Let's face it -- even the most confident of parents has second-guessed a decision in regards to their kids. We're faced with so many choices each and every day that either play minor or major roles in our children's lives. Some require a lot of thought while others we make on the fly. Parenting isn't for the faint of heart.
With the rise of social media, mom-shaming has also seen an uptick in popularity. It used to be that you may get some looks of judgement from onlookers who don't agree with the way you respond to your child's behavior or even for the snacks you bring to the playground. But these days complete strangers feel free to weigh in on your every move...and it isn't only celebrity moms who are feeling the heat.
St. Petersburg, Florida-based mommy blogger Janie Porter spoke out against the shaming phenomenon in an interview with Tampa's WFLA Channel 8 News, citing it's negative affects not only on parents but kids as well.
"We are making the best choices for our family," she explained. "That does not entitle us to pass judgment on anyone else's choices for their family."
Disclaimer: this photo was taken almost a year ago when I was in full makeup and false eyelashes. I’m currently about 30 pounds heavier, sitting in bed in my pajamas, and my floors are covered with Rice Krispies. 😂 Anyway, I’m finally getting back to blogging, and looking for new post ideas! Anything you'd like to read about? A few ideas: how my kids trashed our vacation condo, what life is really like with 4 kids, a general life update since I haven’t written in a while, my favorite low-cost ideas for summer fun, some new kid discipline strategies that are working for us, how I combined breast and bottle feeding for baby 4, how I'm trying to lose 45 pounds of baby weight, getting real about how much help I've really needed with 4 kids.
How does mom shaming affect kids? Porter's explanation makes total sense.
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When a parent is put under a microscope, concerned that the decisions they are making are wrong, it makes them more insecure about their own choices. A child can easily pick up on those feelings and either they themselves start to worry that mom and dad don't quite know what they're doing, or dismiss directives from their parents altogether.
Lately, the only update I have is survival. Friends ask what we’ve been up to, and I’m like: “Nothing except keeping kids alive.” Seriously, I don’t know what day it is, when I last showered or the last time I had 7 minutes alone, but they are all alive and that is my accomplishment at the end of each day. Surviving is my update. 👊🏻
The job of being a parent is hard enough without a constant barrage of criticism and finger pointing that we're doing it all wrong. If you're really concerned that your parental decisions aren't up to snuff, ask a doctor or other professional before succumbing to the judging eyes of family, friends, or, even worse, social media.
After all, isn't half of parenting following our gut instincts? There isn't often time to consult one of the many child-rearing books on the market, many of which contradict each other.
In the end, you know your child best and if there's every any doubt, your pediatrician is just a phone call away. And if you ever find yourself in the position to shame a fellow mom, take a breath before you offer up that side eye or comment. Its effects can last longer than you think.