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the truth behind mom shaming

Oh my heavens to Betsy (<-- cussing like a grandma for no particular reason today), the mom-shaming smack-down is still on.

Is your kid posting selfies? Shame on you. Is your kid looking at other people's selfies? Shame on you. Don't know what a selfie is? Shame on you. Not reading the 4 bazillion posts out there about Mom Shaming? Shame on you!

Those largely know-it-all, holier-than-thou posts contain none of the good-natured ribbing moms give themselves with memes like Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva’s Mom Shaming, in which mothers take photos of themselves with signs admitting their guilty parenting secrets. Shoot, I was all over that!

If you haven't already seen them, you owe it to yourself
to check out the alternate captions for this photo.

Well Mom Shamers, if you want to take all the fun out of me being a sub-par parent, I guess that's fine. Everybody needs a hobby. But you have to admit - potentially judgable, mom-shamey moments happen to all of us (to some of us, on a near-constant basis), especially when those fleeting moments are taken out of the context of the rest of our day. It's all about compromise.

What do I mean? I'm about to reveal the truth about what's really going on when those McJudgey judgers see us out on the street - or out on the web.

essay on the truth behind mom shaming by Robyn Welling @RobynHTV

According to Facebook and the Internet at large, this mom shaming stuff is still everywhere you click.

Moms, your daughters are dressing like sluts.

Mommy, get off your cell phone while you’re at the playground.

Mom, quit sneaking your flask into PTA meetings!

I get it. For the most part, these articles are just trying to make the world a better place by spreading awareness of the Great Moments In Motherhood Awesomeness we’re screwing up (as if we didn’t already know). But they completely overlook one fundamental aspect of the very moments they aim to shame: namely, the back story.

It’s easy to judge a mom for sitting on a park bench with her face in her phone while her kids scream for attention from the monkey bars. But isn’t it possible (it's a long shot, I know, but try to stay with me) that she’s actually a decent mother (WHAAAAAT?) who simply needs to answer an email without one kid hanging off her pant leg until the elastic waist of her yoga pants slides down to her knees, tripping her as she runs to catch another kid who’s swinging from the curtains, screaming that he wants to go to the park?

In case you’re one of the lucky few who‘s never been that mom, dragging your hysterical child across the Target parking lot by the back of his shirt, here are some examples from my life that are ripe for mom shaming - if you don’t take into consideration the fact that, often, what looks like parenting failure is just a compromise in disguise.

Toddler wearing two pairs of pants when it’s 849 degrees outside: a compromise between the shorts I wanted her to wear and the flannel footie jammies she initially demanded.

Play-Doh ground into my dining room carpet: after a 20-minute discussion about why we don’t bring toys to the breakfast table, followed by breakfast with only one color of Play-Doh (compromise!), my carpet is proof that at least some of the Play-Doh wasn't consumed with the Wheaties.

Okay, fine, with the Pop Tarts.

Pop Tarts for breakfast: all the fiber of the whole wheat toast I initially offered, with a filling reminiscent of the Oreos the kids actually wanted.

Hysterical kid being dragged across Target parking lot: sometimes you let your kid spend $45 in the vending machines, and they have a complete meltdown as soon as you run out of quarters anyway. Should I let him pout off into traffic? Should I leave him there, tantruming among the shopping carts by the Chicklet dispenser?

No? Because I considered it! But then - compromise.

Mothering is wonderful, and hard. It's rarely pretty from the outside, and never perfect. Behind every tantrum is a story, within every fashion faux pas is some parental give and take. So, Internet, when you start to judge us, please keep in mind we're all just trying to do our best.

One Pop Tart at a time.

(Article originally published on In The Powder Room. Reprinted with permission.)

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Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0 said...

I never clean my shower, either. It's constantly getting sprayed with soap and water anyway, right?

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

Totally - self cleaning, just like my car when it rains.

TCahal said...

It's so good to know I'm not the only one with the self cleaning shower!! Wish they had that option for toilets too...

Michelle Nahom said...

I clean the dirty spots in the shower when I'm in it. And sometimes I spray it down after. Good enough, right?

Bronwyn MayB said...

That is the greatest sign I've ever seen. Good for you!

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

You're supposed to CLEAN those?!? Gross.

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

You're an overachiever as far as I'm concerned!

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

Thanks! Man, that was fun to do. :)

SocialButterflyMom said...

I heart this picture of you. Whose pearls are those? C'mon, be honest.

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

Ha! I snagged those out of a box of costume jewelry my SIL dropped off for our garage sale. So come one, come all - next week at this time, those plastic gems will be for sale in my driveway!

rorybore said...

I've seriously been tempted to walk around with a bag of stones in my pockets to hand out to any Judgie Pants I encounter. but.....I also can't promise I won't toss one in the general direction of their own glass house. I should really just stay inside :)

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