Written by Asile Patin
A new study shows that more than half of United States mothers experience mom-shaming
“She’s dressed like that? Isn’t she a mother?”
“That woman is breastfeeding in public?”
“Shouldn’t you be doing what’s best for your child?”
As a mother, you’ve probably heard phrases like these before. Too often, it seems that mothers are scrutinized for the decisions they make involving their children. In a recent study conducted by the University of Minnesota, nearly two-thirds of mothers say they have been criticized for the way they parent their children.
In popular culture, we’ve seen mom shaming many times — Beyoncé being slandered for her oldest daughter Blue Ivy’s hair, or Jada Pinkett-Smith and her children’s freedom of expression are examples where their decision making is questioned in motherhood.
While social media has made mom shaming convenient for those in the public eye, the study concludes that the majority of mothers feel criticism from their own parents, as well as other close family members like in-laws.
The topics of criticism often span from diet and nutrition for their children, to the decision to breastfeed or bottlefeed, and the amount of sleep that their children receive. However, the most common topic of judgment stemmed from how children should be disciplined, as a whopping 70% of survey respondents claimed that disciplining their child is often up for debate.
Often, these criticisms exceed and overpower the amount of credit that mothers receive when raising their children. This lack of positive validation brings anxieties in decision making for many mothers nationwide, making decisions about motherhood even tougher.
So, if you know of a mother in your circle, let her know that she is doing an amazing job at it — and if you are a mother, hats off to you, and Walker’s Legacy Foundation is here to support powerhouse women like you.