Are You Giving Advice or Mom Shaming?

Thursday, May 5, 2016


We all have that person we can talk to about anything and everything. That one you call when you have a little drama or just need to vent with. We call those people our friends, besties, or better yet family. We trust those "besties" to keep our secrets, lend an ear, cry with us, and grovel in our self pity- if need be. We know this person will always be there for us and we count on them for it. Especially when becoming a mother!

 You don't know why your baby has been crying for 4 hours, so you call this person for answers. You can't remember how the recipe for playdough goes, so you call this person to check if it's tartar sauce or cream of tartar. You're mad at your husband for not putting the seat down for the hundredth time so you call this person to vent on how you fell in! They are always willing to give advice, talk you off the ledge, and make sense out of the situation for you. But what happens when their "advice" feels more like mom shaming? 




"Well he's probably crying because you don't feed him enough!"
"Why are you making playdough when you can buy it at the store?"
"I already told you, you need to teach your husband a lesson!" 

Really?! Is this what we call these friends to hear? I don't think so. 
And we can't say we haven't done it because I know at some point, we are all guilty of being these types of friends!

Recently I witnessed a mother arguing with her adult daughter. The daughter felt like the mother never understood her and that she constantly felt judged on her parenting skills. The mother felt like the daughter was being too sensitive and that every mother has to deal with some sort of child drama. 
Each woman had her valid points, but because of the mom shaming they could not see those points. The daughter seemed like all she wanted was a hug and for her mother to say, "I understand your struggle, times will get better."
The mother wanted her daughter to say, "You're right mom, I'm being dramatic. You dealt with it, why can't I." 

I understand both women because as a young mother I too feel like there are days my hands are full, I get no help, nobody understands me, I'll probably age rapidly and my kids won't come visit me at a care center! (I know, I am being dramatic)
But, I understand the mother because she raised children already and she knows better days are ahead. That her kids won't always be that little and sometimes we do tend to overreact.
However when we have off days we don't see these points of view, we just want someone to listen or lend a hand.

In my first scenario say, "Hey, all men do it! Maybe you should put up a sign in the bathroom to remind him." and, "The baby probably just needs some gas drops, do you need me to come over to give you a breather?" and, "Look up playdough on Pinterest, you can find everything there!"

Instead we make the person feel worse and forget that as mothers at some point we feel exasperated too, and we too will need a good ear to vent to at some point.

So your friend mothers differently than you?! That's okay. She's raising boys you're raising girls. It really is different! I see my girlfriend's daughter's and I notice they deal with different problems than I do with my boys. So, I keep my opinions to myself and if asked I tell them how I would do it, but I ALWAYS throw in a, "It's your choice." I try to reassure my friends that I can give the advice, but if not taken I will back up their decisions either way. That's how real friends do. Don't make them feel bad for wanting to go in a different direction. We are all learning how to be mothers along the way. Our job is to lift one another up, cheer them on and pour a cup of coffee to drown your sorrows in.



 I know I'm not a perfect friend. I forget to text back. I don't answer my phone if I'm trying to put the kids to sleep. I get so busy with life I forget to check up on others. But, I am blessed and very fortunate that the women I call my besties totally know me and understand that my hands are full, and when we get in the same room it's like we haven't skipped a beat- we just pick up where we left off.  I would hope they know I am here for them if I am truly needed.

Lets try to be the best mothers we know how to be and keep the mom shaming to a minimum if not at all. Let's stop the mom shaming madness!!

May your Mother's Day weekend be filled with joy and laughter with the ones you love.

10 comments:

  1. Love this! ❤️❤️❤️ We always have to use our words carefully. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Yes we have to be careful. Thank you so much for reading Sarah!

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  2. I really loved this post, I think many forget the fine line of advice and shaming. One of the things I've learned from being a Mama is that, like you said, each has their own way of raising their children because their children are different! Hope you have a great mother's day!

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    1. Yes, we all have our own way of parenting and that's ok. Thank you so much for reading. I had a great mother's day, hope yours was too!

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  3. I really loved reading this post! I love how you looked at the issue from different perspectives and can understand both sides - I find myself doing that, too which definitely helps so we don't overreact but you're right sometimes we just want (need) a little break and to feel supported!

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    1. Only another mom can understand. Thank you so much for reading Erin.

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  4. I admit I only have one true best friend. I've tried to reach out to others, but time is never kind to anyone, and I know it's difficult to balance professional and personal lives, because these days they tend to blend (too often I think). I like your post because it reminds us that approach can make or break any type of relationship.

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    1. Approach and tone is key. My best friend has been my friend 10 years and I think it's probably the only one that can handle my schedule! Haha

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  5. With anything it's about taking all the advice we're given and adjusting it to what feels right for us. I'm not a mother, but it's more than obvious that everyone has their own parenting tips and advice. Finding one clear cut way on parenting can't be applied. At the end of the day you have to do what feels intuitive to you, your spouse and your children.

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    1. Yes very true. Thank you so much for reading!

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