In the 60’s we had June Cleaver. In 2017 we have Facebook. From the beginning of time, parents have caught grief for one thing or another. While all parents fall victim to judgment at some point in their lives, us moms seem to catch it more than our counter-parent. Moms like to be mean to other moms. It doesn’t make sense; it isn’t productive and, quite frankly, it’s untasteful at best; but it happens. Everyday. Enter the era of the sancti-mommy.
In a world where the internet is quite literally at your fingertips, and a computer screen is an indispensable hiding place, the ability to bully is about as simple as ordering take out. You see something you don’t like? Light them up on Facebook. More than likely, you’ll never see that person face-to-face anyway. This easy access has opened the flood gates on the dreadful, pompous “sancti-mommy.”
We’ve all at least come across one of the thousands of “mommy groups” available on social media. They can be a great place to make new friends, ask questions and learn new things. They’re SUPPOSED to be a place for mothers of all kinds to come together in love for their children and their fellow mommies. Generally speaking, scrolling a mommy group isn’t a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon. However, these groups, and social media in general have become a huge platform for mommy-shaming.
Often, you can’t post a photo of your child or ask a simple question on social media without at least one holier-than-though, know-it-all mommy giving you grief. Does your child have a rash? Well, you didn’t breastfeed them long enough. You feed them too much sugar, preservatives, and artificial, over-processed junk. Haven’t you heard of coconut oil yet?! Where have you been?! You’re simply not a good parent if you don’t follow this very specific, strenuous and ridiculous list of strict rules.
Guys, being a mom is hard! You’re tired. You’re stressed. You already feel like you’ll NEVER get everything right. The last thing a new, or experienced, mother needs is someone feeding their doubts.
In this day and age, acceptance is a creed. You would never (or at least I hope you would never) body-shame another human being for being overweight, or put someone down based on their skin color or religion. So, why do these women think that it’s okay to shame someone for their parenting choices?!
Believe me; I understand constructive criticism or friendly education. If I’m doing something that is unsafe for my child; by all means, tell me! And you best believe, when I see someone putting their nine-month-old in a front-facing car seat, I’m going to say something. But there’s a serious difference in offering friendly advice to a fellow mother and putting her down because you don’t agree with her choices.
Whether you like it or not, if a woman chooses not to breastfeed her child, for whatever reason, it’s none of your business! Breast OR bottle – a fed baby is best. If she chooses to co-sleep versus crib – it’s okay! And, I’ve never once heard of the occasional Happy Meal killing anyone. I can almost guarantee you, she’s done her research, and she’s making the choice that she feels is best for her child and family. If your decision was different, that’s great! The beauty of it is, we’re all allowed to make these choices for our own children. As long as they’re happy and healthy, that’s all that matters!
As mothers, all around the world, we have got to come together and stand up for each other. Give your opinion and advice, but do so in a kind and accepting manner. Tearing each other down accomplishes nothing. No matter how perfect you may act, you’re not fooling anyone. We all know it’s hard. We all have questions, and we all second guess our decisions from time to time. So, instead of being the dreadful “sancti-mommy,” be a friend. Be a listening ear, a helping hand if you can. Lift each other up. Support each other. Because in the end, we are ALL just trying to be the very best mother we can be.