“I find this whole article and mind set ridiculously self indulgent”.
“Seriously? No wonder we have a generation of snowflakes. #firstworldproblems”
“Thoughts and prayers. (Insert eyeroll) 🙄”
“Buckle up buttercup, life is hard.”
“You might not be ready for college. Or to be an adult. Or for life in general”.
I recently wrote an article for Grown & Flown about an experience my daughter had with her college application. Her guidance counselor had forgotten to sign a form for her Early Decision application, my daughter had then missed an email (in her junk folder) which put her ED in jeopardy. While it all worked out in the end, I wanted to share the story as a caution to others.
I am always surprised at the mom-shaming and hateful comments that are posted on articles, especially parenting articles. My Grown & Flown essay was on the receiving end of these comments.
Are any of us perfect parents? Of course not. Until we are, I do not think we should be passing such harsh judgement on one another.
Some will say, “If you put your life out there for the world to see, you should expect anything that comes your way”. I welcome healthy conversation on any of my articles. Disagreement and discussion are expected and it is great to hear differing opinions on any subject, but I believe this can be done without name-calling and harsh criticism.
Most moms who blog or write are sharing their own stories to reach others who are going through a similar situation.
I started writing my blog, The Widow Wears Pink, a few years ago. I was sharing my experience of being a young widow to help myself, as well as others who were going through the same thing.
In the beginning, I only received praise and more praise. I was a widow trying to help other widows, who could find fault with that?
The world of blogging was great to me. I was receiving nothing but encouragement and thank yous. It was a wonderful feeling.
It was when I began to branch out and write about other topics that I realized everyone is not so nice. There was some criticism on certain subjects I wrote about. It wasn’t too harsh, but I decided early on that I was going to need a thick skin to continue writing, so I got one. I don’t usually let the criticism get to me.
One Father’s Day, I published an article which appeared in both Huffington Post and Today.com. The article was about why my daughters and I no longer celebrate Father’s Day since my husband passed away. This was when I first saw how nasty the mom-shamers could get.
The judgiest judges went crazy. The way I was bashed, one would have thought I had written an article about beating my children. I was called a horrible mother and told that I was ruining my children’s lives.
The reaction was unexpected and quite shocking. I was a bit taken aback, but I remembered my thick skin and didn’t let these people get to me too much.
Now, a few years later, the harsh negativity has come back to me once again. Having been there once before, it is a little easier to ignore and try to laugh off this time. These people don’t know me or my family and what they say has no impact on my life.
What I will never understand is – why? Why must we be nasty and mean to one another? Why do we mom-shame?
Does it make us feel better to tear someone else down? Does it make us feel like the perfect parents? We like to think, “My child would NEVER do that”, or “I would never make the mistakes THAT mother makes”. Do these thoughts help us to feel superior?
Guess what? If it’s not that mistake, it will be another. We all make them.
We should all try to support one another. I understand that we all parent differently and that is ok. As long as we are doing our best and not hurting our children or anyone else’s, we should all be applauded. Raising children is difficult, especially in this day and age. We all look for advice at one time or another, which is why we look at parenting sites and read articles. They can be helpful.
It is ok to disagree with what we are reading and start a healthy conversation, but there is no reason to be nasty and to mom-shame.
Cheer for your fellow moms when they are doing well and lend a hand or an ear when they are not. They may just do the same for you one day.
Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband tragically passed away. After a few very difficult years, she started The Widow Wears Pink, a blog about her widow life.
Stacy has been published in Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Her View From Home, Better After 50, Modern Loss, Grown & Flown,, Option B, Kveller, Mamalode, Sammiches & Psychmeds, and Thought Catalog. She is a contributor on Hope for Widows Foundation and freelances for Today.com. She is currently working on both her memoir and a fiction novel.