14 Horrible Mum-Shaming Comments You Should Never Say
How a mum chooses to feed her child is a personal matter, and how other people feel about it is irrelevant.
Motherhood isn’t meant to be a smooth, bump-less ride, and yet many act as though it is, with society always pointing out the tiny mistakes mums make. Mothers already have a lot on their plates. The last thing they need is to get any more flak from anyone.
Writer Elizabeth Broadbent, in her story which originally appeared on Scary Mommy, laments on the worst mum-shaming comments people say.
1. "You should be breastfeeding"
How a mum chooses to feed her child is a personal matter, and how other people feel about it is irrelevant. What matters is that the baby is being fed.
2. "You should be bottle feeding"
Many cringe at the sight of women breastfeeding, but that's what boobs are made for. "If you’d much prefer a cover," Elizabeth says, "here’s a handy sheet to drape over your head."
3. "Your kid should not be throwing that tantrum here"
“No, they shouldn’t, Captain Obvious, and no one knows that more than I do,” says Elizabeth. “If you don’t have anything constructive to say or an offer to heft a writhing toddler from the Target shoe department, then shut your pretty mouth.”
4. "Stay-at-home mums should have time to clean their houses"
Stay-at-home mums do clean. In fact, they spend most their time cleaning up, picking up after their kids, sorting laundry, and doing the dishes. But that doesn't mean that their children will be able to keep things in order.
5. "Working mums don’t spend enough time with their kids"
“Generally people don’t want to work through their children’s formative years. And while they may not spend all day being snotted on, they get in their fair share of snot time.”
6. "SAHMs do nothing but sit around all day"
Stay-at-home mums do sit around, but like Elizabeth says it’s usually when she’s reading to her kids. Most of the time, however, she’s on her feet breaking up fights, cleaning off the Play-Doh smeared on the wall, and telling her children not to jump off the couch.
7. "Your baby should be wearing socks"
“You try finding matching baby socks, which magically disappear into an alternate dimension, then wrestling them onto a writhing octopus. Oh, that octopus hates anything on her feet, and peels them off at any opportunity. Those socks are in her carseat right now. I got them that far.”
8. Your baby should be wearing a hat
“It’s 80 degrees out. OK, I lied…it’s 75. Newsflash: Babies don’t emerge from the womb in those blue and pink striped hats. They actually put them on at the hospital. You can take them off too. I did. Try it sometime.”
9. "Why do you always wear yoga pants?"
Mums don’t much care how they look like, much less about sartorial decisions of daily life. They wear clothes they feel comfortable in, clothes in which they can freely move and do the things they need to do.
10. "Children should be seen and not heard"
“I’d personally prefer children be heard and not seen,” says Elizabeth, but that’s simply not possible. Children will find a way to be seen and heard and there’s not much anyone can do about it.
11. "Your toddler shouldn’t use a pacifier"
“Try prying it from her clutching starfish hands, and we can talk. For real, this kid has an oral fixation that guarantees she’ll be smoking by the time she’s 8. No, it doesn’t affect her speech. Yes, she sleeps with it. No, I don’t give a rat’s a** what the dentist says.”
12. "You should watch X video so your child will grow up enriched"
Not all mums have the time to go through so much effort simply to let her children watch a certain video. Children, too, don’t possess that long an attention span to sit through the whole thing.
13. "Your child should be reading by now"
Children develop and learn at different speeds. Just because one child can already read at a certain age doesn’t mean all the other kids would be able to do so too.
14. "Your baby should sleep through the night at x months"
“Tell that to my baby,” says Elizabeth. “No really. If you have an amazing solution that keeps her silent and sleeping for eight hours and doesn’t involve her screaming for four of them, please share it with the rest of the world.”