Mom-Shaming. Are You Guilty?
Child India|June 2018

It’s rampant and completely uncalled for. Here, we tell you how to deal with it, and more importantly, how to not indulge in it.

Ankita A Talwar

IT’S BEEN years but I still vividly remember the day a neighbour approached me and my 2-year-old daughter, and lectured me for five minutes on how I was a negligent and a lazy mother…for having a skinny kid. In my defence, my girl was born thin and, though was slightly underweight, did not show any signs of being undernourished. Yet, even though I knew my parenting was fine, I still burned with embarrassment and a feeling of inadequacy.

Fast forward to 2018. My daughter, now a 6-year-old, has shed offher skinniness. So does this permit me to judge new mothers? Newsflash: It does not.

Mom-Shaming is real

Simply put, mom-shaming is saying, casting aspersions or passing negative comments about another mom and her parenting style, which hits her parenting confidence. Case in point: A quote on a very popular online mothers community that I came across a few days ago. It said, “Women should work, become independent and follow their passions. In the bargain children also become independent and more respectful of their mother and her time. They understand that their mother is also ambitious and learn to value her presence in their lives.” This comment came from a working mother. As expected, it took the community by storm. To quote a member, “It worries me to think that since I stay at home for my children’s sake, I’m not worthy of their respect.”

Mom-shaming can happen anywhere, and it’s important to know how to deal with it.

By family

According to University of Michigan’s CS Motts Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, 37 per cent moms reported that they had been second guessed by their own father or mother. Though this statistic may not in its entirety apply to the Indian population, here too family assumes everything is open to discussion: Breast vs bottle feeding, cloth vs disposable diapers, managing yourself vs help from nannies. Since they know you, and your habits, and do have your best interests at heart, they think they have the right to evaluate your parenting.

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