It sucks. The end. We can all go home now.
If only it were that simple, right?
While I’ve been at this blogging thing for a while now, I still consider myself very much a beginner. So, when invites to blogger events come in, it’s still a thrill – I hope it always will be!
Recently, I had the pleasure of attending one just for moms. Sponsored by Beech-Nut in tandem with their “Turn the Labels Around” campaign, this panel discussion was all about Mom Shaming.
Simply put, Mom Shaming is criticizing another parent for parenting choices that may differ from your own. Even more simply put, think Mean Girls: Moms Edition.
The morning started off with a light breakfast that was as tasty as it was Instagram-worthy. I get really nervous around that many new people, so I kept it pretty light at first with a mini croissant and some fruit. I just couldn’t resist a mimosa once I met a few people and got more comfortable.
Once everyone was settled, Dr. Michele Borba – a globally-recognized educational psychologist and parenting, bullying and character expert – took the stage to discuss some horrifying statistics uncovered by a survey commissioned by Beech-Nut earlier this year.
To put it bluntly, we should be ashamed of ourselves.
Most moms surveyed are not only aware of the Mom Shaming issue, they also admit to feeling shamed at some point AND they themselves being guilty of shaming.
And I say “we” because I mean WE. Let’s be honest; we’ve all done it. We’ve all seen someone at the park or in the supermarket and mentally judged their parenting. It feels good to think that you’re doing things right…but that somehow means there are moms out there doing things wrong. And that’s just not true!
Dr. Borba finished her talk about the stats and consequences of Mom Shaming, and was then joined onstage by some other bloggers:
Moderated by Emily McCombs, Parents Editorial Director at HuffPost, the ladies went on to share some of their experiences with mom shaming and answer some questions from moms in the audience and via social media.
You know what the best parts of events like this are? Meeting other parents and hearing them talk about all the same struggles you’re dealing with. No, I’m not glad they’re struggling; I’m glad to find community in shared struggles.
And isn’t that what everyone wants? Including the moms who breastfeed/bottle-feed/make all their own organic baby food from scratch/buy jars of baby food by the case/cloth diaper/practice elimination communication/sleep train/co-sleep/do every other crazy thing we judge moms about? YES!
My biggest takeaway from the whole morning was this:
WE’RE ALL DOING THE BEST WE CAN!
So, next time you catch yourself judging another mom, even if it’s only a fleeting thought in your head, stop. Remember all the times you’ve experienced a rough moment. Remember how bad it felt to have someone (even a friend or family member!) judge you for your parenting decisions. Remember we’re all doing the best we can.
It’s time to turn the labels around and #ShowMomsLove.