Mommy Shaming: How to drown out the voices

"Mom shaming" in a social media world
Updated: Feb. 16, 2018 at 11:37 AM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - "Mommy Shaming" has been around since the beginning of time, but a lot of moms say it's even more prevalent now thanks to social media.

"Did you breastfeed? "Did you breastfeed long enough?"

"Your kid's still taking a bottle?"

"You should have that child potty trained by now!"

"Um, your child is still using a pacifer...and he's how old?"

The voices and opinions come from all directions.

Whether those be from family, friends, or strangers...moms get all kinds of advice and judgemental looks.

"When my kid throws a fit in the store I get really embarrassed," said Dakoda Lingle. "I take her to the car because I'm overwhelmed and don't want people talking about me."

But, let's be real...all kids throw fits in the store.

Dakoda Lingle has two young daughters.

She's trying her best to drown out the voices.

"You're going to raise your child the way you want to raise them, not just the way everyone else wants you to," said Lingle.

How many times does the person judging you, usually someone you don't know, catch you in the worst 5 minutes of your day?

Sometimes they may not understand the whole picture.

For example, what if that child acting out at the store has special needs?

"They may be older children exhibiting young child behaviors, so people make judgements about that without knowing what's going on with that kiddo at all," said Jess Jobe.

Jess Jobe works with the Healthy Families program in Southern Illinois at the Shawnee Alliance Division of Shawnee Health Services.

Workers there provide in-home support for first time parents who are just trying to figure it all out.

"Kids don't come with a manual so everyone's winging it a little bit," said Jobe.

She sees all too often mothers who are afraid of messing up, and spend a lot of time comparing themselves to others.

"We glorify motherhood and put it on this big pedestal and then it's really hard when reality doesn't match that perfect magazine picture, or perfect facebook post you just saw.

Sometimes social media makes matters worse.

Let's take for instance a recent post on a local Facebook page for moms.

All someone did was ask about how many times a newborn should be bathed, and out came the comments.

Some of the comments were civil and encouraging, while others were pretty judgemental.

One mom, Colleen Carter, said she found a way to build others up with the Facebook page, Judge Free Moms.

"We worry about our kids being bullied, how they're treated at school, but we forget the same rules apply to the adults," said Colleen Carter.

So, find a support system and remember...everyone makes mistakes.

"If you really screw up as a parent that day, try again the next day it will be better," said Jess Jobe.

"No matter what anyone tells you, you're still doing a good job," said Dakoda Lingle.

When it comes to a support system there are several non-profits and churches that have support groups for moms.

Whether it be, single moms, working moms, or stay-at-home moms.

The idea is to get connected and surround yourself with people who will encourage you.

Join the conversation on our Facebook page, share your story of "mommy shaming" and offer encouragement to others mommies out there.

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