I was recently mom shamed.
I have heard of this before, but have never been a victim of it myself. Maybe it's because I never felt the need to shame anyone else. I don't feel that it's my place to tell someone else what to do with their own child. I learned this a long time ago when my best friend had her first son. I just wanted to be the best “aunt” and was right behind him every step. We went out to eat one night and he dropped his pacifier. I picked it up and asked my friend if she wanted me to go wash it for her and she gently explained to me that she would let me know how she wanted things done and that by assuming and volunteering to do these things that were not part of her child rearing I was unintentionally mom shaming her. So I've always been aware that everyone has different ides on raising their children. When I was pregnant with Jay I had the privilige of joining an online birth club where I met moms from around the country who were all due at the same time SW me. This allowed me to witness all these different parenting styles and also help me to make decisions for my own parenting. I was a BF but not EBF, schedule feeding, not on demand, baby food making, not store bought baby food, not a baby wearer, but used a sling when convenient, CIO mom. But I have never imposed these beliefs on another parent. I may encourage others to do these tings, go, but don't think I ever shamed someone for making a different decision from me. I am very aware that there is no right or wrong parenting style and even celebrate the fact that I was FF and I turned out pretty fine, thankyouverymuch.
So here's the story. To set it up it was a sunny 50ish degree day. As usual I ws rushing my four year old to get ready for her dance class and as usual she was taking her time. I have discovered that time is just a relative concept for four year olds. Our house has a carport and my car was Parker less than twenty feet from the back door. I rush her along to get in the car, shoeless and get to dance class. We get to dance class, still no shoes. I snag a parking place right in front of the door. I grab the shoes, pick up my daughter and go into the gym where her class is held. Literally less than ten feet this time. As I enter the room I hear another mother comment to everyone in the room that my child has no shoes. It was really all I could do to not come back on this chick. I have seen her at the class before. She's a first time SAHM of a daughter who I have noticed does not like to share. I simply ignored the comment and remembering the mantra of the ever fabulous Jinkx Monsoon, “water off a duck's back,” I continued to prepare my little ballerina for dance class. Now, more than a week since the incident, my daughter did not catch pneumonia from her time outside with no shoes, now did she even acquire so much as a sniffle. But I have continued to think about this mother and my shaming. I can't say for sure she wasn't doing this for a feeling of superiority, maybe it was to reassure herself of what a gear job she does as a mom. Who knows. But I have now been mom shamed and it didn't feel good.
Not long ago I read a blog post about how moms should stop shaming and start supporting. This is so vital. I would have never made it through my pregnancies and kids without people like my best friend, my sister-in-law and the online birth club. They were the ones I could ask questions and get advice from. These women made my life easier simply by supporting me. Why do we spfeel the need to shame each other, can we not respect that others may have different parenting styles than we do? Can't we just all get along?