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Why John Legend isn’t backing down against mommy-shaming

Mom-shaming isn’t just for celebrities. And, can we all agree it has to stop?

Why John Legend isn’t backing down against mommy-shaming

Research and experience shows us millennials are striving to be equal co-parents—each with valuable opinions, skills and responsibilities. Yet, women and men are often held to very different standards when it comes to parenting.


While dads are applauded for providing for their families, many moms still feel guilt for going back to work.

While dads are given credit for “babysitting” their children, many moms put pressure on themselves to be completely perfect parents lest they be subject to side-eye.

And while dads aren’t often scrutinized for parenting decisions, many moms struggle with anxiety as an effect of the daily choices we make.

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These double standards aren’t only insulting to women. Just ask John Legend.

“I think the expectation from the general public is that the mom is more responsible for raising the child, and I think there’s more of a culture around mommy-shaming than there is around dad-shaming,” Legend told Today Parents.

This isn’t the first time Legend’s spoken out about the intensity of mommy-shaming his wife, Chrissy Teigen, experiences: Shortly after the couple’s daughter, Luna, was born in 2016, Teigen was raked on Twitter over photos of a dinner date with her hubby. Legend didn’t just come to his wife’s defense, but also pointed out how ridiculous the controversy really was.

“If you're saying she's a terrible parent for leaving the child at home—and she's not, obviously—but if you're going to say it to her, then say it to me, too,” he told Today in May 2016. “You know, every once in a while, you have to take care of yourselves as a couple.”

Even with her husband on her side, Teigen recently admitted the ongoing negativity takes a toll.

“It gets to me every time,” Teigen told Today Parents in August. “You realize you’re going to get it no matter what, and it started when I was pregnant... If I seem like I don’t care, I definitely care.”

Although most of us don’t have quite as high of a profile as Teigen, mom-shaming remains prevalent: According to a recent study from University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, 61% of moms reported feeling shamed—typically by family members.

The most common points of contention included discipline, nutrition and sleep habits, which led to nearly half of the moms saying they occasionally felt insecure in their parenting choices.

“Mothers can get overwhelmed by so many conflicting views on the ‘best’ way to raise a child,” says Sarah Clark, the survey’s co-director. “Unsolicited advice—especially from the people closest to her child—can be perceived as meaning she’s not doing a good job as a mother. That can be hurtful.”

Of course, the solution here isn’t to start with the dad-shaming. (That’s not the kind of parenting equality anyone wants.) Instead, we need to halt this growing problem with mom-shaming.

We can all do our parts here by respecting others’ decisions. Acknowleding that we each make choices for a variety of reasons. Engaging in thoughtful discussions. And remembering that we—not our mother-in-laws and definitely not people on the internet—are the ones responsible for determining what’s best for our families.

After all, we’re in this together (dads included) even when the ways we parent look totally different. ?

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?

Tenth & Pine: Gender-neutral and butter-soft basics for littles + bigs

In 2016, after a stage four endometriosis diagnosis and a 10 year battle with infertility, Tenth & Pine founder Kerynn got her miracle baby, Ezra Jade. As a SAHM with a Masters in Business, she wanted to create a brand that focused on premium quality, function, comfort, and simplicity.

She sought out premium, all natural fabrics and factories that shared her core values, practicing environmentally friendly manufacturing methods with fair and safe working conditions for employees. As a result, her made in the USA, gender-neutral designs check all the boxes. The sustainable, organic basics are perfect for everyday wear, family photos and any adventure in between.

Lucy Lue Organics: Sustainably and ethically-produced modern baby clothes

This family-owned and operated business was started by a mama who wanted out of corporate America after the birth of her son. Thoughtfully designed to mix-and-match, Lucy Lue's sustainably and ethically produced collection of modern organic baby clothes only uses fabrics that are "environmentally friendly from seed to seam." Their gorgeous, earthy tones and comfy, minimalist styles make the perfect addition to first wardrobes from birth through the first years.

Sontakey: Simple bracelets that speak your mind

Sontakey has been such a hit in the Motherly Shop that we knew it was time to expand the line. And since these beautiful mantra bands look so stunning stacked, more options = more fun.

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

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

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"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

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