Mom Shaming: Is a Real Mother a Bad Mother?
Stress, not having time, responsibilities, blame, other people’s opinions… These are some of the reasons that many women consider themselves to be bad mothers. Today, people are calling the phenomenon “Mom Shaming.”
The writer Jill Churchill says “there is no way to be a perfect mother, but there are a million ways to be a good mother.” But some women still aspire to perfection. Whether it’s because of external or internal pressure, the idea is as common as it is wrong.
One study shows that mom shaming is very real
Unfortunately, the fantasy of being a perfect mother ends up being passed on to the children as well. This critical attitude creates negative environments that do more for a children’s anxiety than their development.
And then in this age of advanced technology, the internet, and social media, non-constructive criticism is hard to get away from. Unfortunately, it ends up affecting mothers. To that end, the University of Michigan conducted an important survey. It was about the public judgment that happens so easily on social media.
The reality that this study reveals is discouraging. The results say that two out of three mothers are affected by this kind of criticism. They say they felt ashamed upon reading or hearing value judgments from other people.
The truth about judgment
We see some unproductive and disheartening truths emerge from that study. For example, more than half of surveyed mothers said that they’ve heard criticism or unhelpful advice from close family.
The worst thing is that each comment, each judgment weighs heavily on moms. It makes them feel insecure about their role as mothers. In other words, all of the criticism (often casual and unwarranted) make many women feel insecure and ashamed.
Consequently, women struggle to find the “right way” to parent. People criticize them for the way they discipline their children. Others for their children’s diet, or even the way they breastfeed their baby.
Basically, people are constantly questioning their abilities. This wouldn’t be a problem if it were every once in a while. But when it happens every day, it slowly eats away at a mother’s self-confidence. We have evidence that it affects her role, her relationships with her children, her significant other, and her surroundings.
“A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.”
– Victor Hugo –
Mom shaming isn’t real because you aren’t a bad mother
In spite of all this, mom shaming is absolutely not real. It isn’t real because that feeling of shame isn’t right. It is simply the consequence of bad practice.
The problem that most mothers have is that they criticized on practically everything they do. For having a C-section instead of a natural birth, for not breastfeeding long enough, for having postpartum depression, for how they deal with their emotions, for working instead of staying at home with their children, for paying too much attention (or too little) to their phones, for watching too much TV…
As Clint Eastwood said (and please pardon our French), “Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.” Still, it’s not easy for mothers to escape this type of pressure. In fact, this pressure often comes from the ones closest to them. That makes it even more difficult to get out of a bad situation.
“Never in life will you find a better or more generous tenderness than that of your mother.”
-Honore de Balzac-
In closing, we will quote the writer Jill Churchill again. The important thing is not to be a perfect mother, but a real mother. Good, affectionate, and kind. So, if you love your child and give her all that you can, why should you listen to other people’s opinions? There is no “how to be a good mother” manual, but there is love.