Take a look at an excerpt from my new guide on mom shaming!
Mom shaming is not just about different choices. It is also not just about confirming which choices are superior.
Mom shaming (consciously or not) is a tactic used to determine where we as moms stand on a hypothetical scale from the ideal mother to the most despicable mother.
The topics we choose to shame mothers on are the criteria used to move us up and down that scale. Breastfeed your baby? You move up a few notches toward the ideal mother.
Still breastfeeding your baby after the first year? Move down a few notches. Make sense? Each of us has considered at least a few characteristics that the ideal mother should embody when determining how we will raise our children.
These “shoulds” are all combined to create a fixed idea of a mother. When you have a fixed idea of motherhood, it becomes easy to criticize other mothers without regard to situation or circumstance.
Is this wrong? Absolutely! Motherhood should always be considered an ever changing role. I will continue on about this subject in the next section but for now, know that our society is still working to embrace the notion of a motherhood as a fluid concept.
Consider this information along with the bully definition. When a child is bullied, how does it happen? Is it because they are considered different from other kids? Is it because they are considered to be more vulnerable then other kids? Do child bullies pick on others for these differences to make themselves feel better (whether this be subconscious or conscious)? Many would answer yes to all these questions.
With that in mind, we might try to define mom shaming as:
The degrading and insulting treatment of a mother or other female caretaker as punishment for not conforming to the shamer’s perception of an ideal mother.
A tactic used to condemn and correct unacceptable parenting tactics committed by a mother or other female caretaker as determined by the shamer.
While I feel I am close here, I am interested to see how others define it. My definition was obviously affected by the sentiments of others and I am betting there are other perspectives.
If you feel offended by the fact that I compare mom shaming to bullying, keep reading! If all else fails, take comfort in the fact that this is just one mother’s opinion.
Want to read more? Check out the full guide here!
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