Have you ever been shamed by another Mom, stranger or not; just when you least expected it? I read this great article, written by a sweet young mother, named Jessica. I know her indirectly through her family. She wrote this great story about her experience with Mom Shaming and I admire her so much.
There are some things about the Mom biz that I find very easy for me. I bet there are things about being a Mom that come naturally to you as well. Some of the Mom duties, that are easy and obvious to me, were probably taught to me by my own mother. I learned some of the tricks of the trade by watching her in action all of my growing up years. Not everyone has the advantage and blessing of having a good Mom, and not everyone has a Mom still available to them as a resource either. The training you get from your own Mom is like your default setting. The things you’ve learned to do from her are things you don’t even have to think about it.
When I read Jessica’s article, I didn’t automatically put myself in her place, the young mother with the new baby, the one getting shamed. I have 9 children and I’ve been in the Mom biz for many years. I haven’t been ‘shamed’ for a long time. I instantly put myself in the place of the other mother, doing the shaming. I had this horrible feeling that I might have done some shaming in my time. Please forgive me! I didn’t do it on purpose (like the lady in the story), but I have probably sent out a signal or two that clearly gave out the message that another Mom wasn’t up to par in the mothering department. I’ve probably even given some well-meaning advice that didn’t come across as generously as I’d meant it to be. Please forgive me again! When you have a natural ability in one area, and you see someone else struggling in that same area, it seems hard to believe that anyone could screw it up when it so easy.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a certain natural ability, or learned skill, and someone else does, it seems like they have some kind of super power that you could never have. Everyone struggles with a low self-esteem at times, and no one is good at everything all the time. Being a first time Mom can bring out all your insecurities, because you just can’t know all the right moves for every situation that comes along.
This is where you need to make a decision if another Mom makes you feel badly. Do I take the advice from some other condescending Mom or not? If you are silly enough to be comparing yourself to another, seemingly more accomplished Mom, ask yourself the question: Is it important for me and my family to improve in this area, or am I making myself feel badly about something that isn’t important to us? Then, when some well-meaning lady or not so well-meaning lady butts into your business, you can either, a) humbly learn from the experience and thank her, or b) blow her off; have a good day, lady!
Life as a Mom is full of decisions. Even the skill of being decisive is an ability that doesn’t come naturally to everyone. I’m on your side, Moms. I know you’re doing your best. Hang in there. We’re all in this together🙂
BTW, what I didn’t tell you, about Jessica, is that she is a first time mom of a sweet, pretty little baby girl. She has recently married a widower and they have a new baby, and she is also the new step mom of 5 other children. I bet you didn’t expect that, did you? She has more on her plate that a lot of mom’s. It’s the age old story. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, before you Mom shame them. She’s doing her best and her best is a great job! Proud of you, Girl ♥