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Mom-shaming and mom-guilt are hard truths to face. They are pieces of pregnancy and motherhood that, unfortunately, tend to come with the territory these days. With social media and podcasts and bloggers out there expressing their blunt beliefs, those beliefs can sometimes negatively impact a mother.
In the previous blog found here, I discussed how mom-shaming and mom-guilt have impacted my life. I also discussed ways I pushed forward through the negativity. It isn’t easy, that’s for sure. It takes determination and focus to see through the frustrating comments society throws your way. Every day I feel shamed for not breastfeeding my twins or not feeling a bond until they were almost one-year-old. This is often because a post or a blog sparks a thought in my mind and BAM – my mind twists that post into a negative.
I am not the only mother out there who feels this pressure. Most moms feel their own form of mom-guilt due to those around them and the world we live in. They too struggle because, well, we are only human. Below are some personal stories brave mothers felt were important to share. By sharing your stories, other mothers can feel as if they aren’t alone. It also provides a more positive community for mothers to build upon.
Real Moms Share Their Experience with Mom-Guilt
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“Getting a verbal warning from work because I had to pick up my teething, feverish baby from daycare regularly for quite some time. Felt completely helpless.” – Michele Graham, mother of two
“I don’t let me baby cry and she sleeps with me. I’m told all the time she’ll never be independent and I’m spoiling her and I need to let her self-soothe or she’ll never know how. I’m told she’ll sleep with me until she goes to college. I get shamed because I breastfeed and she doesn’t take a bottle. People give so much crap about it. Luckily, I have a super supportive mother and husband who I vent to regularly about it and they always tell me how great of a job I’m doing and that she will learn to self soothe and sleep solo on her own time!” Ashley Marie, mother of one
“I’m constantly mom-shamed by my own mother for still nursing my almost 2 year old with no signs of stopping anytime soon. (My pediatrician is all for it as she has never been sick - says she will self-wean in her own time). Also, I am almost 45 and allow her to sleep with me. I’m too tired to care. She sleeps great with me and therefore I sleep well. She is a very independent little girl. I know she will become a healthy happy young lady and not be nursing when she goes to school and sleep in her own bed. Until then, we are both well rested.” Gretchen Granholm, mother of five
“I have been mom-shamed by two vice principals at my kids’ high school. Both times because I didn't look my age. The second time I arrived to pick our youngest up for an appointment as the vice was walking in. I told Jenny, the lady at the window, "I'm here for Cassidy." The vice whipped around and said, "Only a parent can pick up a student, no siblings." I replied, "I'm her mom." Not to be beat she said, "Step parents must have permission on file." I looked at Jenny who has known me and my parents my whole life, her face was turning red... then I responded, "No, Cassidy is my actual daughter." I didn't add, "the youngest of my three." "Well," she huffed, "You must have been 12 when you had her." I wasn't, of course - I was 22.” Rebecca Ames, mother of three
“I, too, have been shamed for having my girls on a strict schedule. My husband and I found a schedule that works best for our children and we stick to it. We’ll be late to any party/event if our girls are still napping and I’m not sorry about it. Our girls sleep in their own beds, in their own rooms, and have never slept in the bed with us before. I have friends and co-workers that parent their children differently and to each their own, but it definitely gets annoying when they make comments about it. We’ve also had people almost mock us for keeping our children off social media. We’ve posted pictures here and there but for the most part we keep them off it and it’s generated many unwanted comments.” – Kristeena Titus, mother of two
“I get mom shamed by my own mother. Because I parent differently than she did. She acts like because I don’t do things the same way she did, I’m hurting my son and a bad parent. I also get mom shamed for my bad PPD. Because it does affect me, and I’m doing my best. But when I have breakdowns I’m mom shamed for it.” – Chelsea Renee, mom of one
“Let's start at day one of being a mom. The lactation consultant walked in the hospital room to see how breastfeeding was going and I kid you not she looked me up and down and said "you won't be successful at breastfeeding; your boobs are too far apart"... oh ok then. Then when Brynn was struggling gaining weight, I was shamed for her not gaining weight quicker than she was, and then shamed when I asked if I should supplement because HOW DARE I do anything but breastfeed… but in the same breathe be told I'm essentially starving my child… and this was multiple pediatricians (thankfully we found one who actually put effort into us and worked with us and an at home nurse that did house visits and weigh ins).” – Cherie Bealer, mother of two
Jennifer Aline is a coffee addict, mama of twins, and a passionate freelance writer and author. She writes for Moms.com on a regular basis and has had articles in publications such as the NY Daily News, NY Post, and In Good Health Newspaper. Aline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Keuka College and worked in the Human Services field before her two little girls entered her life. Aline now focuses primarily on writing, teaching aerial arts classes in the evenings, and caring for her twin daughters – all while continuously chugging coffee, of course.
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