Behind the mom-shaming moments
According to Facebook and the Internet at large, this mom-shaming stuff is still everywhere you click.
Moms, your daughters are dressing like sluts.
Mommy, get off your cell phone while you're at the playground.
Mom, quit sneaking your flask into PTA meetings!
I get it. For the most part, these articles are just trying to make the world a better place by spreading awareness of the Great Moments in Motherhood Awesomeness we're screwing up (as if we didn't already know). But they completely overlook one fundamental aspect of the very moments they aim to shame: namely, the back-story.
It's easy to judge a mom for sitting on a park bench with her face in her phone while her kids scream for attention from the monkey bars. But isn't it possible (it's a long shot, I know, but try to stay with me) that she's actually a decent mother (WHAAAAAT?) who simply needs to answer an email without one kid hanging off her pant leg until the elastic waist of her yoga pants slides down to her knees, tripping her as she runs to catch another kid who's swinging from the curtains, screaming that he wants to go to the park?
In case you're one of the lucky few who's never been that mom, dragging your hysterical child across the Target parking lot by the back of his shirt, here are some examples from my life that are ripe for mom shaming—if you don't take into consideration the fact that, often, what looks like parenting failure is just a compromise in disguise.
Toddler wearing two pairs of pants when it's 849 degrees outside: a compromise between the shorts I wanted her to wear and the flannel footie jammies she initially demanded.
Play-Doh ground into my dining room carpet: after a 20-minute discussion about why we don't bring toys to the breakfast table, followed by breakfast with only one color of Play-Doh (compromise!), my carpet is proof that at least some of the Play-Doh wasn't consumed with the Wheaties.
Okay, fine, with the Pop Tarts.
Pop Tarts for breakfast: all the fiber of the whole-wheat toast I initially offered, with a filling reminiscent of the Oreos the kids actually wanted.
Hysterical kid being dragged across Target parking lot: sometimes you let your kid spend $45 in the vending machines, and they have a complete meltdown as soon as you run out of quarters anyway. Should I let him pout off into traffic? Should I leave him there, having a class 5 tantrum among the shopping carts by the Chiclet dispenser?
No? Because I considered it! But then—compromise.
Mothering is wonderful, and hard. It's rarely pretty from the outside, and never perfect. Behind every tantrum is a story, within every fashion faux pas is some parental give and take. So, Internet, when you start to judge us, please keep in mind we're all just trying to do our best.
One Pop Tart at a time.
Robyn Welling is a freelance writer and humorist at Hollow Tree Ventures, where she isn't afraid to embarrass herself—and frequently does. She loves sarcasm, sleep, beer, other bottled items, long walks on the beach, and her husband. Oh, and her kids are okay, too. Her goals include becoming independently wealthy, followed by world domination and getting her children to clean their rooms. Until then, she'll just fold laundry and write about the shortcuts she takes on her journey to becoming a somewhat passable wife, mother, and human being. If history is any guide, she'll miss the mark entirely. Join her as she bumbles her way through life on Twitter (@RobynHTV), Facebook, and in the pages of our bestselling humor anthology, "You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth."