Hard Ignore: Pandemic Mom Shaming is Raging, Tune it Out!

Many of us have either experienced or doled out a dose of mom-shaming. I’ve been guilty of it. You’ve been guilty of it. No matter how nice or kind we are, we’ve all fallen victim to passing judgment and criticizing our fellow moms in the parenting trenches. We’ve all been on the receiving end of the judgment and shaming, too – either from fellow moms, or other sources. It’s sad, but true.

This past year has been no exception. But what’s worse is that pandemic living has given us even more mom-shaming coals to toss onto the fire, leading to a blaze of judgment that burns so brightly, I honestly wonder how we are all still coping.

2020, all the feels month by month.

Just this morning alone as I was casually – say for 10 minutes – watching the news and checking my social media feed, the following headlines and comments said by moms, or directed towards moms, appeared:

  • Many moms drank too much during the height of the pandemic, it might be time to reevaluate your nightly glass of wine.
  • Too many families are traveling, moms should be keeping their children home and not be crossing state lines.
  • Moms are eating too much while stuck at home – which at-home, interactive, exercise bike is best for you?
  • Why would any moms put their kids in sports right now? How selfish.
  • Children are falling behind in school, you better get your kids into tutoring if you want them to catch up
  • You’re crazy if you get your kids vaccinated/you’re foolish if you don’t get your kids vaccinated
  • Screen time is at an all-time high, moms need to be better monitors of their kids’ online activity

Wow. Just WOW. 

Many of us moms are just starting to breathe after living through the hardest year of our lives. On March 12, 2020 life as we knew it literally ended. We were ordered to stay home. Our kids abruptly stopped going to school. All extra-curricular activities were canceled. We were distanced from friends and family not living in our home. We worried ourselves sick thinking about the best ways to protect ourselves and our children.

There was no playbook. No rules on how to survive and thrive in a world that, like a snowglobe, had been shaken and turned so many times that the snowflakes were scattered in a flurry, trying to find their way back down to earth – to “normal”.

As the pandemic raged on, we struggled to adjust our own lives and perspectives while simultaneously supporting our children as they shifted to an all-virtual world. Many of us cried along with our kids who were struggling with at-home learning, missing their friends, or their regularly scheduled sports and activity outlets. Some of us had to face missing out on long-anticipated, milestone events with our children, like graduations.

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Mental health came speeding to the forefront of many of our minds. We watched as our children became sad, angry, depressed, and defeated right before our very eyes. This made us feel defeated, even inadequate. What could we do? A large portion of us sought outside assistance in the form of therapy – for ourselves and for our children.

On top of all of this – or maybe because of it – some of us were forced to give up our jobs to be home for our families. On the flip side, many of us worked 40 hours a week from home while trying to manage our children because, frankly, we didn’t have a choice.

It’s been 12 months of full-on Survival Mode for so many moms. The last thing we need right now is someone passing judgment on how we’re living our lives. What we need right now is support, not shame.

Hasn’t this past year been hard enough? Let’s give the shaming a rest or – better yet – a hard ignore. We’ll all be better for it.

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