The trend of mom-shaming between women is at an all time high. As a writer and mom blogger, I’ve unfortunately experienced this many times over the past three years, and each year it seems to get worse. Some get a thrill being able to voice their opinions because they have the protection of a computer screen; never once thinking the person on the opposite end is real with feelings, too. Then there’s the whole argument, “you deserve it because you put yourself out there.”
I’ve also experienced this type of behavior spilling out from behind the computer screen and into “real life.” I’ve been told at Starbucks I shouldn’t have caffeine while pregnant because I’m hurting my unborn baby, and once told I was giving my kid poison because I let him eat some non-organic food.
Just this week I was in a grocery store after picking up my kids from school and had a run-in with a woman who yelled at me because I answered a text while shopping. Both my kids were strapped into the cart not bothering anyone, yet my texting bothered her so much she felt the need to tell me. When I confronted her, she then mentioned that unless I was a doctor or someone of importance I needed to get off my phone when my kids were present.
News flash: women work, and a lot of them from home, while they take care their of babies and other life obligations. Even if I didn’t work and had to answer an email or text my husband to see what he wants for dinner in a grocery store, I’m going to do it. I have to do it. Moms survive by multi-tasking.
The last thing I, or any mom, needs is some woman who got her PhD from Google giving me parenting or life advice. I’m also a grown-ass woman who doesn’t need to be reprimanded for my choices. Either way, if you feel the need to demoralize or blatantly insult someone because they have a different opinion or way of life than you — the problem is you.
Publicly shaming or criticizing a mom is a cardinal sin, which I’m afraid many women missed the memo on. If you’re a mom, you know how difficult motherhood is. If you’re not a mom — you have a mom and should know better. We are all just trying to do the best we can on a daily basis. And just so we’re clear; I love my kids just as much as you love yours — even when I’m on my phone.
Why do we live in a world where people deem themselves to be so self-righteous that they can publicly insult another human being? Am I perfect? No. Have I had my outbursts in the car at other distracted drivers? Yes. But I would never approach a complete stranger, in person or online, and give them my mean-girl, unsolicited opinion. What happened to etiquette, compassion or having basic manners? Didn’t your parents teach you to treat others how you want to be treated?
Have we, as women, lost our focus? Are we too busy trying to be equal to men that we’ve resorted to competing, backstabbing, judging, and shaming each other? Well I have news for you: your actions are purely a representation of your own insecurities and character — not the person’s you’re attacking. If you’re one who is so quick to point out what you feel to be wrong in everyone else, I suggest you take a look in the mirror and start with what you can improve on in yourself first. We are better than this, ladies. Make a commitment to be a supportive, influential member of the mom-village, not one who’s trying to burn it down.
Holly Rust is a native Texan but is currently living in the great city of Chicago with her husband, two sons and a Chihuahua. Aside from chasing around two lunatic toddlers all day, she is a professional writer and small business consultant. If you want a laugh, you can read about how she handles her toddler shenanigans on her humor blog, Mother’s Guide To Sanity, which was featured on The TODAY Show’s List of Funniest Parents on Facebook. She is a regular contributing writer for the Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, GenYize, Dot Complicated and The TODAY Parenting Team. You can also find her essays published in several anthologies, too! Follow her random thoughts on Facebook and Twitter – but no judging.