Bitch Wars: Mommy Shaming
September 2, 2013
I’ll admit it: I have a love-hate relationship with the mommy message boards of the world. At times, these boards can be helpful, empowering, and entertaining. But more often, these boards become a slippery slope where the high and mighty gang up against the lowly “bad moms”.
Give me a break.
I would avoid the mommy message boards if real life mommy-shaming did not exist, but it does. Even among your “friends”, you’ll find the self-righteous mom who does everything by the book. The issue is, there are no rules. Yes, size 3 diapers say 16-23 pounds. No, my 5 week old son is not 16 pounds. Yes, the size 3 diapers fit him better than the size 2’s. No, I am not going to force him into smaller diapers because the package says so. I’m going to appropriately diaper my baby to avoid embarrassing, gross diaper blow outs. Calm down, diaper police.
Also, there’s an obsession with percentiles. Clark has gained a pound a week for the past 5 weeks. Normal? No. Healthy? Yes. Percentiles? I don’t give a fuck.
I’m too busy enjoying the time I spend with my baby and my husband to worry about milestones or medical graphs. Clark’s gaining weight. He’s a happy, non-fussy baby. I love him, and my husband, more every day. And I know I’m lucky. I know there are parents who need to worry about the little things to make sure their child is healthy. But that’s not me. That’s not my situation, and I refuse to be shamed into neurotic obsession over the “rules” of parenting.
According to “the rules”, I do everything wrong. I supplement with formula. My son wears newborn onesies with size 3 diapers. And there is zero routine going on in our apartment.
Clark stays up past midnight almost every night. Some days, we sleep until noon.
I’m not worried about a “routine” now, because pre-school is 3-4 years away, and I’m no expert, but I think sleeping and eating are more developmentally advantageous than a rigid schedule of awake time, bath time, sleep time, tummy time, and whatever daily insistence you force on a child.
It’s idiotic to suggest that if I don’t establish a routine with my 5 week old, he’s doomed to be a lazy shit in the future. But that’s what mommy-shamers do. And, really, it’s quite fun to read the hysteria when you have the soundness of mind to recognize the nonsense of it all.
Mommy-shamers prey on weak, well-intentioned women by proudly shouting, “You’re doing it wrong!” at anyone who will listen. Here are a few, paraphrased, examples of mommy-shaming at its finest:
- You had sex before your 6 week well-visit? You’re going to get a uterine infection. And die.
- You pumped and dumped? Milk from a drunk mom is better than formula! Formula should be punishable by law. The death penalty, to be exact.
- Your baby is 4 weeks old and sleeps through the night? He’s ignoring his survival instincts! (I must be the worst mom on earth, because if that’s the case, I hope Clark keeps ignoring his “survival instincts”)
- You’re going back to work? Daycare is evil. Quit your job, move to a mud hut, and breastfeed your baby and significant other. Breast is best!
I’ll stick with my “slacker” mommy approach. Maybe I’m doing it wrong. But you know what? Everyone is happy. Isn’t that what life and having babies should be all about?