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Hey Moms, Let’s Stop the Shaming

One of the things that surprised me the most about becoming a mother was how many people have opinions—and aren’t afraid to share them!—on how we choose to raise our kids. Women are seemingly more susceptible to the spectrum of scrutiny (I touched upon this in my May Mission letter), but I was slightly blindsided by how criticism and judgement increased when I became a mom. From the names we pick for our babies to whether we breastfeed to whether we co-sleep seems to be up for discussion, even though our approaches to parenting are the most personal of choices. Let’s face it, we’re all just trying to do our best, one day at a time.

I, for one, have been “mom shamed,” and, if we’re getting super honest here, I’m sure I’ve judged a mom or two in my wake. I’ve been approached (read: interrupted) about the food that I feed my kids, or the way that I dress them (too feminine or too masculine). I saw a tidal wave of judgement when I shared pictures of my sons with fresh coats of ninja-turtle green nail polish on their tiny fingers – not because they were excited to have their hands resemble the likes of Leonardo’s or Michelangelo’s, but perhaps because this beauty ritual might “emasculate” my toddlers? I’ve even been judged by how big or small my baby bump appeared (aren’t I eating for two? Or should I not have that second donut…). I’ve also been told that I have a great body “for having kids.” Not only is this insulting, because I’m equally as proud of taking care of myself as I am for carrying three healthy, beautiful children inside of me – I’m also proud of the ways my body has changed since then! It’s an insult disguised as a compliment that I can’t help but take personally, even though I know I work hard to stay in good physical and emotional shape for myself and my family.

So here’s the thing: it’s hurtful, because I didn’t ask for any of it. I never asked if I should paint my sons’ nails, or if my baby bump was abnormally large, or if anyone thinks it’s weird to meditate with my kids, or how many times my boys are allowed to watch Ninjago on repeat. Being a receptacle of judgement can be isolating and confusing, because it can immediately trigger feelings of not being “enough.”

Emotionally, we need to validate both ourselves and one another because we’re essentially all just trying to learn on the fly. Motherhood doesn’t come with a handbook- none of us are getting it right all of the time. Negative words can be passed as a collection of small judgements that lead to a larger projection of invalidation. Sometimes, our small judgements are masked as “advice” when we were never invited to chime in in the first place. On the other hand, sometimes we’re extending “coping mechanisms” that come off as put-downs to disguise our own feelings of inadequacy.

When we strive to feel perfect, or expect our friends, family, and partners to be perfect in order to not trigger the parts of ourselves that we feel are lacking, we isolate instead of include. The last thing any mother, or parent, wants to feel is inadequate. True belonging happens when our authentic, imperfect selves are presented to the world. In the absence of shame, we can truly feel received.

In order to stop shaming, we have to be the first ones to stop judging each other. In fact, I’m proposing that we all commit to a “judgement cleanse,” which also means refraining from judging ourselves. For instance, my husband I and chose to go the breastfeeding route for all of our kids, but my middle one only wanted a bottle around five months. What felt like throwing in the towel was actually doing the appropriate thing, so I gave my baby formula. I remember judging myself and overcompensating to people by over-explaining why I had come to this decision. Didn’t they know it was only because he refused to drink from my breast? But let’s say the opposite were true. Let’s say he wanted breastmilk, but I couldn’t make that work. Let’s pretend I couldn’t produce milk, or that I just didn’t enjoy the breastfeeding experience—all of which are a reality for some moms. THAT’S OKAY!

Genevieve_Padalecki_AustinGems_MindfulnessTips_kids_3

The whole point is to be the best version of a parent and raise healthy, nice kids. So if that means feeding a baby formula out of a plastic bottle, we got to do what we gotta do. At the end of the day it is NOBODY’s business how or what I feed my children. I am a mom just trying to get by. We all are.

We should try to be better about treating each others’ choices with respect and understanding. You may have opinions about how another mom is disciplining her two year-old who’s throwing a tantrum at the park, disagree with what she’s giving her toddler for lunch, or want to lose it on the mom who can’t get her kid to stop crying on a cross-country flight. But you know what? She’s doing the best she can, too, just like you are on a day when your kids are being impossible. And it’s one thing to give your opinion or your advice when you’re asked for it, but pointing out what you think she’s doing wrong to make her feel bad is telling her that she isn’t enough, that she doesn’t belong, and that she’s not worthy.

So, if you see a mom being shamed or simply having a tough time, step in and offer some words of encouragement. If you feel quick to judge, opt for being kind instead (which is also sending some good kindness karma to yourself on a bad day, too). Extend her a hand, validate her, and let her know that she’s doing a great job. Your encouraging words can simply be, “Hey, this motherhood thing is really hard. I understand what you’re going through, and you’re kicking ass.”

Because if moms can’t support each other during the rough times, who will? Let’s try to remember that we’re all in this together, because loving ourselves through this process is the bravest thing we can do.

 
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107 Comments

  • Elena

    Thank you for sharing this! I feel the same way. We as moms need to lift each other up instead of shaming. We all are doing the best we can to provide for our families. We need to embrace this and learn from another.

    • Shawna Whaley

      Love this so much! Being a mom is hard, some days it’s harder than others and some days it’s easier, but it’s still hard. All we can do is do the best we can, be there for our children and be there for each other. No one is perfect and no one parenting method is better than the next, not really.

      I couldn’t produce enough milk either time and had to substitute with formula. When my oldest stopped wanting to nurse at 6 months, I cried because I felt like I wasn’t doing enough for her. I was wrong, I did everything I could. There’s too much judgement going on today and not enough compassion and kindness. I love you, Gen! Thank you for this. 💖❤

    • Chrissy boadle

      Gen. Omg you hit the nail on the head. Im a mum with a child that never got invited to a birthday party. Who had no friends and i am not exaggerating. She started cutting herself in grade 4. There were days when i was so defeated and no one said hey what can we do to help you let alone how can we help her. She was judged as being naughty and i was judged by nearly every mother.. lucky for my girl i was able to rise above it but she couldnt. Her life has been irrevocably altered by judgement and shaming. As it turns out she suffers from bi polar which was only escalated by all those around her. So we chose to love ourselves and each other. I have nearly lost her twice but she is 22. Not on drugs. Not pregnant. Living independently and more importantly alive. I often wonder how different it would of been if we were accepted and supported more in the early days… thanks for speaking out about how much a kind word is more appropriate and needed in EVERY INSTANCE

    • gail

      Well said, and a long time coming. I’ve been wondering how long it would take you to lay it all on the line and tell people to STOP already with the ridiclous and sometimes nasty comments. You expressed yourself well in this article, and I believe you spoke for thousands of mothers who are sick of people spewing their opinions where it isn’t wanted or needed. BRAVO!

    • Becky

      I’ve been a mom for 17 years now, and I’ve seen so much and had a lot go on that folks felt they needed to comment on. It used to bother me A LOT. What was I doing so wrong that everyone had to point out my wrongness? Was I messing up my little boy? After a while I learned to tune out the nitpickers in my life. My son is a healthy, happy young man that I’m super proud of, and at the end of the day that’s the main thing.😊😉😄

  • Mary Bryant

    Well put….
    I practice not giving my input if not asked and always be kind/ encouraging.
    Being judgemental is also a mechanism of control.
    Many need to relax and give themselves permission to just live and let live instead of this rigid, controlling perspective. They inflict it on themselves and then by extension, others.

  • Alice

    You tell them Gen! Your kids seem happy and healthy so people should just stop with the judgement. I can’t imagine how hard it is a Mum as it’s exhausting enough being Aunty for a few hours. Kudos to those who dedicate their lives to a really tough and underrated job xxx

  • Sue

    I had such a hugely positive experience online as a writer and in fandom that when I got pregnant in 2008, I immediately joined the Pregnant community on my favorite blog site. I have never seen such shaming to the point of bullying conducted by adult women before, and I grew up in the Pentecostal church!

    First, at 38 I was told I was too old: “You’re only two years younger than my mom!” When I explained that we had 15 years of infertility “You shouldn’t force your body to get pregnant with fertility drugs, if it didn’t happen naturally, that was your body telling you it wasn’t supposed to.” When I explained that I DID get pregnant naturally, it just happened at 38 instead of 28, and that I was happy to be pregnant in my 30s because I had time to grow up and be young and silly, go to college and have time alone with my husband, I was then judging THEM. They told moms who had severe latch issues and babies who were too sick to nurse and even a mom who had had a double matectomy that there was NO excuse for not breastfeeding. The mom with no breasts? She should try breastfeeding from the ducts in her armpits. I didn’t stay with that community long.

    My son will be 10 in August. I have overall been lucky in lack of mom-shaming in real life despite only nursing for 3 months, putting him in his crib at 6 months, using disposable diapers, vaccinating him, even sending him to private school. I did baby wear, take 5 years off of work, make his baby food, and I didn’t circumcise him, so maybe I hit a happy shame medium? I also had few mom’s in my peer group with newborns by the time I got pregnant. I’m also not an actress with a lifestyle blog who has non-parents and parents alike eager to comment on my children, my marriage, my career choices, and my body just because they watch a TV show my husband and I were on. You’re a stronger woman than I, Genevieve Padalecki!

    Oh, and I totally take Jonah, age 9, for a pedicure with me once a month and he gets to pick a color. He usually picks pink. 🙂

  • Toniann

    I’m not one to comment but this is definitely one of the best things I’ve read in a really long time. I had my first son at 23 and my second at 25. Because I was young people constantly felt the need to tell me what to do, and how to do it. And if I did it “wrong” they made sure to let me know. It was so frustrating! I am now 31, and while the comments and criticism from family and friends have stopped as far as what to feed my kids, when they need to go to bed, how much tv they can watch or when they can use their iPads, some new criticism is rolling in. My five year old loves when I paint his nails. Recently he’s asked for me to put eyeshadow on him, which I do. I am teaching my kids that gender norms don’t exist. Makeup and nail polish isn’t just for girls. I am teaching my boys to be open and accepting. A lot of my family and friends, even strangers on social media have something negative to say when I share photos of my son wearing makeup or nail polish. I know I’m doing the right thing in how I’m raising my kids, I am doing my absolute best. And as long as my kids are happy and healthy and grow up knowing they are loved, that’s all that matters. Anyways thank you for writing something that truly spoke to me. You’re doing a great job as a mom and don’t let anyone tell you different! Keep it up!!

  • Suzanne Lopez-Calleja

    Gen, this is the best article on your blog (so far). As someone who couldn’t breast feed my oldest, I received so much unnecessary hurtful criticism, although I did tell those people where to stick it 😉

  • Celia

    Considering the size of their father, I would’ve been surprised if you didn’t have a large bump (because you’re petite on top of it all!). Ignore the haters and trolls, just do what’s best for your kids.

  • Nadia

    Hi Gen,
    i agree on everything you wrote. My second child (my daughter) startet crying when she was three weeks old. She’d cry straight through 16 hours a day, leaving my son and me (and my husband as well) exhausted, frustrated and (i’m still ashamed to admit it) aggressive as time went by. This went on for eight months. There was no way to breast feed her, she wouldn’t even drink from the bottle and she never put on enough weight. All the “advice“ i received during this time made me feel like i was deliberately trying to “kill“ our daughter…
    Thank you for speaking up for all of us. You’re doing a great job. As a mother, a wife and as a woman.

    XOXO,
    Nadia

  • Sabrina Travers

    I really enjoyed this post as it rings SO true. I’m a mom of two young children and have definitely been judged since becoming a mom. It’s a hard thing being a parent since no one knows what they’re doing and to be put down about it is Ludacris. I’ve found a very small tribe of my own that I stick with that are very supportive and uplifting. Being a mom is the hardest job I’ve ever had but I wouldn’t change it for the world, I love my babies to no end.

  • Alesia

    Wonderful words Gen. And your exactly right. As mothers we should stick together, and I think you’ve done a fantastic job with your children. I couldn’t breastfeed any of my children. My first because I was still in high school and I wasn’t home often enough to do it . My second because she would not take the breast, and my youngest because I had a full-time job. But they all turned out great. I buried my oldest daughter in 2011 it was the most difficult thing I’ve had to do in my life and I felt very inadequate at the mother. My children turned out to be wonderful adults okay. So you keep going, you keep loving your babies, and your husband, and know that I have your back. You are enough, and thank you for voicing words that help us all see how kindness can go a long way.♡♡♡♡♡

  • Alesia

    Gen you are a wonderful person and a fantastic mother. You are more than enough. You can tell how much you love your babies, and your husband. Showing kindness is what’s important. Bottle-fed or breastfed children, will become adults, and live by the example their parents set. So you have nothing to worry about your children will be wonderful, kind, smart, supportive, and compassionate adults. you are ENOUGH. WE ARE ALL ENOUGH. ♡♡♡♡♡ keep being you, and keep setting the example for other mothers and women. You are an inspiration.

  • kendra laytart

    I love this!! Moms often don’t see that what they’re going through is okay. I don’t judge mom’s because I don’t know them, their kid/kids, and their life situation. It NOT my job to judge people, its my job yo make sure they know that they’re loved and appreciated. That doesn’t just go for moms, it goes for everyone

  • Donna Otte

    I understand what you’re going through. I’ve been there myself when I was raising my son as a single mother. I also went through it yet again when I became a grandmother. It’s hard to not feel bad when you get some advice that you know is just a disguise for criticism. I get satisfaction out of seeing a fine young man that my son turned out to be and that validates I was doing the right thing. Hang in there, much love and respect, Donna.

  • MARY AZCON

    This is pretty awesome and I loved it. I have never talked bad about a mom because well… they can raise their kids they way the want to. Those women are doing their best to make people that will walk the earth. I’m just a teenager but I know what kind of mother I want to be and I will do my best and always try to speak up for me and those mothers out there. Because I also have a mother too and I know that is hard and that she’s doing her job the best she can so I can be a good human and to be part of the society around me.

  • Jeanette Brown

    Gen YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY ENOUGH! This article was wonderful. You are wonderful. Your children are happy and healthy, and you (and your husband) are the only one who should decide whether you breast feed, cosleep, keep a schedule, paint nails, anything. . . I have always been impressed with the stuff you have shared with us. I think, from what I can see, that you guys are doing a great job- however you are raising them. Keep doing what you are doing, and ignore the naysayers.

  • Milica

    I am not a mom but I did enjoy reading this and I wanted to thank you for saying all of this. You are truely a grat role model. I do judge people enen though I try not too but I at least keep it for my self and don’t say it to tem online or in person because you never know what someone is going true. Once again thank you for writing this sending my love to you and your family from Serbia <3

  • Kadra

    Yes!!! I just recently became a mother on April 23. I breastfeed my son but I also supplement with formula because I’ve had trouble with milk supply. Some people say “Breast is best” but I think fed is best. When it all boils down, you have to do what is best for your child and not someone else’s child. That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far in motherhood. ( Even though there’s more lessons to be learned down the road) Thank you for posting! ❤️

  • Nicole

    Hey Gen,

    I have been here so many times. I am so sorry you were judged. I love how you raise your kids and how you are so honest

  • Hannah Campbell

    Thank you so much for sharing this <3
    I am about to become a new mum (any day now!!) and this just spoke to me. I have no idea how I’m going to go, but I know I’ll give it my best and my all .. and that that’s enough.
    Again, thank you for sharing. You’re seriously an incredible woman and mother.

  • nik

    i’m not a mom, nor do i plan to be, but the second i read ‘… or want to lose it on the mom who can’t get her kid to stop crying on a cross-country flight,’ i pictured myself on a flight with an upset child and my brain automatically supplied me asking the mom if she’d mind me trying to help the child calm down, even if i’m just the distraction by making weird faces or something (people need to be more understanding and more willing to help others, ugh!). society is far too hard on mothers… everyone has an opinion and at the end of the day, *you* are the only one who knows your child’s wants and needs and none of that should ever be shamed. xoxo

  • Hailey Owens

    Thank you so much for sharing this. We have to lift each other up and encourage one another. No one is a true parenting “expert”. Gen, your children are beautiful and happy because of you and Jared. You are doing an amazing job!!! Thank you so much for everything that you do.

  • Stephanie

    I love this post! Lately I’ve had family make backhanded comments about how I raise my son. This shaming is not necessary and I constantly need to remind myself to not take it personally. I commend you for posting what many moms feel.

  • Pamela

    Great post, and I firmly agree that we have to get to a point of acceptance for all people then pass that on to parents. I’m not able to have children and that was always a huge thing for me, as I was always the maternal one. But I’ve always respected any parenting decisions, regardless. I figure if this being game from your body, unless you are directly putting them in harm, you have your reasons for the way you are raising them. Some could be from research on certain styles, some could be familial traditions. Either way, the child came from you. You know what is right and no one should tell you different. Personally, you kick butt, Gen!

  • tessa

    thank you! xoxo

  • Mickie

    I’m 47. My daughters are 18 and 22. I still get judged. I used to hear, “you have raised them so well. You have good girls. You must be proud of them.” My husband got killed when they were 5 y/o and 11 m/o. I didn’t remarry. (Both his parents are gone also.) Now? People think my daughters are making wrong choices. I guess. They don’t say it to me, but it gets back to my parents. It hurts them. Then they put the pressure on me to do something to my grown daughters to “make” them do right. If they need me I’m here. If not, it’s time for me. Me time at Me con. 😀

  • Lynn

    I have also been mom shamed. The sad part of this is that it was my own mother that shamed me. Whether it be from eating a little more than I “should have” to why I would let my kids have a little more freedom than I had when I was a kid. My kids are 23 and 19 and she still goes at me from time to time about what my kids are doing and how I can just let them do it. Try hard to ignore her crap, but when it’s your mother telling you you are basically a bad mom, it’s hard to ignore. Gen, you are a great mom and have beautiful kids. Unfortunately, we live in a time that thinks it’s ok to insult everyone so that they feel better about themselves. You guys are great parents. It shows how much you love your kids. Keep it up.

  • Rachel Stephenson

    This is beautiful!! As a mom of a 10 month old who is our first child I have had numerous people give “advice” on how to raise him. This is a reminder to raise my child they way that works best for us!

  • Christa

    Wise words. Thank you for reminding us to put kindness out into the world and to hold each other up. Keep up the good work in life and here. Xo

  • Melanie

    Gen, thank you for Sharing this!! You are so right! Your post helps me a lot, I’ve joined this motherhood journey just 2 weeks ago with my first baby. So thank you! And please keep posting, it really helps!

  • Melanie Arresse

    Gen, thank you for Sharing this!! You are so right! Your post helps me a lot, I’ve joined this motherhood journey just 2 weeks ago with my first baby. So thank you! And please keep posting, it really helps!

  • Tresa

    Thank you! This is an amazing post! Being a mom is hard and we must all encourage and support each other, so thank you for taking time to do just that!

  • Robin

    I agree with you. So many women turn raising babies into a fierce Olympic competition. When my son was diagnosed with autism, he reached some of the milestones much later. I was ok with this. I wasn’t competing. I planned to be, but my 43 year old body wasn’t entirely good with that so we supplemented formula. That was ok too. Just enjoy this time because it flies by so quickly. Dontblet anyone ruin your journey

  • Anita A.

    Hi Gen,

    I can do relate to feeling inadequate, like I wasn’t the best mom. I tried to breastfeed my girls and wasn’t able to get the technique down with my first daughter. With my second, she ended up getting ‘breastmilk jaundice’. This had me overwhelmed with guilt. She had to go so much to the Doctor to have her little heel poked to get blood and it lthey looked like pincushions. She had to lay in the window to get the necessary sunlight. I feel we are our worst critic. The guilt I still feel today and they are going to be 25 and 23 in a couple of months.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts
    Anita

  • Megan

    Coming across this post could NOT have come at a better time. Just this past week I’ve been mom-shamed, accused of being disengaged in my child’s life because I work full time and am not able to volunteer at her school. I’ve felt endlessly hurt, angry and guilty. This post let me take the first deep, cleansing breath in days. It helped me regain a little bit of my pride in the choices I’ve made for myself and my family. Thank you!

  • Nicole Enix

    Yes! Every single thing you mentioned I’ve been shamed for the same. From not being able to breastfeed after 6 weeks due to lack of milk, allowing my son to sleep with me after he had a febrile seizure, how he eats, I even get judged for painting his toe nails. He loves the colors 🤷🏻‍♀️ I’ve always told my friends Motherhood can be the most judgmental “hood” to be a part of. Thank you for sharing this & reminding others that we all are in this Mom thing together, one day at a time ❤️

  • Deborah

    I’m not even a mom and I love this! I’ve witnessed mom shaming too many times to count but it’s wider than that to be truthful. The shaming of women by women is so hurtful and unnecessary! If a woman hasn’t married what is wrong with her? If she did marry but didn’t have children what is wrong with her? Those questions can break her heart over and over again. Marriage and motherhood may have been her heart’s desire or not, why do people think that they’re entitled to share their opinions?
    Let’s all try to be kind, we’ll all win if we do!

  • Lauren Olson

    Thank you, what a great subject! We are all doing the best we truly can and mothering, and for us single Moms, fathering too, is sooooo hard. We need to be easier on ourselves. But, I have to mention our Mothers, I have an amazing Mom, so grateful to have her, every day. But, her censor flipped “off” when she became a Grandma! Seriously, sometimes very unwanted comments and advice. I hope I’m not the only daughter who feels this way. And, derailing me, when I say no, the kids know Grammy always says yes, it’s a never ending battle. It’s like I’m in a bad marriage with my Mom, lol 😂

  • Cindy

    You’re doing amazing, Gen. 😊

  • Monaca

    Thank you for this. I forget sometimes that I’m not the only one having a tough time and we do need to be more supportive and less judgy. I had an experiance at Target once where my son and I were having a rough go and the woman ajead of me at the checkout told me I was doing a great job. Just that one little comment made all the difference. Go moms!

  • Amber

    Honest and open. Loved this! I’d say this is more than just moms, in general society is very judgemental. I think as women, the nurtures, we need to stop judging people bc they’re different. I’m not a mom and it’s disheartening when so many ask why, or try to tell me how much better, fuller my life would be with kids. It’s equally insulting amd hurtful. I am expected to justify why I do not.

  • Valentina Marquez

    Thank you for sharing this!!!
    Like every mom out there, I have questioned if I am doing what is right for my kids. From what they are eating (or not eating), to movies, and friends. But I realized that I was driving myself crazy trying to second guess every decision.
    Yet, I have caught myself criticizing moms in my head for their babies crying in the store. But then I will look at my own babies and know that although they may be sitting quietly in the shopping basket at that moment, I have had my own frustrations and understand that we are only doing our best.
    As I go to bed each night , I am wondering what mistakes I made that day and what I should have done differently. Then I see their smiles or hear their giggles in my head and I know that although they ate an extra cupcake after dinner, i have loved my babies unconditionally and made sure they know that. In my eyes, that makes me the best mom I can be! And each mom needs remember that every day.
    ❤️

  • Madison

    This really touched home with me, not as a mother, but as a daughter who understands the struggles of motherhood. My own mother raised me by herself and juggled two jobs just to keep food on our table. She always did her best to teach me right from wrong, to support me, and to just raise me to be a decent human being. She often received criticism about her parenting (even in my presence) from strangers to even friends and family. It always broke my heart to hear it as I knew she was doing her best. No one is perfect and there is no such thing as a perfect parent. I really wish that there had been someone to say this to my mom while I was growing up, a few words of encouragement can go a long way.

  • Erika Vernaet

    I have had people that I was a bad mother because I walked my girls to school every day until they were old enough to tell me when they were ready to walk alone. I bought them cell phones just to tell me when they arrived at school. I was and still am a stay at home mom from day one. I never got a babysitter unless it was my parents. But other mother’s judged me. I felt alone but not wrong.

  • J Newberry

    This is a great topic, it is so true. I am a single mom with 11 kids. I have had my fair share of rude, obnoxious, and insensitive others telling me all about what I do wrong with my kids. Even church leaders telling me I was not a good mom for not marrying and giving my kids a dad. (Smh)
    It is unbelievable to me. I am the one home caring for my kids while the other parent decided to abandon the situation. And I get to deal with that too?
    We have to start building each other up, taking responsibility for how we make others feel and stop the judgement of others.

  • Angie Lively

    I believe as mothers, if we provide our kids with love, respect for others, as well as themselves, manners and empathy for all living things, then we’ve done our jobs. No, one way, is the right way!! Do it the way that works for you and yours!!

  • Jessica Duckworth

    Thank you so much for your honest opinion on the whole “mom shaming” thing. Its really just as bad as bullying and all of it needs to stop. We raise our children for ourselves, not for others. What works for one Mother/Father may not work for another, and thats ok! Thats why we do what we think is best for OUR child(ren).

  • Shawna Whaley

    Love this! There’s too much judgement going on and not enough compassion and kindness

  • Erica Gonzalez

    Thank you! Thank you for putting it into much better words than I ever could. The subtle digs we take at each other are overwhelming sometimes, as are the outright judgments. Being a mom is already tough enough. We definitely don’t need to be made to feel worse. I’ll be making the extra effort to reach out to other moms. Good reminder that we’re all in this together. Y’all have a beautiful family. Keep up the great writing! Thanks, again.

  • Michelle

    As a special needs mama I love this on so many levels. I could write a novel on how judged I am every time I leave my house with my son.

  • Shaunna

    I chose not to breastfeed my two children. Can you imagine the criticism? Whatever you imagined, triple it. I don’t know how many times I said “I respect your decision to breastfeed. I need you to respect my decision not to”. I think it’s all about respecting each other and supporting your fellow moms. We all struggle, we all do the best we can and that is enough. We are enough. Thanks for the great post, Gen.

  • Liz

    Just wanted to say ninjago is an AWESOME movie and my kids are probably sick of ME putting it on all the time lol. 😉

  • Sandy Parks

    I agree with you Gen. I have know idea if I’m being mom shamed. If I am I don’t hear but a lot of people are afraid of me because I look angry or mad not on purpose. I know people probably didn’t like it when I let my son grow his hair out he asked if he could I told has long has you take care of it. I’m a redhead (my kid’s also) so I heard my kids complain about being a redhead. I would tell them famous people that they knew that are redheads and also tell them that when people say that stuff to them about being a redhead (or any hair color) that they are just jealous because they don’t have that color. I tried to tell my kids(now 18 and 15) to do what they believe in. My dad was dad shamed because he raised my sister and I to speak our opinion and believe and do what we wanted in life. He didn’t care what anyone thinks I tell my kids the same thing. My son didn’t make a varsity sport because of his long hair. It’s also one of the reason he didn’t get his Eagle for Boyscouts. It’s an on going problem there’s not enough people like yourself to help fix it. I’m sorry I can keep going. Im writing from LeRoy, NY . Have a good night.
    Thanks for writing this blog.
    Sandy Parks

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you for this insightful post. I’m not a mother, but much of what you say applies to everyone anyway. As someone who is childless by choice I get a lot of judgmental comments. But I know what’s right for me and my husband. Being kind to others is always the right choice. Thanks for your honesty and for being such a positive role model.

  • Sophal - Downtown Seattle Macaroni Kid

    I have never believed in shaming anyone in the way they parenting, especially if the kiddos was healthy & happy. Never let ANYONE get you down for being a good mother. Parenting is hard and it is even harder if we don’t support each other.

    P.S. Let me know if you ever need some good trails to hit up next time you are in Seattle.

  • Jennifer

    Thank you for speaking this truth!
    Criticism is usually not helpful, beneficial or coming from a place of helping. This should be shut down. Especially among mothers!
    Though, I have a different take on unsolicited advice. I’ve found that we can learn so much that we wouldn’t have thought to ask if we’re open to other’s input. We don’t have to follow the advice but a “thank you for sharing that view/opinion/info” rarely harms us and sometimes we even get helpful tidbits we can use. And because parenting is tough we can use ALL the help we can get no?
    Also, Some people show their care by offering “helpful” advice. It can come off pushy but if I can remember their “why”-that they care- it’s not taken as veiled criticism but as an “I love you”.

  • Erin

    This is me- giving you and internet fist bump with much respect. Amen. Word. High five. All that jazz. 👊🏻

  • Yvonne

    So true. Everything you wrote is so true. Standing up for yourself and all women like this so brave and wonderful … good for you, Gen! And thank you from one mother to another. <3

  • Juliet

    Well Kudos to you Gen!👍🙏🖐👊 For someone like me who was mom shamed for 25 yrs, I’m very happy to see someone standing up for the fact that “we’re all just doing the best we can”. I will give you all a little hint of why I had been “Mommy Shamed” for so many years…simply because I was a teenage mother. Ladies…that is definitely a stigma you don’t get rid of unless your children do what others think is “right” in life. I had all 4 of my children by the age of 23, and yeah I’ll bet anyone reading this truthfully has a though or two about me…something I’ve been use to my whole (almost 29 years of being a parent in July)😉👍, but you know what…I simply never cared what anyone thought about me, my age, my parenting skills, or lack thereof (in others eyes). My goal and mission in this life was to create the best, caring, loving, respectful, devoted, passionate, strong and hardworking independent individuals this world is lucky to have in life. So I made sure I did all that along with finishing school, getting certified as a Medical Assistant and also as a Paralegal later in life, all while working raising my kids and running a household. It wasn’t easy, but boy are they all worth it! My point ladies is…don’t invest too much time in other people’s opinions of you…if you do…you’re just giving in to something that none of have control over, and that is someone else’s mind. I knew I could never change someone’s harsh or unreasonable thinking of me, but I knew I had the ability to raise what most people have referred to as “some incredibly amazing individuals” I was blessed to have had the opportunity to raise.🙏😊❤👍 Oh…as of today I am a almost 45 year old mother who gave birth to 5 children ( one a surrogate child), and a Oma (grandmother) of a 3 year old. 🙏❤😊

    Gen, I truly don’t hope you take this the wrong way, but I too would have been one of those women who would have made that statement about you and @dannielackles because truthfully… some of us envy you all for having the ability and time to take care of yourself so well because we couldn’t or haven’t figured out how to maintain our schedules to fit in time for healthier women. I don’t think it’s a backhanded insult to any of you…It’s that self mommy shaming we do to ourselves for not being as in shape or beautiful as you all are.

    I know this was a long one, but at the age of almost 45 I know what the affects are of being Mommy Shamed, and I have nothing but time on my hands to make a statement on some of these blogs…because all the hard work I put in to raising great individuals in life to meet my bar, had unfortunately left me with some debilitating genetic diseases that have taken away a lot of what my husband and I would have thought we’re going to be our golden years to travel the world.

    So ladies…take the time to take care of both…yourselves and your children and don’t ever let society or other people’s opinions define you…you define you. Just raise your kids to be the best versions of you this world would be proud to have.😉👍🙏👊❤😊

  • Joy

    This is my first time reading your blog although I follow you on Instagram. The funny thing is that I have said things to other moms that I meant as a sincere compliment that I now realize may have come off as being judgmental. Reading your blog reminded me to really pause for a moment before releasing word vomit (especially if you never intended it to be such)

    I have a 6yr old son that at times can be a little on the ride side. I am quick to correct him. It is my obligation as a mother to ensure that he become the best version of himself. We were walking into a store and just before we entered he sassed me. I corrected him in a firm tone. (10 years prior military means my firm also included volume. Not to mention that is just who I am…Loud) Just then the doors opened and a muddled aged woman looked me up and down and with hesitation stated “oh wow” as though I was in the wrong for correcting.

    For a moment I felt small. I was almost embarrassed and I instantly wanted to give an explanation and apologize for parenting him. I almost left the store, but instead I looked this woman in the eye and explained: Wow? Why? Because I used a firm voice that also happened to be loud enough to be heard but not yelling? I am raising a little person that I will eventually turn loose in the world…he needs my guidance. He needs discipline. I am not overly tough on my son. He is a free spirit. But, please don’t say wow as though I am wrong.

    My son took my hand and as we walked away he looked at me and said “I’m sorry mommy”. I don’t know if he felt he had created an issue or if he realized he was too sassy with me. The point is that for a moment I felt like I needed to answer to a complete stranger.

    Thank you for this post. Thank you for reminding all of that being a mom is hard enough without the weight of judgement from other moms. We should be a team. Givers of support.
    ❤️

  • Samantha

    I agree so passionately with this post! By his own choice my son had long curly hair down to his shoulder blades until he was 5, when he decided one day that he wanted shaved hair. The amount of times he was referred to as a girl, or comments were made about how maybe long hair wasn’t a healthy choice for a young boy in case he got teased blew my mind – comments all made by adults, other parents, and never any of his friends or schoolmates, which says a lot. Or the snide comment from an aunt of mine (that had never actually met my son) that he watches too much TV because that’s what she sees in my social media posts; in actual fact, my son is very active and when he’s sitting down and watching TV I can finally get a picture of him that isn’t blurry! We’ve also experienced the painted nails stigma, which he was blissfully unaware of, thankfully. Family, friends, and even strangers should absolutely be there to support you in your journey into and throughout parenthood, it’s hard enough already. Your own worries and concerns don’t need to be magnified by judgemental input from the outside world. I say focus on your kid(s) and yourself, enjoy and encourage who they are and allow them to feel as much happiness as they give you.

  • Nancy

    Thanks for sharing this! I feel sorry for moms out there that are shamed for raising their children their way. I believe that just like all people are different, each child is different. So I assume that the way you raise one, doesn’t necessarily mean you can apply that to the other. Unfortunately, I can’t have children, so I will never know what it’s like. And I’ve found that there’s is also shaming towards the women that do not have children. Where I work, many families visit and some parents will leave there kids unsupervised. If I see these kids do something they aren’t allowed to do or might be dangerous, I will tell them off. Most often then not, the moms will tell me off. They ask me if I have kids and when I say no, they tell me: no kids no opinion.
    So I am wondering, am I in the wrong?

  • Emmie-luu

    Aw this has touched my heart so much, you are an absolutely gorgeous mother with 3 absolutely gorgeous children. I think any woman would be proud to be half the mother you are 💕 chin up girly we all love you 😘

  • Elena Alkhimova

    I have two grown children. My daughter is twenty years old. She’s pregnant. Last Friday, she learned that her first child would be a son. Soon I will be a grandmother. I am very pleased, and I really want to save my daughter from judgment. Unfortunately, there are too many such “well-wishers” that I think are possible to judge others! Thank you, Genevieve, that you touched upon such an important topic for all mothers. From Ukraine whith love

  • Elena Alkhimova

    Compliments are a very delicate matter. That for some people a compliment, for others can be a very serious insult and hurt their feelings. Let no one ever hurt your feelings. May the Lord bless your whole family.

  • Janick Lamontagne

    I have been struggling with mental health issues all my life. A few years ago, I found THE shrink that helped me the most amongst the multitude of shrinks I have been in therapy with before. I had not wanted kids for over 20 years, mostly because my PTSD is due to a bad relationship with my father and having been bullied my entire life. Now, I do because I understood that it wasn’t my fault and I am a good person, I am enough. (we had a Good Will Hunting moment, my shrink and I) But, it might be too late because I’ll be 41 in less than a month and have been struggling to meet someone to be my partner and father to my children. When I look at your family, I only see love and it fills my heart with hope that the world is not doomed. I have been judgmental and I am working on that bit now. I take any kind of criticism very badly. I know it’s hard, if not impossible, to avoid some trolls (online and in real life), but what matters most is what you feel is important to you and your family. You are beautiful inside and out! Keep up the good work because you are inspiring to many of us younger and older women out there.

  • Sue

    I love what you are saying and it is so true to many people today are quick to point fingers and not quick enough to lend a helping hand. No one is born a mother it’s something we learn as we go. It’s the love we give and create in home with our families that matter most. It’s like the old saying that my nana always said if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all.

  • Jessica Graziosi

    Thank you Gen. My hope is the same as yours. NO MORE SHAMING!!! I am shamed in a pretty regular basis. I used to work full time and do it all. Mom of 4. Cook clean. Now, for the past 3 years I’ve had to stay home due to health issues. I’m shamed when I’m in too much pain to cook. Or if the laundry is t folded. Or when people come to our house and it’s not perfectly clean. My own brother shames me every time he sees me. It’s very upsetting. I think we do enough second guessing to ourselves. We do not need others doing that to us also. Xoxo Jess

  • Jeanne

    Thank you! It is so important for every young mom to know it is not easy. Don’t be afraid, you are doing an amazing job. My kids are teens, but I know exactly what you mean. I never listened to people who “knew better”. I always listened to my hart. My children are my mirrors and I see love. Love from Switzerland!

  • Alex Vincent

    My son is on the autistic spectrum and was diagnosed with Asperger’s at six. Prior to that we knew something was different, but had no answers. As such he often behaved differently to other children and this led to my then husband and I being judged as parents on a daily basis.
    We were alienated by the other parents at school who also encouraged their children to alienate my son, they criticised the decisions I made and how I approached everything from showing affection and support to behaviour management. I felt lost and alone because of the judgement of others.
    Once we understood why he behaved differently, I started to talk to their parents who had children with the same issues and all of them had experienced the same criticism, judgement and alienation from other patents, particularly mothers.
    I have learnt so much through this experience and have taught my children as they have grown not to judge others. Thank you for shining a spotlight on this.

  • Elma

    Absolutely love this. I am not a Mother yet but love reading and learning all this useful and amazing material to not only help me as a Mother in the future but also to understand Moms better. You are such an incredible person for choosing to help others on top of everything else you do! ♡

  • Jodi Gjersvik

    Thank you for writing this post and I support you in this. I am almost 48 years old, and I have survived the many judgments laid upon me. It was painful. I would like to thank my therapist for helping me reach an emotional place in which the judgments don’t hurt me (as much). I was able to rise above it. Therapy. Therapy. Therapy. I take care of my mental health. It has allowed me to let go of people who are emotionally driven by deeply held insecurities and negative behaviors. That said, I’m a semi-private person. I don’t have to live in the public life, nor would I want to. You’re life is obviously much different when dealing with the judgments brought to you through celebrity status, and the judgments often are contrary to your beliefs concerning how to be the best mother for your children. I can’t imagine what it’s like having to protect and educate your children in that arena. Stay strong. Strength, character, ethics, personal morality, and kindness provides us with the knowledge and skills we need to raise our children to be loving and respectful human beings. Peace to you.

  • Kerrin Hutz

    Thank you for writing this post. As a parent of adult children I find that I have been guilty of mom shaming. I’ve never actually said my thoughts out loud but in my mind I’ve shamed parents with young children. Thank you for pointing this out to me and I promise to be more kind in my mind.
    I honestly believe that you are doing great with your children. Keep up the great work.

  • Gail

    My ‘babies’ are now 23 & 20. I feel like I did so many things ‘’wrong’ while they were growing up (especially when we were around my mom). But you know what? I see 2 healthy, polite, smaller, funny and thriving adults now. And while I won’t take full credit for them, I take a lot of it, with my husband of course. I often tell him, “I don’t know what we did, but something worked. They are great.” When I see young parents who seem tired, frustrated, scared, etc … I always think and often say, “Just do what is in your heart. Be present, be strong, be consistent and just Be.” Love you, Gen.

  • Jen F.

    Than you for this! It was so needed. As
    Moms, we should be strong woen wodking together to support each other, not tearing down each ofhers choices. Kids are HARD, and they don’t coe with instruction manuals!

  • Laurie

    Thank you, thank you, thank you !! As a Mom of a 24, 16, and 10 year old, I can say they’re ALL different in personalty and temperament. I have been both judged and praised by other Mom’s. I love that you said ” you’re ENOUGH” God gave us these amazing humans to care for and we do our very best !! Keep up the great advice and know that you TOO are ENOUGH 😊❤️🌺
    ((Hugs from Michigan)) – Laurie V.

  • Laurie VanEss

    Thank you, thank you, thank you !! As a Mom of a 24, 16, and 10 year old, I can say they’re ALL different in personalty and temperament. I have been both judged and praised by other Mom’s. I love that you said ” you’re ENOUGH” God gave us these amazing humans to care for and we do our very best !! Keep up the great advice and know that you TOO are ENOUGH 😊❤️🌺
    ((Hugs from Michigan)) – Laurie V.

  • Jordy

    The mom-shaming has gotten to a ridiculous point nowadays. With Instagram, the second anyone posts a photo of something to do with their kid, there’s always a person or two who points out something. A snapshot in the moment apparently gives the illusion that it’s fact, and people are harsh. I think so long as a child is well-fed, nurtured, and mentally and physically supported, then keep opinions to yourself. The nail polish thing was bizarre to me, because it’s not a harmful thing in any way. Critics have no right and we all need to be more supportive and uplifting.

  • Tawny Rogacki

    I’m not a mom but I’m an aunt to 10 year old niece & a 6 year old nephew & I’ve kinda had to help raise them. I also help to take care of my sister so I feel like a mom sometimes without being one yet. I get the nail polish thing because my nephew wanted to paint his nails like me & his sister & his mom does but he was afraid of what people would say at school the next week. I’m like, “You’re only a little kid having fun. It comes off!” So yes, thank you for sharing this. I don’t relate as personally but on some level I do. Kindness does help & I really hope others realize that more.

  • Suzette

    Thank you for sharing. As a parent of a child with mental health struggles I get the “well, if you would just…” statements almost daily. I can’t even imagine the judgement you must get raising your children in the public eye. While most of us only have to put up with our own circle of friends and a handful of strangers chiming in at the grocery store, you have to navigate thousands of prying eyes and “suggestions” from strangers daily. I applaud your resilience and willingness to be open about your life with all of us despite the criticism. Kudos to you and Jared and your beautiful children and thank you for helping to normalize and encourage acceptance. No one is perfect, we will all make mistakes. But as you saidn we are in this together!

  • Ana O'

    I think being a public figure is even harder because your post are public and people can be very mean. I love that you do advertising and blogging, etc. Being able to work from home is a blessing. Spending time with your kids is great. I have 4 kids, and had the blessing of my husband (military) let me be at home mom (though I have gotten mom shame for it too.)
    My mom thought me, to each its own. Be careful how you judge and what you wish because is Karma for you and for your kids. Very wise words I think, to this day I’m teaching the same to my 2 boys and 2 girls. I’ve been mommy shame for nursing all my kids until they were about 3yrs old, carrying them around too much or for too long, potty training, co sleeping, private school and now Independent school.etc. Some thing bad happened to me. Since then I decided, no explanations given and that is what we chose and that is what we do is the answer I give. The only one I explain things is to my husband, because he pays bills and puts food In our table. I see my 15 and 11yrs old who are taller than me, caring and indipendant, kids, and I don’t regret the things I was being mom shame for)
    Personally I observed what other moms do, focus on what I like and I think I can use for my kids, depending their personalities and run with it. What is not my cup of tea, I don’t shame them for it, because I been there and it hurts, plus is bad Karma.
    Thank you Gen for your heart felt words, may God keep blessing you and your family.

  • Ana O'

    Thank you Genevieve for your heart felt post.
    My mom told me to be careful how I judge and what and how I say things, because it is Karma for me and my kids. (my kids were not even born) personally I take what I like from my friends or other moms and run with it. What is not my cup of tea I don’t shame them for, been on the other side and it hurts. Plus my mom’s words resonate.

  • Maddy

    I love this! Being a mom is though and we most certainly don’t need the mommy shaming .

  • Jennifer Lovenstein

    I love what you wrote here and I agree wholeheartedly. The best parenting advice I ever received was to ignore all parenting advice, pay attention to and really learn about my child, and do what feels right for our family at the time. When in doubt, call the pediatrician. And whenever my now teenage and tween children judge my parenting (usually because I’m making them do a chore they don’t want to do), I lovingly tell them to note it in their journals so that they can tell their future therapists how awful I was. (Lol)

  • Gwen

    Thank you for this. Motherhood is wonderful but also so so hard and made even harder by the judgement of others, judgement that is everywhere these days. Moreso than ever. I got judged for being a stay at home mam. I got judged for wanting to breastfeed my girls and then judged again when I had to give it up both times as the pain was excruciating. There is no judgement greater than that of breastfeeding mothers towards those who, for whatever reason, cannot or do not want to breastfeed. Then there’s the judgement when your Asperger teenager is having a meltdown in public and people immediately think bad parent/awful child without stopping to think there might be a hidden disability issue. Mothers need to be kinder to each other, not so condemning. A smile or a helping hand could be what it takes to turn a bad day around for a woman having a tough day.

  • Montana Moore

    Wow, Gen. Knocking it out of the park, with an issue I hadn’t realize was getting so bad. You’ve really shown light on the subject and as usually I’m proud of you for being braver the rest of us and talking about what needs to be talked about ❤❤

  • Melinda

    ” At the end of the day it is NOBODY’s business how or what I feed my children. I am a mom just trying to get by. We all are.”

    Absolutely! Couldn’t have said it better myself. We are the only ones who know what works for our children and why. Even “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” does not universally apply to all Moms. There are no “Mom Bibles.” If only it were that easy. We have to tune out the critical know-it-alls and do what’s best for OUR children no matter how many children or what degrees certain moms have.

  • Robbie

    You are such an inspiration not only to me but also to my two grown daughters.. and all three of us have experienced mom shaming and I think it’s so sad. I have the opinion that if my child is happy, healthy, and knows that I adore them ,then I am obviously doing something right and if they want me to kiss them, paint their nails, dress them up as Boy George then by God that’s what I’m going to do. You are a beautiful wonderful mother and it is obvious and I have a good feeling that the man in your life would not be with you if he thought otherwise. Please do not stop what you are doing keep inspiring me and my two girls keep inspiring all women to be strong independent and know that they are worthy of everything that they strive to have. I cannot tell you how much your blog has meant to me.. there have been moments in my life especially after my mother died that I truly thought that I wasn’t strong enough and your words of wisdom and encouragement helped me stand up and realize that even though she’s gone I am still here and still worthy and still entitled to be happy. Thank you for everything I cannot thank you enough because truly not only has Supernatural been a strong force in my life but your words to have been just as strong. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I found you and your words I know that I sound like a babbling fan here but you just really have no idea what you have done for me and my two girls thank you again we love you we support you in everything that you’re doing.

  • Betty

    I’m not a mother but I love your post alot. Your kids are so happy. I think it’s awesome you take care of them instead of nannies or etc. My mom was at home mom I saw her struggle all the time. It’s hard. Your doing great.

  • Holly

    I’m not a mom, but you inspire me as do all mom’s do. People need to realize there is no perfect way to raise children as each child and their needs are different. Some parenting styles work for one, while it doesn’t work for another. But, we have become such a judgmental society that no matter what you do – you’re in the wrong. Keep up the good, Mama. You got this.

  • Celine

    Thanks Gen for sharing this. Many have tried to make me feel like an inadequate mom, and I say try because unless they are a certified pediatrician I never gave a rats ass about their opinion and did what I believed in my heart was the best for my daughter. None of us as the perfect solution and my solution may not be good for you or yours for me and it’s ok. This is why we are called individuals… Because we are each unique in our own way and our kids also… When I have birth the nurses made me feel so bad for not being able to breastfeed instead of helping me find a solution. I had to figure out for myself how to give the best to my baby. For 6 months I’ve used a pump and gave her my milk with a mix of formula. And she’s now a healthy 7 years old and I’m proud of what we accomplish everyday. Thanks again for being our voice xxx.

  • Iris Martha from Curacao

    Gen, from what i see you are raising your kids well. To me what counts is love, cause love is the best way to do things. There is nor was never a guidebook of being a mom or wife. You chose these by loving the person enough and kids by always wanting to protected them. You chose by letting love guide you true desicions. And for me it has been always that, love will show you that what you do is enough that you are enough.
    Gen you have a beautyful family and they all are happy (Jared included) so keep going you are doing just great. With love Iris M.

  • Valerie Sampson

    I nursed my daughter; had an awful time of it because I just couldn’t produce enough for her. We stuck it out for about six months, and it was mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. When my son was born, I tried again, but because of complications during his birth I ended up having two epidurals, which caused the worst spinal headache I have ever had-I couldn’t sit up without my head feeling like it was being split in two. After about a week of trying to nurse him, and either bawling because my head hurt so bad, or bawling because I tried lying down to nurse and he couldn’t latch on well, my mom said, “You know, both you and your sister were bottle babies and you both turned out fine.” I couldn’t believe the flak I got from several *friends*, that somehow I had failed my child because of how I chose to make sure he got fed! A week later he was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis and had surgery at two weeks of age. The same friends questioned our doctors and us for his surgery. You just can’t win with some people.

  • Rachelle

    Hi Jen! This was very moving. My boys are much older now. 20 and 14, but I’ve been there and honestly done that too. It’s amazing when we can walk in truth about how we judge one another. Your blog is inspiring and brings awareness to how we should treat one another with humility. I’ve been judged as you have and honestly it’s hurtful. I’ve learned to not allow other people’s opinions dictate who I am as a woman or mother. Thank you for writing this blog. You’re an amazing woman and mother Jen. I hope others can be inspired by your words to keep pressing each day and walk in truth. God bless you!

  • jean sorrell

    You know, from every photo that i have seen, you have three loving, affectionate little ones who are not afraid or embarrassed to show that they love their parents, and one another. You teach your kids to eat clean, to enjoy the company of their family at holidays, to meditate, to exercise, my heavens, how much more can you teach them about being responsible, aware peole. You even teach you boys to stand up for women, and respect us as valuable people! I was in a grocery not long age, and a family passd by, he last being a little girl of about four, who, smiling, said “excuse me”. Without thinking, i said ” Good job Mom” She was shocked, and thanked me for recognising that she works hard to teach her kids to be kind people. If only we could all take a moment, just one moment, to recognize a mom…….Thanks.

  • Gabriela

    Congrats Gen, it’s my first time here and I‘m really impress with your way of Writing. For sure, starting today,I am going to give suport words for desperate moms. And keep working in this blog, it’s really good!

  • Melanie

    You are so right! The mom shaming has to stop. As long as it’s not emotionally or physically abusive, how moms AND dads raise their children, is no one’s business but their own. So you painted your son’s fingernails. Big whoop! I don’t think that will “emasculate” him in the least. You and your children look healthy and happy, so you must be doing something right. I know it’s hard, I’ve been there, but ignore the people that only have something negative to say. Misery lives company, right?

  • Charlotte Paul

    I am an extremely non-judgemental person and always wish that others would be so, too. Unfortunately I had more than my share considering my parenting skills! I may be wrong sometimes (hey, I’m human! And everyone is a firsttimer parent as each kid is different or the circumstances are) but I definitely am a very dedicated mother and such comments ae hurtful and only fuelled my insecurities! So thanks thanks thanks for pouting this out and inspiring us to be a better person!

  • B Meiser

    I love this post! Thank you so much for spreading the word of positivity and support. It took me a long time to trust my instincts insead of listening to what others told me was right for my son. Once I realized I was capable and that my insticts were spot on, I was able to parent without guilt or shame. Life is hard enough without criticizing one another, so why do it?

  • Veronica McGee

    Very good read. I became a first-time mom in April when my husband and I were blessed with a newborn baby to adopt. I’m the type of person that immediately calls someone out if I feel they’re judgy or being passive aggressive. What I wasn’t prepared for is those that feel entitled to talk to me, interrupt me, and provide unsolicited advice that I don’t want. Having a baby with me does not give friends or strangers they right to provide me with unwanted attention. I realize it’s joyous to have a baby but this journey was long, emotional, and the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Frankly, sometimes I just don’t want to talk or engage and I certainly don’t want to hear judgement.

  • Devon Ayres

    Thank you so much for sharing! My husband and I have been struggling with expanding our family and have decided on adoption. You would not believe the comments and we don’t even have a child yet! Someone actually tried to shame me because I wasn’t planning on breast feeding an adopted baby! Thank you for advocating for all moms!

  • Liz Brown

    I so agree with your words in this article and think you hit the nail on the head. We are all to quick to judge others when we don’t see the whole picture, let’s say. When you are doing your best and raising, healthy, happy, kind, caring children it is awesome. Mothers and others should be ashamed of shaming others. If they are not your children, you do not have the right to tell their parents how to raise them. Things have changed so much since I was a mother with a daughter and I think it is harder for the parents and the kids today. As my grandmother use to tell me, if you can’t say something nice or help someone, don’t say or do anything. Everyone needs encouragement and a feeling of selfworth. We should all encourage each other, be kind to each other, and help each other that we may be better ourselves.

  • Don Gillespie

    Hi Gen,
    Looks like not too many men are commenting here so I’m happy to provide a guy’s point of view. We were shocked at how many parents couldn’t wait to let us know, some in subtle ways and some not so subtle, that our baby wasn’t as smart, fast, strong, dleeping as well, or just all-around as incredible, as theirs, that we were lacking in this, wrong in that, that we should do what they did even if it sounded stupid…it took us by surprise until we realized that there are a lot of people out there who just want to elevate their own self image at the expense of yours. I found women to be especially brutal about breastfeeding and cesarian sections. I’m happy for all the women who wanted natural childbirth nd had it, and who wanted to breastfeed and had an easy time. But having a c-section or epidurals doesn’t make you any less a woman and doesn’t make you somehow defective (yes some people actually say this stuff). many women do not just roll out of bed knowing how to get the proper latch for breastfeeding or know what to do when their milk arrival is delayed a bit, and these struggles don’t make you any less a woman either. We all make our judgements about the parenting of others (God knows I sure do) but I keep those judgements to myself, which is where they belong. We like our parenting style but that doesn’t mean it’s the way everyone should do it. So when we meet people expecting their first baby we give the one single piece of advice (if they want it): Listen only to your baby and trust your instincts. 9 times out of 10 they will lead you the right way if you trust them. For the times you still have a problem, seek out advice from someone who’s been through it who you really trust. And you’ll be fine. Nice blog.
    Don

  • Natasha Chambers-McGilton

    Hell yeah! Perfect words everyone who has ever been mom shamed or been the guilty one shaming a mom trying her best! I read a quote somewhere that went something like ” show me a perfect mother and I’ll show you a unicorn dancing around a leprechaun at the end of a rainbow with a pot of gold and a fairy on his shoulder sprinkling glitter everywhere”. Way to go Mama!

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