other up instead of tear each other down?
Next time you’re in a situation where you get that itch to start mom-shaming another member of the sisterhood, I want you to ask yourself these questions:
Is the child in immediate danger? Obviously, if you notice a mom doing something truly dangerous, like improperly strapping her baby into a car seat, you should say something. New moms need help sometimes! But be compassionate, saying something like “I did the exact same thing my first time,” or “I remember how tricky those straps were with my son.”
Does she WANT my opinion? As much as you may feel the need to impart your wisdom, not everyone wants to hear it. If you’re in a debate forum, then by all means, respectfully share your thoughts. The key word there is “respectfully.” Remember, name calling is bullying. We’re not bullies, we’re mature adults trying to set a good example. Random strangers probably don’t really want to hear your thoughts on why they should be using cloth diapers versus disposable.
What do we have in common? You breastfeed. She formula feeds. You have a closet of fashionable cloth diapers, she bought stock in her favorite disposable brand. It just seems like you’ll never see eye-to-eye. Then you discover that you both read to your growing belly because you believe literacy starts in the womb. NOW you have a bond! Focus on that common ground rather than the things you disagree on!
Guess what? That’s not the only thing you have in common. You’re both good moms doing the very best you can for your babies. You’re both members of the sisterhood of motherhood. You both have a chance to help each other in countless ways, even if you disagree on some of the finer points.
Moms need to support each other, not bully each other. We may have different ideas on how to raise our kids but in the end, we’re all doing the very best we can. We have our children’s best interests at heart. What could possibly matter more than that?
How you do you think we can encourage moms to start supporting each other more? Share in the comments!