Not super excited to have to write about mom shaming. I had hoped in 2017 it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Unfortunately, just coming off the Easter Holidays, it was made greatly apparent to me that it is definitely STILL A THING! There are many forms of mom-shaming but I wanted to address the HOLIDAY MOM SHAMING. You know what I am talking about! The people who post on holidays about how crazy other people are for getting their children “too much” and exclaim “that is not the true meaning of the holiday and they are crazy”.
To be clear, I am 100% supportive of our 1st amendment FREEDOM OF SPEECH right as an American. It’s a right we take for granted sometimes but are very lucky to have. With that said, it is not ok to decide what you believe in or do within your 4 walls with your family is what everyone else should do. Additionally, it is not ok to decide that if someone does not do things the way you do or “did growing up” that they are “crazy” or “psycho” or a “bad parent”.
As great as social media is and the opportunities it has given for people to re-connect and express themselves, it has also given some the false idea that they can sit behind a computer or phone and judge/shame others who do not do things like them. What is that old saying? There’s more than one way to skin a cat? Well, same is true for just about anything else. There’s more than one way to celebrate Christmas, Easter, birthdays, all different religious and/or cultural holidays. Some may not celebrate at all. Some may go big or go home for each celebration. Some may choose to keep it very small (or for financial reasons they must keep it small). And all of these are great. If you are financially able to give your kids the world then good for you. No reason to shame those who are not able to. If you believe in keeping celebrations small, good for you. No reason to shame those parents who choose to go big and give their children more.
Another issue that really bothers me is that when these “mom shamers” get going on social media, so many mothers start immediately justifying their decisions. “Well, little Johnny needed clothes and he grew out of his tennis shoes and I wanted to make sure he had a bathing suit for the summer…..”. Who are you defending yourself to? The writer of that status who has now made you feel guilty for your own decisions? No thanks. I owe no one an excuse as to how I celebrate anything with my children. I also have to add that I saw many shaming posts from people WHO DO NOT HAVE ANY CHILDREN! What is that? You do not have any children yet but you are absolutely sure you are the expert on how much a child should get for a holiday? I think not.
Everyone is allowed their own opinion. That is fine. If it is your opinion that Easter should be limited to 27 pieces of candy and one lip gloss because that is what you got when you were a kid or that is all you give your child that is fine with me. But, if you say that Easter should be limited to that amount FOR EVERYONE and anyone that gives more/less is crazy or not a good parent, then I have an issue with you. If someone got their children an entire room full of gifts for Easter, did that in any way directly affect you? Did you pay for it? So why comment on it? What pleasure do you get by judging/shaming these mothers for something that does not affect you at all? And not every post was a direct shaming post. Many posts are “side-jabs” or very passive aggressive where they make a comment in a “nicer” way but everyone knows what they are really saying. Spoiler Alert: you aren’t fooling us! We totally know you are shaming people!
I am a firm believer in allowing everyone to live how they want to live. To each his own. And if your decisions do not directly affect me, go for it. I have friends who are mothers who do not celebrate anything at all. I have friends who are mothers who celebrate every pee on the potty (that is some exciting stuff though). If seeing how others celebrate bothers you, then stay off of social media on holidays. Actually, if you are prone to shaming others, stay off of social media entirely (respectfully, of course).
But as my mama always said:
If you don’t have anything nice to say……..(you know how that goes).