What to do when you get bullied - by another mom!
You encounter them wherever you go, your child's school, your child's sports class and even worse, online. Here's what you do when another mom bullies you.
Motherhood is associated with emotions such as love, happiness and pride. A mother’s behaviour towards her child is almost always nurturing, protective and supportive.
Unfortunately, these positive maternal feelings and behaviours are not always extended to fellow moms. You only have to scroll through social media parenting groups or overhear conversations among certain groups of moms to realize the extent of mom-shaming behaviour.
Ironically, much of this behaviour happens in online “support” groups or during mom “support” meetings over coffee and cake.
Whether you’re a first-time mom or a mom of five, you have your good days and bad days. You also have your own philosophies about sleep, feeding, discipline, education and other child-related issues. You are totally entitled to these opinions without having to be judged by others, including other moms.
Unfortunately though, Ms. Judgy Pants and her friends don't think so and take pleasure in judging and shaming others at any given opportunity.
With this in mind, here are five areas related to parenting that you’ll often find Ms. Judgy Pants and company gossiping about and criticizing other moms. You will agree, without a doubt, that this kind of mom-shaming behaviour should stop right now.
"Mommy trolls" are among the worst of judgemental moms. Find out why on the next page.
Mommy-trolls can usually be found lurking in the depths of online parenting forums and groups. They take courage from anonymity and great pleasure from ruthlessly attacking and ridiculing the opinions or questions of other moms.
This kind of behaviour is truly disheartening. Parenting groups are meant for support and advice and are where moms should be able to freely express their opinions or ask questions without being harshly judged.
There really shouldn’t be a place in cyber-space for mommy-trolls. So if you are part of an online parenting group and you come across one or more of these trolls, do not hesitate to report them to the group administrator.
Most importantly, if you fall victim to a mommy-troll, do not take her nasty comments to heart. Their harsh words are best left unacknowledged.
Breastfeeding vs. formula feeding
Some moms choose to breastfeed their babies and other mums choose to formula-feed them. While the general consensus is that breast is best, if a mom cannot breastfeed her baby for whatever reason (and there are many), then she should not be judged for her decision.
Likewise, if a mom decides to breastfeed her baby for more than a year or two, she should not be judged either. Ultimately, both sets of moms have their kids’ best interests at heart and their decisions should be supported, not criticized.
Most moms try to provide their children with a healthy diet. But let’s face it... on the days you’re confronted with a shrieking two-year-old who has just thrown his plate containing that balanced meal across the room, you give up. And you give him what he wants, even if it’s just plain pasta or fried chicken, just to keep the peace and make sure he eats something.
What’s worse than tackling your child's food tantrums is having to deal with the judgemental voice of “that mom.” “That mum” cooks Michelin star quality meals for her child every night and packs work-of-art Bento boxes for his lunch every day, and of course he eats every morsel. Of course there’s no problem with this at all.
However, it's when she morphs into Ms. Judgy Pants and rubs her culinary achievements in your tired-of-dealing-with-a-picky-eater face with glee (whether on social media or in person) that you want to throw a tantrum of your own. She also constantly hints at what a bad mom you are for not making your child eat a “balanced meal”.
Have you ever felt other moms judge your appearance? Click Continue Reading for more on judgy moms.
Mommy fashion and mummy-bellies
Some women’s post-baby kilos seem to dissolve as fast as ice-cream left in the sun. They are able to fit back in gorgeous size four clothing in no time at all.
It truly is fabulous when a mom can get back into shape just a few months after giving birth. But what’s not so nice is when she puts on her Ms. Judgy Pants hat and starts criticizing other moms' appearance, either behind their backs or on parenting forums.
It’s bad enough that the media makes it hard for women to feel good about their post-baby bodies without having other moms jump on this body-shaming bandwagon.
So if you are one of those moms who were lucky enough to get their pre-baby bodies back in a flash, be kind to fellow moms and don’t judge their appearance. Instead, support them in any way you can by complimenting them on how they look or offering to be a work-out buddy.
Working moms vs. stay-at-home moms
If a mom chooses to work full time, she often feels judged by other moms who criticize her for neglecting her kids. If a mom decides to stay at home, she gets slammed, also by other moms, for choosing a "meaningless life". There are really no winners in this war of harsh words and opinions.
But whichever side of the fence you might be on, have you ever stopped to think that perhaps that working mom has no choice but to contribute financially to her family’s expenses? Or that that stay-at-home mom wishes she could have a day away from her kids in the office, even for a day?
It is really not okay to judge a mom for her choice of career. Whether you work full-time or look after your kids full-time, both jobs can be equally demanding… and rewarding.
Moms, you’ll agree that it’s getting increasingly difficult to raise our children in this fast-changing and sometime scary world. So let’s give each other support whenever and wherever possible, and stop the judging. After all, it takes a village to raise a child, right?
Have you ever encountered mom-shaming behaviour? Tell us about it in a comment below.
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