Nurture - July 2, 2018

Shame on Mom

In the past three years as a mother, I’ve endured my share of mom-shaming.

From the stranger on the streets of Paris who questioned my baby wrap to the family member who questioned my stay-at-home mom status. When it comes to how to mother, everyone’s got an opinion and they aren’t afraid to share it.

We’ve all passed judgment at some point, but let’s be very clear—mom-shaming is a form of abuse! It’s disheartening and destructive. Especially for new mothers;

In my opinion, no version is as hurtful as when other mothers cast shame.

Unlike family members who make direct declarations about your parenting choices, mom-on-mom bullying can come in a more passive-aggressive form. You know?

The unwarranted advice that’s supposed to be informative, but always ends up feeling like a personal attack or the little remarks that kind of sound like jokes but feel more like weapons.

Everything from a mother’s decision to go back to work or not, to breastfeed or not, to sleep train or not, are open to scrutiny.

And those are just the pre-preschool worries.


Preschool serves up an entirely new menu of judgment.

Bring on a bunch of mother’s “concerns” about vaccinations, food, and discipline with a side of gossip and snarky commentary.

I can’t understand it, why are we so quick to tear each other down when we would serve our children (and another) better if we built each other up?

The truth is, the last thing any mother needs is to feel isolated by the very group she should find comfort in.

Mom-Shaming Is a Two Way Street

Mom-shaming isn’t just about mothers judging other mothers for what they’re not doing. There’s shame cast if someone thinks a mother is doing too much too.

Throw your child a decorated birthday party and all of a sudden you’re a “Pinterest mom.” Our society has actually created a derogatory name for a mother who enjoys throwing a good party.


Don’t we preach to our children to accept that each of us excels at something different?

I’ll never forget when my daughter and I showed up at a school fair with mason jars filled with homemade bath salts, one mother scoffed, “Oh right! Of course, you only have one kid!”


The truth is, the last thing any mother needs is to feel isolated by the very group she should find comfort in. Motherhood is already filled with fears of not doing it right, not doing enough, not doing it gracefully. Please don’t amplify that.

The next time you catch yourself about to throw shade take a step back and think about how it feels to be on the other side.

We’re all going through it, we all share the same goal and we’re all just trying to figure it out along the way.

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Illustration - Joey Yu
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