Mom shaming. I feel weird even typing that phrase. I know that a mom shaming post can seem cliche, but it’s necessary. I honestly didn’t think it was a real thing. I thought to myself, Surely, Crazy Susan doesn’t really come up to you when she catches you down the wine aisle in the grocery store and tell you you’re a bad mom. I was right, for the most part. Mom shaming isn’t that. Mom shaming is low key. It’s hidden in memes. In sideways looks. In unsolicited advice. In comments and those emoticon reactions. In the trenches of mom groups, and, let me tell you, no one does passive aggressive like a “mom group warrior”. I’m so guilty of it. Cringe. But we all are. Because it’s easier to herd up with like minds and act like the rest of the pasture has the mad cow disease, than it is to all meet up at the watering hole and be kind to one another despite our differences.
This will probably come as a shock, considering I have been known to eat an entire Big Mac before I even leave the Golden Arches drive thru and the fact that my husband single handily keeps Fruit Gushers in business, but for the most part I could be labeled as a “crunchy” mom. I’m kind of stale, but for the most part crunchy.
If it says organic, I’m sold. I buy environmentally friendly household products and aluminum free deodorant. I say heck no to GMOs. I wipe my babies butt with some quilted cashmere, chemical free wipes and wrap it up in 100% organic cotton diapers (unless they’re having a good deal on some Kirkland’s I can’t resist, told y’all I’m stale sometimes). I cosleep. I wash her with the gentlest of soaps handcrafted from our crunchy foremothers’ recipes and moisturize her with ultra pure therapeutic oils squeezed from a fairy’s ass. I breast feed her exclusively and the thought of her eating anything with red dye #40 gives me hives. I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. Just bare with me.
Does any of that make me a better mom? Nope.
Does any of that make me superior? Nope.
Does any of that make my child better than other children? Nope.
Does any of that decrease the odds that she will end up eating boogers and dirt? Nope, probably not.
But it does make me the best mom I can be to her in my eyes. Everything that I do, as ridiculous as it may sound to some, is meaningful to me.
There are moms who do things slightly different than me. There are moms who do things completely opposite of me. There are moms who bypass breastfeeding and go straight to formula. Moms who give their kids nuggets and fries from a box 3 times a week . Moms who use whatever baby soaps and lotions smell the best. There are helicopter moms and free range moms. Moms that never glance at ingredient labels. There are moms who have elective C-sections. Moms who have natural home births. Some moms have strict screen time schedules, some moms restart Moana approximately 32 times per day. Authoritarian moms, and gentle moms. There are moms who sleep train. Heck, there are moms that pallet train.
I know them. I love them. They’re my friends and family.
And although those moms may do things differently than I do, they still wake up with the same goal in mind as me, which is, “How can I be the best mama to my babies?”
Or maybe during a sleep regression they think “how can I keep these little heathens alive?” Because same.
None of us, not the Kale Blending Cynthias or the McDonald’s Meagans or the Crazy Susans, make choices intending to harm our children.
And a mama with her babies best interest at heart is not shameful.