At first, I was hesitant to start a mom blog. From what I had seen on social media, there was a lot of self righteous parenting going on. From working moms to stay-at-home moms. From self proclaimed hot-mess moms to tiger moms. Moms who co-sleep and moms who go the route of sleep training. There are moms who workout and moms who don’t have the time. Moms who are at every sporting event and moms who stay late at the office. I could go on and on with all the different styles of motherhood but, it wasn’t the number of approaches that had me wary…it was the way moms were relaying their preferences that scared the sh*t out of me.
As a journalist, it’s my job to objectively listen to opinions that are often different from my own. Now, after nearly 15 years in the business, keeping an open mind has become like second nature. Which made the mom blogs I saw floating around the world wide web even more surprising. From posts with subtle undertones of “my way or the highway” to the more direct approach in the comments section, the attitudes of other women were not always very supportive. Did I even want to be a casual reader, let alone start my own blog? More importantly, why were so many women judging each other?
After some careful thought, I came up with a pretty straightforward answer: sometimes mean girls stay mean girls. Think about it. Just because a woman becomes a mother, doesn’t mean she automatically lets go of those petty tendencies from high school. Sometimes, the new role just gives a gal a whole new set of things to judge. And sometimes the blogging world/social media becomes a modern day slam book with which she can do it.
I bring this all up because I just read an article explaining one blogger’s frustration with this very subject. Her name is Sia Cooper, aka the official fit mommy. Here is her most recent viral post:
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been called a “bad mom,” I would be soooo rich! It seems almost impossible to be a textbook or politically correct good mom these days because everywhere you turn another mom is judging your parenting choices. Am I right? I’ve been called a bad mom for: Workout out during pregnancy. Working out while having kids… period. For caring about my looks and health. Working out in Target. Using canned goods and plastic crockpot liners. Having tattoos and piercings. Enjoying wine every now and then. For letting my kids use technology. For letting my kids have sugar and happy meals occasionally. For not “covering up” around my kids. For running a full time business from home. For co-sleeping with my kids. For collecting sports cars and motorcycles aka having a hobby. For taking time for myself. For having abs. I’ve learned that the true “bad moms” out there are the ones who constantly tear other moms down by judging them. Those moms are the ones who are truly insecure and have strong feelings of inadequacy because why else would they do that? Misery loves company. There’s no one right way to parent or to be a mom. We all are running in the same race and doing the best that we can. Motherhood is not a one size fits all-what works for one family may not work for the next. So who are we to judge another mom’s choices or reasoning? Being a mom is hard enough and if all the following make me a “bad mom” then I’ll gladly wear it proudly! Here’s to all the bad moms out there. Follow @badmomconfessions to submit a confession or read other anonymous mothers’ spills! @todayshow @goodmorningamerica @theviewabc @thetalkcbs @theellenshow
Now I don’t know much about this woman, nor do I collect sports cars and motorcycles. But I do like a good glass of Cabernet and am very intrigued by the aforementioned crock pot liners. But even if I wasn’t, why would I take time out of my day to insult a stranger who is? It reminds me of a meme I once saw:
Funny right? Arguing with strangers…or in the case of mom-shaming, judging them.
Here is some perspective, brought to you courtesy college me (she was a blast, you would’ve loved her!). Back then, I took a women in politics course. On the afternoon of our very first class, the professor asked us what we thought a feminist was. A couple wisecracks about armpit hair later (this was, after all, a group of 18-year-old coeds), our instructor gave us a very simple answer: a feminist is a woman who supports other women.
I’ve carried that philosophy with me all these years (I’m now “advanced maternal age,” so it’s been awhile) and even had it in mind when deciding to go ahead with this blog. While I may be speaking from a working mom’s point of view, I can honestly say I have nothing but love for all the other types of moms out there. Many of them are my friends. The stay at home mamas giving their kids undivided attention, the so-called hot mess mamas who make me laugh, the mamas I can turn to when trying to breast feed and the ones who will understand if I don’t. I support all of you! And quite frankly, that’s the way it should be…
Unless of course you’re still a mean girl. Because I for one don’t wear pink on Wednesdays.