Mom shaming vs. constructive criticism
Oftentimes as moms we get overwhelmed, frustrated, and our stress runs high. Everyone is telling us how to parent, book after book, blog after blog, advice after advice. Whatever happened to listening to our intuition? What ever happened to confidence as a parent, that what we choose to do is right for our kid… right for our family. Why do we as moms care so much about what other people think and say about how we parent? I am embarrassed to be from a generation of moms that mom shame each other, every mom knows how hard being a mom is…regardless of the specifics in each family. Doesn’t matter if you work out of the home, in the home, are a stay at home mom, traveling mom, the breadwinner, homeschooling mom, head of the PTA mom, best chef mom, scraping by mom…we are all moms. In that title, we are gifted one of the best positions life has to offer. The greatest adventure of them all.
So why the constant complaining?
I remember being pregnant and being so disappointed with the numerous mom bloggers complaining about motherhood. Here I was greatly anticipating the role and all I could read online was how hard it was, how overwhelming it was, how they threw in the towel, how they don’t care what their kids eat, how long their kids cry, etc etc etc. How they need a break. I was so sad to read those words written from moms about this miracle of life that we were granted charge of.
Not to mention how many moms are desperately trying in every which way to become a mom… and there are moms complaining about it?
I think social media is fantastic, it helps connect people, it helps creativity, it helps give a platform to create empowerment, passion, entrepreneurial avenues and recipes galore. But I also think it can be a giant dark cloud…why has social media all of a sudden given moms the excuse to complain and “give up” as a mom?
Nowadays, moms have to be so careful about how they respond to certain posts or how they write their blogs about keeping moms accountable for fear of sounding like we are shaming someone. Like I said above, I am embarrassed to be part of a generation of moms that are judgmental and hyper critical of each other in a negative, not from a good place in their hearts, kind of way.
However, I do think we as moms, who were granted this incredible role, should be striving to be our best selves every single day. I get frustrated and heart broken when I see moms post things about “yes I applied that toxic sunscreen to my kids and I don’t care” or “Yes my 3rd child eats fruit loops off the floor” … why has this become the norm? Why are our responses to these comments, “You go mama!” “Heck yeah mom!” Instead of, “Hmm what about doing what is best for your kiddo’s health?” or “What is another option that might be a tad healthier?” Without the mom on the other end reaming us a new one, only because we care to speak up.
I don’t know why more moms become disenchanted with motherhood the more children they have, but I became more on the ball with my second. I am a pretty laidback mom, I am a dreamer, I go with the flow, it takes a lot to ruffle my feathers. With Henley, I wanted to be the best mom I could be for her, so I did more research, I used the knowledge from parenting Halen with how I parented Henley. Of course, they are not the same… Halen didn’t need much sleep…which was realllllllllly hard for two years. Henley is my 12-hour sleeper. Halen is strong-willed, controlling, organized, an extrovert and Henley is my free spirit, who as a second born, has learned to share and go with the flow early on…but she is also tough as nails and isn’t afraid to speak her mind and stick up for herself (thank goodness!).
So, as I parented Henley I wanted to do better, I changed my ways to be even more conscious about the products we put in our bodies, to the products we put on our bodies, to the products I used to clean. Obviously, my cancer journey has sparked a lot of this lifestyle change, but with my diagnosis it gave me a huge wake up call to how I could better my children’s lives so they could avoid a cancer diagnosis, infertility, an autoimmune disease, or some other kind of ridiculous disease that is avoidable by being more aware and practicing preventative care.
I get so exasperated with parents that just believe their families are invincible, indestructible and that nothing terrible will ever come their way. I am in no way saying we should live in fear, but we need to get our heads out of the sand and be aware. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer… and I was one of those eight. 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. What makes other moms think the same won’t happen to them? Or someone else in their family?
Let’s be better moms. Let’s do the hard things if it benefits our kids, our families. No one said parenthood was easy. Let’s encourage each other, and if criticism needs to be done, let’s do it constructively, out of love, gracefully and gently. Let’s hold each other accountable. Let’s lift each other up, let’s start being more positive about motherhood and posting ways we can help our littles and families be healthy and happy. Let’s be more aware, better role models for our kids, so they can do the same when they are parents. Let’s watch the words we say in front of our children, let’s do the hard things…because the hard things will greatly reward us in the end.