Practice What You Preach: Mommy Shaming & Acceptance
There’s many instances of Parents shouting from the rooftops, “Stop judging my parenting choices!” But are they still guilty of not actively participating in acceptance as well? Mommy Shaming is getting out of control…
Living in the Age of Judgement…
No matter where you go, one thing is clear. Someone knows better than you, on the subject of parenting your kid. Now granted, the access to information is a lot better today, than it was 20, 30, or even 40 years ago. You would think that the exchanging of ideas and philosophies on parenting would bring about a wider acceptance of the differences. Sometimes, that’s actually not the case.
Judging someone for their method of feeding, toy choices, even the holiday characters they celebrate. Shaming has gotten so bad, the perpetrators even have a name! Sanctimommy – and while she passes judgement on any (and every) little thing you do, she also pleads for the acceptance of her own parenting styles.
Discussion doesn’t have to lead to debate…
Two different Mommies can have a different way of say, diapering their child. One can choose to use disposable diapers – convenient, no ‘muss, no fuss. The other, chooses cloth – reuseable, and economical. Both have their different reasons for their choices. No one is really any better than the other.
If you were to hear a conversation between the two on their choice to diaper, you would probably hear very valid points on both sides. Mommy A likes the convenience of tossing a dirty diaper away, and not dealing with any mess. Storage is never an issue, and she doesn’t want extra laundry to deal with. Mommy B spent X amount of money at one time on enough diapers to keep her child’s butt covered for 2 years. She doesn’t mind the laundry, because she feels it’s saving the environment. All valid points.
You can point out the Sanctimommy in certain statements within their conversation. The Mommy Shaming commences…
- “We cloth diaper because we care about our planet.”
- “I don’t feel like cloth is clean; I’m not putting gross baby diapers on my baby.“
- “We don’t throw money away on disposable items.”
- “We don’t buy expensive things our kid is just gong to poop in.”
The first statement implies that unless you’re doing what the cloth diapering mama is, you must not care about the environment. Well, that’s more than likely, very factually inaccurate. The second statement implies that anything baby poop touches, is toast. Which most parents can tell you, isn’t always the case. And the last two statements, while they might be valid financial reasons, don’t apply to everyone’s situation or feelings.
All justified in their own right – but why does each reason have a shaming element?
You can express opinion without adding shame…
That’s where judgement seeps into what could have been a polite discussion. Each mommy above has valid reasons for their choices. It’s unnecessary to add in that you “care about the environment” or you don’t want to expose your child to germs. All these kinds of statements really say, instead of adding to the argument, is that “You don’t do what I do, so I’m judging you for it.”
Which is ironic when so many parents pine for acceptance. How many actually practice what they preach?
If we all stopped adding to Mommy Shaming, then there would be more acceptance. That doesn’t mean you can’t express your opinion. But instead of negatively adding little quips here and there like, “I don’t want to give my child added sugars and chemicals – that’s why I make my own baby food,” try this. Instead of the bad connotation towards what you don’t agree with, just comment on why you make your choice. “I like making my own baby food, because I know what’s in it.”
“I like using cloth diapers because it’s easier for me.” That doesn’t shame anyone! “I like using disposable diapers, because it’s easier for me!”
Stick to the positive aspects of your reasons. Putting someone down isn’t going to change their mind-it might even make them go harder at it, kin an act of defiance. And being mean just isn’t necessary!
If we all tried a little harder to be understanding, instead of making sideways comments about others – we’d have a lot less Mommy Shaming, and a lot more Mommy Cheering.