I’ve read so many articles about mom-shaming. I practiced what I would say when it inevitably happened to me. The reasons people choose to mom-shame women are endless. In my case, I got daycare shamed–which can double as working mom shaming, so really, I got two-for-the-price-of-one shamed!
I work an 80% schedule. Wednesday is my day off. So, I like to go to my local farmers market with my daughter on that day. One week, I met up at the farmers market with another local mom who has a daughter around the same age as mine.
As we’re making our rounds from the coffee stand down past the fruits and veggies, I see a booth I hadn’t noticed before; it belonged to a local Greek restaurant that our local moms group raved about. The woman at the booth seemed friendly, so I bought some tzatziki, hummus, and pita.
As she handed me my change, she said, “How nice that you are actually taking care of your own children! I just don’t understand how people can send their kids to daycare. I could NEVER leave my child with a stranger.”
My blood was boiling, but I wanted to cry at the same time.
Rather than lash out I said, “Well, I work part-time so my daughter can have a nice house and a life that I couldn’t afford to have when I was young. So, my daughter actually does go to daycare. She loves it there, and she is learning a lot from her new friends.”
The woman tried really hard to qualify her statement. She claimed to be talking about the kind of moms who don’t pay attention to their kids because they are on their cell phones all the time and blah blah blah… However, that day I decided to never again purchase from that business. If she feels that strongly about my parenting decisions, she must not need the money I make as a working mom. I hope I changed something in how that woman views the world. She seemed genuinely surprised by my comment.
What I didn’t realize is that, in turn, I offended my friend. She didn’t say so directly. She told me my interaction with the vendor was really awkward. Without quite understanding why, I explained that I wouldn’t stand for that kind of judgment and that I was tired of being mom-shamed. What happened next made me feel a little bad.
My farmers market companion told me she used to work and now she’s happy to be able to stay home with her daughter, even if they didn’t have a house (they live in an apartment). So, it’s a vicious circle… I apartment-shamed another mom! It’s not a good feeling. With that in mind, I guess the point of this post is try to keep your feelings about parenting “rights” and “wrongs” to yourself, unless you have something truly positive to say.