Mom shaming is defined as bullying or harassing a mother for the decisions she has made regarding her children, whether on social media or through passive-aggressive comments made by friends, family and even strangers. Have you been a victim of mom shaming? Find out what it is and how it could affect you!
Signs of mom shaming
Mom shaming is more common than you think and sometimes it happens even before you’ve given birth. Decisions such as the type of feeding, the duration of breastfeeding, the clothes your kids wear or their sleeping routine can spark unsolicited advice.
A sign of mom shaming is judging mothers’ decisions without taking into account their economic and social situation or their particular parenting preferences. Mom shaming also occurs when people older than the mother try to invalidate her decisions by alleging inexperience.
What to do about it
The first advice that psychologists offer for dealing with mom shaming is to work on emotional intelligence and understand that people can be judgmental no matter what their age. For some people, judging others makes them feel important and validated.
Having a sense of humor, a supportive community taking measures such as blocking comments on social networks can help you avoid being affected by criticism. Without a doubt, one of the best options is to avoid ignore these comments. However another option is to respectfully ask the other person to refrain from making those comments in your presence.
Consequences of mom shaming
The postpartum period is especially difficult for mothers, not only physically, but also mentally. When a mother who has just given birth hears criticism about her parenting it can weigh very heavily on her.
Postpartum depression, anxiety disorders and extreme tiredness are just some of the symptoms that can arise from mom shaming, something that affects the personal and family dynamics of affected mothers. Therefore, it is always best to avoid commenting on the decisions made by other mothers regarding their children.
How to prevent mom shaming?
Mom Shaming is not always intentional, however, we can take actions to avoid it. Working on empathy, trying to look at things from the perspective of others and not judging are the basis for ensuring that harmony prevails at all times.
If you are a victim of mom shaming, try to respond assertively. Cut it short by saying: “Thank you for your advice,” or “I had not considered that.” Always bearing in mind that you are the most important person when it comes to making decisions regarding your children.