Menu

How to Stop Yourself from Mom Shaming

Read this before you accidentally hurt another mother.

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.

FEATURED VIDEO

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.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Keep reading Show less
Shop

11 products to help parents survive the 4-month sleep regression 😴

So you—and baby—can start getting more rest.

Ah, the 4-month sleep regression...unlike, say, your baby's first solid food or her first steps, the 4-month sleep regression isn't a milestone that many parents typically look forward to. Whether you're currently in the midst of the madness or just anticipating what might be ahead, odds are you have some questions—and some worries—about this much talked-about sleep (or lack thereof) phase.

But guess what, mama? The news is good! According to experts, sleep regressions aren't really a thing; they're more like transitions. And they're actually a good thing—they mean your baby is growing, changing, developing, + finding new ways to interact with the world around them.

Keep reading Show less
Shop