This is getting out of hand. I either need to stop reading articles, stop reading comments, or stop caring about what I read. Last week, it was a mom model in a bikini, pushing a stroller. This week, it’s breastfeeding controversy because formula feeding is evil. Next week, … what? We’ll attack the crafty moms? Or we’ll cycle back to a shaming a mom on her cell phone at the park? Or it will move back into “singleton” mom shaming?
Yes, singleton mom shaming. Singleton is the new phrase meant to shame moms that have only one child. Because one kid doesn’t qualify in the world of parenting, apparently. Because one kid can’t drive a parent to suck their thumb in the corner, while sobbing uncontrollably over a glass of wine, and drooling into a vat of ice cream.
Oh, wait. Yes, yes one child can cause that to occur.
See? This mom shaming trend is getting out of control.
I say this a lot, but women are their own worst enemy. Women shame women. We don’t even need a man to shame us, because we’re so willing to jump into a ring with our own image in the mirror, and give ourselves a black eye. But, if a man says even the slightest critique, it’s go time.
And we’ll bring our friends to help decimate him.
So now, in the world where women attack, they’re moving into the sacred world of parenting. The realm where no one knows the rules, but we all pretend like we do, because everyone else has the same understanding of the imaginary–but perfect–knowledge that comes with having children.
Can we just stop?
That mom at the park? Cut her some slack. Unless her children are popping off limbs like every toy from Walmart, give her a break. But, … but, … she ignores her children, and they feel unloved. They’re going to waste away from depression, or psychotic rage, because that mom … is on her phone. At the park. Seriously? No, no they won’t. Thirty minutes of being ignored is not going to create a lifetime of mental instabilities.
The mom in the stroller ad, wearing a bikini? Stop being jealous. Unless she’s starving herself, which is a disease, not a lifestyle choice, leave her alone. I know, I know, it’s unrealistic to wear a bikini that exhibits six pack abs, while running down the street pushing a preschooler. The rest of us shove our breasts into a sports bra, throw on yoga pants to hike up our sagging butts, and drown it all in an oversized tank top. So what? Let her be proud of the body she worked hard to maintain. There isn’t a magic pill for that shape, and the rest of us aren’t that disciplined. It’s not her fault.
The formula feeding mom? Good Lord, give it up. No, not every mother can “give the life-saving nutrients that sustains a child’s immune system for the rest of their life.” Seriously? I want to gag just hearing those types of comments. Some of us moms are not talented enough to have breasts that want to promote immunity for the first year of our child’s life. Some of us moms struggle with the realization that our child is starving, and formula is the only thing around that can save our child. The child is eating, and thriving, which is pretty amazing, whether it’s breast milk or formula.
Oh, and the singleton mom. When did that become a “thing?” One kid. One. The child is carried for nine months. The child is born with excruciating pain, tears, and sometimes a nonworking epidural. The mom is sleep deprived, tired, and goes through the same child-rearing process with one kid that the mom with multiples does. The only difference? “Okay, kids, ya’ll go play in your rooms with each other,” is not an option for a “singleton” mom. She is the play. It’s still a kid, and that child counts.
That mom with all the hobbies? She needs extra money. I hear groans from across my feed when I post my own writing, and try to promote myself. “Who does that mom think she is? She’s not a writer; I don’t care what she calls herself in her spare time.” Sure, I’m not a writer. This is my piddling hobby. Along with baking cakes, taking hundreds of pictures, and creating truly horrible posters. I love every one of my kitschy hobbies, but I was born to write. Other moms are just as crafty, and just as relevant. They make t-shirts, and chalkboards. They create diaper cakes. They are photographers, bakers, and chefs. They are writers, which means they are more than just Mom. They are humans, and lived longer than the life of their children.
There are countless other examples, but the worrisome part, aside from the fact that mom shaming is so prevalent, is that other mothers feed into this trend. Women who are mothers willingly shame other women who are mothers. It needs to stop. Unless a child in serious trouble, unless body parts are falling off while the mom looks on, or a kid is left in a car (WTH?) while the mom is buying wine in the store, give the mom a break.
She might be a mom, but she’s also human.