There’s been an awful lot of mom-shaming going on lately. “The zoo mom”. “The Stay-at-Home addict mom”. "The Disney mom". "The Mom at the Playgroup that You Wish Would Watch Her Daggone Kids Already mom". If you think about it, you may have seen someone even give you the evil eye lately, too. (Remember that lady at the grocery store?! What was her problem anyway?!)
You are not a better mother than I am and I am not a better mother than you are. The two of us aren’t any better than that mom down the street. Or that mom at Target. Or the one at your child’s school. Or even the ones who are unfortunate enough to have some of their worst moments plastered across the news.
Every single mom in the history of the world has had one or two (or 3,257) questionable moments. Moments where we later wish we would have done anything other than what we did. And we beat ourselves up for them. That, alone, should remind us that we’re good moms.
Moms are sharing their stories, their experiences, their failures publically, with all of us, in hopes of letting others know that they are not alone. In hopes of strengthening a village of moms and supporting other women. And people (men and women alike) are burning them at the stake for it.
It doesn’t take but a moment’s glance in the opposite direction for your child to disappear from your line-of-sight. It doesn’t take anything more than wanting to feel “normal”, to experience joy, to succumb to opiate addiction. It doesn’t take more than a poorly-timed temper tantrum to result in us yelling at our beautiful precious child, in public even. And it only takes a second to break another mom down because you’re commenting on her from your high horse in the kingdom of “Never Done Anything Wrong Land”.
Most definitely, and incredibly sadly, there are moms we may feel like we want to lynch. Those who abuse and those who murder their own, or other people's, children. Beyond that, we all make mistakes. Even you. Even me. And we all deserve compassion and love.
So the next time you think about insulting or negatively commenting on another mom’s parenting skills (or “lack thereof”), maybe take a breath and reconsider. Reconsider whether or not what you want to say is going to help anyone in any way, because, if it’s not, keep it to yourself.
If you see a mom who is struggling for one reason or another, remember you are not her and you do not know what she is dealing with. The very last thing a struggling mom needs is your unsolicited advice. So, maybe, if you’re not offering a helping hand or a dose of encouragement, keep your mouth closed and your hands off the keyboard.
And as generations before us shared: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.