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How to Stop Yourself from Mom Shaming

*We’ve partnered with Beech-Nut to help stop the cycle of mom-shaming.

There are a lot of beautiful things that bond us as mothers. But there are also some not-so-beautiful things. Mom-shaming is one of them.

Even if you've never heard the term, there’s a high probability you've felt some sort of mom-shame since you've become a parent. And there’s also a big chance you’ve done some mom-shaming yourself.

We know what you’re thinking: “who me? I’d never do that!” But according to a recent Beech-Nut survey, 60 percent of moms actually admit to judging another mom. Whether it’s over breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, working or staying at home, babywearing, homeschooling or something else entirely, it can be easy to find fault with the way someone else is parenting -- especially when it’s different from the way you parent.

Insecurity is likely at the root of why we, moms, shame each other: when we don't feel good about ourselves, we tend to be more critical of others; and when others criticize us, we internalize it even more deeply. The insecurities that spawn from motherhood can even drive us to criticize our children and partners, which can ultimately make us less happy, less effective parents. Unlike guilt, which can sometimes motivate positive changes, shame has literally no positive outcomes.

So how do we stop the cycle of mom-shaming? There are a few things we can do, both on and offline, to make motherhood a slightly nicer club to belong to.

1. Know that there's more than one way to raise a kid. And that's okay. There are breastfeeding moms, bottle-feeding moms, moms of one, two, three, four and five, stepmoms, single moms, lesbian moms, silky moms, crunchy moms, PTA moms, angel moms, rainbow moms, WTF moms and so much more. It's all good. Seriously. Diversity in the motherhood experience is what makes it so beautiful. And when you embrace that (not tolerate, but really fall in love with all the different ways there are to be a family) you will realize how little those differences mean. And you may even learn something -- a strategy, a trick, a secret about parenting -- that you wouldn’t have thought of yourself.

2. Think before you type. Okay, this one's for you, keyboard warriors. I know, it's not your fault. You were minding your own business, and then your toddler filled your last good bra with oatmeal, and you just wanted to vent by posting a picture of it on Instagram. Then someone just had to let you know that oatmeal is loaded with all kinds of stuff that will reduce your kid’s IQ. So you had to respond. Stop. Realize that mom (annoying but probably well-meaning) is not perfect, and getting into a steel-cut death match is just going to make the internet an even scarier place.

3. Be nice to yourself. I can be a real jerk...to me. And I hear that from other moms too. If only people could hear our inner monologues: we say things to ourselves that we would never, ever say to anyone else. What if, instead of beating ourselves up, we treated ourselves like the goddess we really are? I know that when I'm well-rested, well-fed, and I've taken a little bit of time out for myself, I am far more patient and understanding of others. I'm not that way all the time, but I'm getting better at catching myself before I turn into an unwashed, hostile terror.

4. Practice being nice. The rules of karma say what goes around, comes around. You are the only person that you have complete control over. Mom-shaming has a devastating impact that ripples from family to family, mom to mom. Choose not to play that game. Try reaching out to a mom you admire and tell her that she's doing a great job. Invite her out to coffee. Ask her how she's doing and take the time to listen. No one gets me like my mom tribe, and I definitely wouldn't have made it work without them.

5. Assume everyone is doing their best. After all, aren't you? Most days in motherhood, I feel like I literally could not do one thing more than what I've done. Yet, I go to bed with an unfinished list, unhandled resentments, and unwashed dishes every night. Assume that everyone is trying just as hard as you are, and cut them the slack you'd like for yourself.

Want to stop the mom-shaming? Beech-Nut challenges you to help turn the labels around by reaching out to tell another mom how great they’re doing by posting an image on Instagram with #ShowMomsLove.

Photography by Justin Borucki for Well Rounded.

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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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