• Sun, Nov 17 - 5:00 pm ET

5 More Ways I’ve Felt ‘Mommy Shamed’ By Other Moms

mommy shame

Yes, this is me (memegenerator.net)

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece about the shame to end all shames – mommy shame. A lot of you had some excellent additions to my list, and of course I still have an endless list of my own, because mommy shame knows no bounds. So here we are again. Mommy Shame 2 – Electric Boogaloo (which I would have named this post, but Maria Guido already used it on her VAG CAKES post. BOOOO).

5. “Good moms don’t have time to dress up or wear makeup, you tart!”

mommy shame

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Silly moms, thinking you’re still people! If you don’t spend literally every waking moment either with your kids, working to make money for your kids, or feeling guilty because you’re not with your kids then guess what. You’re a BAD MOM. Who needs red lipstick or real pants when you have kids, amirite?

4. “Oh, you have a dog and you’re pregnant? Time to Sophie’s Choice that pet!”

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This goes for cats, iguanas, mice, monkeys (what are you, Ross from Friends?), etc. Basically any pet you can imagine. Once you get that bun going in your bady-oven, that pet has gots to go. What if your kid is allergic? Not that you should allow any time to find out, you monster! What if your cat tries to steal your baby’s soul? Think of the CHILDREN! Of course, in a couple of years we’ll have to shame you for not having a pet, because what kind of mother would deprive her little snowflake of an adorable puppy? Heathen!

3. “Once you have a baby, wine is off limits, you drunk-o!”

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Oh Yves, what were you thinking? Don’t you know that once you become a mother you can NEVER enjoy yourself again? It doesn’t matter that doctors now extol the benefits of a moderate amount of alcohol not only after pregnancy, but in some cases during, or that it’s no one’s business but your own. NO! Once that womb-raider leaves your baby cave you have to focus on him or her 100 percent, or face sanctimommy judgement. Oh the judgement!

2. “If your kid doesn’t meet our arbitrary standard of “comfort” or “warmth” we WILL say something!”

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This one might depend on where you live. When I lived in the Midwest this type of mom shame rarely happened to me, but it happens all the time to me here in NYC. You’ll be walking down the sidewalk, minding your own damn business, when all of a sudden BAM, some nosy sanctimommy will come up and tell you your kid’s jacket needs to be zipped, or that your baby needs a blanket. It doesn’t matter if it’s 20 degrees out or 90, somewhere out there, someone thinks your child is just FREEZING. The worst part is when they literally come up and try to zip the coat themselves. It’s one thing if you want to spout off some nosy nonsense to me, but touch my kid and we’re gonna dance.

1. “If you have help around the house, you’re a lazy slag. But if you do it all yourself, then you’re an uptight bitch!” 

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It doesn’t matter if you have a nanny, a babysitter or just a bit of help from the grandparents, if you have any help, someone is going to call you lazy. So you say “screw that noise, I’ll just do it on my own!” but NOPE. If you do it all by your lonely then you’re either a martyr, a tight ass or a helicopter mom. Yes, even if the only reason you do it by yourself is because you can’t afford help and don’t have a great support system. Much like the madonna-whore complex, I like to call this the “Felix-Oscar complex,” because no matter what, you’re either anal-retentive or a slothful slapper. Because judging is FUN!

Or because some people are assholes. Yeah, I think it’s the second one.

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  • EmmaFromÉire
  • Justme

    I think I Mommy Shame myself sometimes. I live in the south where the big thing is to dress your daughter in the ultimate of frills, complete with a big bow and ruffles practically coming out of their ears. My daughter wears skinny jeans, t-shirts, Converse and the occasional head band. She cares more about playing soccer than putting on jewelry. She comes home from day-care (where she is surrounded by boys) and wants to play good guy-bad guy instead of princess and tea party.

    I adore my rough and tumble girl because she reminds me so much of myself – a girl who traipsed around the neighborhood after my big brothers, getting dirty in the creek and coming home with skinned knees, much to the chagrin of my mother.

    But at the same time, I feel like I’m doing her a disservice because I’m not adequately preparing her for “Girl World” (insert Mean Girls reference) by dressing her like a porcelain doll and teaching her to be a Southern lady. Whatever that means.

    • Justme

      Oh. I see. I put my own mothering/self insecurities out there and someone down votes it. I bet you step on kittens and take money from orphans, too.

    • Ashley Feit

      I prefer to take money from orphans and give it to the kittens. :)

      I don’t dress my girl in frills either, she loves playing with jewelry and putting on hats, capes, shoes . . . pretty much all accessories, but we don’t do big bows here, either. Half the time she’s wearing Batman cape, mardi gras beads and boots. She’ll still a toddler, but already developing hilarious preferences when it comes to clothing.

    • Justme

      Well, now I look crazy because the down vote has mysteriously disappeared…

    • Evelyn

      Perhaps someone accidentally hit the down button instead of the up because they were reading this on a touch phone where the arrows are so close together that it is easy to hit the wrong one without realizing. Perhaps when they realized the mistake they corrected it. You hadn’t written anything that would provoke down voting so it could have been accidental.

    • esuzanne

      Holy cats, this happens to me a lot! I get all excited and start smacking away at the up arrow and no, my over-eager thumbs cannot ever hit the right spot on this stupid tiny screen.

    • Amber Starr

      I do this sometimes when I’m checking comments on my phone. I mash the touch screen with my palm and sometimes accidentally hit the wrong vote button. I always correct myself, but then I feel all kinds of bad. This time, it wasn’t me, though, I swear.

    • Evelyn

      Ignore down votes, there are some people who enjoy judgy down votes on the most benign of posts. Luckily the undeserved down votes that fly around are from the minority of posters and aren’t worth worrying about.

    • DeanaCal

      Am I the only person who totally forgets that there is voting to be done? I’ve never upvoted or downvoted anything, and I’ve never noticed any votes on any of my posts, either. I guess I didn’t realize that anybody thought it was important. Not being snarky, just honestly didn’t notice.
      Note to self: must start paying attention to votes!!!

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      It sounds like you’re doing a great job. I was very much like her when I was a little girl, but by the time I reached puberty I was all about the girlie stuff (though I still liked the less traditionally feminine stuff too). I learned the “girl world” stuff pretty fast, and I was raised by my dad who had no idea about that stuff.

    • GPMeg

      I’m born and raised Southern and I was a little tomboyish as a child/young adult. I’m almost 30 and just learning to put on makeup and all that jazz, but you’ll find the right moments to teach her. Dances and recitals and concerts are good opportunities (and instill that you don’t have to look nice every day but there are certain things that require a good wardrobe) and I know plenty of women who manage to look super chic wearing skinny jeans, boots, and a blazer! I’d bet money she’ll be one of THOSE women (the chic looking ones) that I envy every day!

    • FaintlyXMacabre

      A bigger disservice would be trying to fit your awesome sounding kid into some impossible mold that I guarantee you would still not be good enough for some people.

    • Justme

      And the calm, rational side of me says that you are absolutely correct and that my daughter (and me, too!) are just fine exactly the way we are. But then I see a beautiful little girl in an impeccable chevron or polka dotted pumpkin dress with perfect French braided pigtails delicately picking her way through the Pumpkin Patch and I get all self-shamey inside….like, is THAT the way you’re supposed to dress little girls?!

    • FaintlyXMacabre

      You totally left out the whalebone corset though :)

    • Courtney Lynn

      Ugh. I know what you mean, I’m in TX, too as you probably already know and it gets kinda ridiculous! I get very bored with the Stepford-y expectations here sometimes.

    • Byron

      Southern Ladies are ladies that live in the south. You don’t need frills to be a lady, you just need to have class and manners. Some may like the frills and they’re free to do so but the moment ribbons become more important than manners, the pooch is screwed.

      Your daughter sounds fine and you seem to have turned out great as well, nothing to be ashamed of. Hell, boys tend to like “tomboy” girls more around that age anyhow so the only people sour here will be the other girls who lose all the attention to your kid cause they can’t run with what their moms make em put on.

  • FaintlyXMacabre

    First of all, number 1. Good god with this. Clean or don’t clean, idgaf. But don’t judge my extensive supply of Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products. Second, the best way to handle people wine shaming you is by acting like an oblivious troll. Once, I was having a glass of wine while 8 months pregs (got the okay) and some lady I didn’t even know gave me the tutting of a lifetime, so I was like, “It’s cool, I’m aborting this one.” The look on her face was amazeballs.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      “It’s cool, I’m aborting this one.”

      I just shot iced tea out of my mouth onto my laptop screen, as I read that. Worth it.

      Also, I love me some Mrs. Meyer’s products.

    • GPMeg

      Oh. My god. I wish I could see that wine comeback on video– CLASSIC!

    • Guest

      I was pregnant in Savannah, Georgia as an unmarried teen. I have a list of these comebacks as long as my arm and one of my greatest regrets to this day is that I had no video camera at the time.

    • AugustW

      I’m sure there are a few trolls that are going to give you crap about this later, but good God woman, that was an amazing comeback. :D

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      The sort of comeback one might think of saying, but lacks the courage to utter. You, madam, are my hero.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      This may be my most favorite thing I have ever heard.

    • Jessie

      Congratulations, madame, you win the Internet for today. That is possibly one of the most epic pregnancy smackdowns I have ever heard of. XD

    • Aldonza

      Best. Comment. Ever.

    • Amber Starr

      Yep, I’m pretty sure that I just fell in love with you.

  • Ashley Feit

    When my daughter was about 6 months old on a warm, October night in Phoenix, my husband took her to the store with him and she was wearing a little romper/onesie thing and an old lady came up and told him that she should be wearing more clothes and it’s too cold out for her. My husband has no filter and promptly told her to “Mind her own business” and she responded with a “God Bless you”, which he replied with a “Go f*ck yourself”.

    • FaintlyXMacabre

      Your husband sounds like he might be a distant relative to mine.

    • Jessie

      Your husband sounds like one of my favorite relatives, ZERO filter at all on that man. Love it.

  • GPMeg

    Haaaaahahahahaha, my OBGYN off-the-books recommends drinking a beer, waiting 30 minutes, then breast feeding. Baby sleeps REAL good after that one!

    I don’t even have a baby and I’ve been told that I drink too much to be a parent (though not by anyone in my community, where we judge the neighborhood next door where parents routinely are seen puking on the side of the road during festival season with babies strapped to their chest for not being able to hold their liquor) and that I will never have enough money for kids so I should just pop one out right now so folks can get to judgin’.

    • Alexandra

      My mom’s OB recommended her occasionally drink a Guinness (just one LOL) before breastfeeding because of the super high iron content (I think?) and I turned out fine! :)

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Your neighborhood sounds like my neighborhood, lol.

  • cg

    “touch my kid and we’re gonna dance”… just peed my pants.

  • CrushLily

    I think the only solution to all these scenarios is to perfect your Bitchy Resting Face and then people are too scared to go near you, let alone speak to you. I think if I’ve accomplished one thing as a parent, this is it. The other is spawning a child with no interest in Thomas the Tank Engine. And I thank the stars every day for that, because that Thomas shit is expensive.

    • JAN

      I think I’ve mastered the Bitchy Resting Face, no one has ever attempted to touch my pregnant belly or said a word to me about breastfeeding, ever. However, I am envy of your spawning a child with no interest in Thomas. My four year old LOVES Thomas, he loves all trains and wants to visit the train museum weekly. However, he could care less about dinosaurs or mutant ninja turtles or superheroes…so at least it’s only one thing he obsesses over and I can sometimes find them in bulk on Craigslist and dole them out over time.

    • Evelyn

      Thomas doesn’t last forever (although with 3 kids and 3 years between each it felt like it would). As someone who can tell the difference between thomas and his friends, knows which of the them are tank engines and which are tender engines, can quote many books and episodes, and even knows the names of many of the narrow gage railway engines …. there is an end to it. I nearly said light at the end of the … railway analogy … but was then filled with the urge to punch Ringo Starr (who narrated it in the UK).

    • AP

      When I was young enough to watch that show, it was narrated by George Carlin.

      I had a moment of horror as a teenager when I connected “Mr. Conductor” to “Seven Dirty Words.”

    • AugustW

      Watching my little girl running around in Thomas pajamas… She wouldn’t put her legs in the leg parts…so it kind of looks like she’s wearing a super long cape. I don’t feel like it’s particularly educational, but I’ll take Thomas over Spongebob ANYDAY.

    • Jallun-Keatres

      That face. I have it. Introvert FTW! Nobody tried talking to me on the bus and I enjoyed the silence.

    • MellyG

      I love you, that’s the first time i’ve head someone outside of my family use that phrase. We’ve long ago decided that all women in my family have “resting bitch face” as a medical condition. We don’t do it on purpose, and for the most part we are pleasant people, but i guess if we’re thinking about something, or just not putting on the smiley face we look like complete bitches.

  • Bethany Ramos

    Womb-raider!!!! You win at everything. :)

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I have an appointment to get that tattooed at 1.

  • scooby23

    Oh, and don’t forget, if you occasionally give your kid McDonald’s, you’re a horrible mother who is going to contribute to the death of society by raising lazy fatsos who do nothing but stuff junk food and their mouths and watch trashy reality shows all day, but if you don’t let your kid have crap and your family eats only organic/gluten-free/dairy free/all of the above, you’re an uptight hippie whose kids will never have any fun in life because they never got a treat. Or something like that.

    • Personal

      I’m trying to figure out why anyone would downvote this post. Am baffled.

    • scooby23

      I dunno. Maybe someone was taking me literally or something? Huh.

    • Evelyn

      I agree, I think someone actually thought they person was spouting their own contradictory views rather than listing attitudes they had encountered, as the original post and the rest of us responders were doing.

    • scooby23

      And it always seems like on a post like this, there is always that one “OMG THIS SITE SITE IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EVVVIILLLLLLL YOU BABBY H8RZZZZZZZ!!!1!!!” So that’s a possibility too.

  • Paul White

    Ug, the clothing thing is a big one for me.

    Everyone says dress the kid like you’re dressed.

    Great. It’s 65 degrees. I’m in sandals, shorts and a t-shirt. My wife is jeans, a long sleeve shirt, and a coat.

    So, uh, which one do we dress Sam like, to avoid the withering glances?

    EDIT: Don’t get me started o npets. I’ve got a 0 tolerance policy for pets maiming/mauling babies, but I’m not getting rid of them for the 1 in a thousand chance they’re going to do something to Sam. My big snakes are in a different building with locking doors, in locking cages. But really…how many millions of kids are ok in a house with pets?

    • AP

      I saw someone in flip flops and a down jacket at Trader Joe’s today. It was 60.

      Northern Californians confuse me.

    • Paul White

      nah, I keep it consistent. I dress about the same at 65 as 105. Drives my wife crazy but I’m not any more/less uncomftorable. Once you’re talking in the 40s (or 50s if its windy) I’ll wear a jacket and jeans.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      This sounds like me. I wear sandals until November too, and I’m in NYC. My husband is always cold, but I can get by with this peacoat-style jacket made from jersey material for most of the winter because I am a mutant.

    • Kelly

      When we first moved to the desert, some lady yelled at me because my five year old was wearing shorts and a t-shirt (as was I), apparently they think 70 degrees is cold here. We had literally just drove from Michigan where it was below zero. We were sweating our asses off. LOL

    • Justme

      Meanwhile in Texas, it dipped into the fifties last week and kids were sent to school in parkas, gloves, scarves and hats.

    • LiteBrite

      “it dipped into the fifties last week…”

      Phrases like that always remind me where I live. It was in the 50/low 60s this past weekend, and we in the Midwest were like, “Whoo-hoo! Warm up!”

    • Rachel Sea

      Sometimes Northern California weather is wacky. One day might be flip flops weather, and the next you need 3 layers of clothes and impermeable boots. And the weather is unpredictable from morning to afternoon.

      I get a little sick amusement from picking people up at San Francisco Airport. There’s nothing like watching tourists walk out of the airport in their Sunny California clothes only to be slapped in the face by cutting wind, fog, and 50 degree temperatures…in July.

  • CrazyLogic

    I have been told I should get married and have a kid while working my job by a random stranger. My guess is that he was against the cause I canvas for.

  • Yves

    hey my wine shaming comment made it to the site!! I feel so cool now, lol thanks for choosing me as a top 5 runner up :D

    • Elisa Probert

      Me too…I was like…I got a shout out on Mommyish! then I had to explain what Mommyish is, especially since I’m not a mom. LOL I’m like, hey, I read it for the perspectives!

  • S

    I was leaving a baby shower, it was a little chilly, my son was in his usual onesie and pants but we were parked in the drive way so I didn’t bother bundling him up for the 2 seconds before he got in the car. He had a super warm and comfy blanket waiting for him. On my way out there’s a few people putting on a ton of layers and of course they had to comment “won’t the baby be cold?”

    Before he was born it was suggested that my 100% indoor rabbit who is free range and litter trained should be switched to an outdoor rabbit :(

    • Justme

      I think an “outdoor rabbit” is also known as “bait.”

    • JAN

      Because of all the children injured yearly by rabbits *sarcasm*. Wow.

    • Paul White

      I’ve been injured by rabbits! To be fair, the claws on those feet are IMPRESSIVE.

    • LiteBrite

      Me too! Ever been bit by a rabbit? Man, those teeth are sharp.

    • CBillard

      Haven’t you seen Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail?

  • C.J.

    It doesn’t get any better when your kids get older. They just find different things to shame you about. My 11 year old has her own sense of style, she could be a fashion designer. I get “why do you let her dress like that” from people. I don’t care what she wears as long as she is properly covered. She likes to be different and I’m happy she doesn’t follow the crowd. My 8 year old is thin, I get comments about that too. She dances 15 hours a week, she is thin but muscular and eats more than enough. Of coarse I get plenty of comments because both my kids dance 15 hours a week and are competitive. They choose to dance, I don’t make them. I think it is great they want to develop their talent and will support them as for long as they choose to dance. I find these comments mostly come from people who want to keep their kids in a bubble and not let them grow up.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I get shiz from people because my 9 year old is skinny. Her dad is 6’3″ and Lanky with a capital L, and she takes after him. She could literally sit and eat four slices of pizza and still be hungry, yet people judge and act like I’m not feeding her properly.

    • C.J.

      My daughter gets it from my side of the family. I was tall and skinny as a child too and so was my brother. I ended up being 5’6″ and my brother is 6’4″. I think my daughter will likely be taller than me and probably always be thin, it’s just her build.

    • AP

      Just wait ’till she gets older. I got accused of being anorexic a lot as a teenager…even though I was a year-round swimmer and had the muscle mass to prove it.

    • Justme

      My besties in elementary school called me an “anorexic pig” because I would eat and eat and eat and never gain weight…I just got taller and taller. Turns out I have an over reactive thyroid gland.

  • Hibbie

    There should be mom/MIL shaming column. You could go for years with that.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Challenged Accepted

  • Evelyn

    The shaming for not wrapping kids in enough clothes irritates me so much and I got a lot of it because my kids liked to remove gloves and blankets and throw them on the ground. I don’t really get it from sanctimums, because pretty much every kid does this and so even the most sanctimonious of mums has the same problem. I used to get sanctigranned on this one by tutting old ladies who I had never met and who viewed their own long distant time raising toddlers through rose tinted spectacles. They often then tried to engage me in conversation that was mostly about the terrible job they thought their own daughters and daughters-in-law were doing with their own grandchildren. Nice.

    My kids threw warm stuff off so reliably quickly that I eventually dealt with the sanctigrans by demonstrating putting cosy gloves and blanketsblankets on my kid, picking them off the pavement straight away and then offering them to the sanctigran with a “would you like to try” and a raised eyebrow.

  • keanesian

    Oh man. I have to say: I went out last night around 8P. First, my ENTIRE neighborhood was dead, because it is filled with parents and we all pass out on Sunday nights early. It felt like 2A. The only other woman on the street was this woman carrying a newborn, looking sooo tired. I was all: “Why is this lady making herself walk around right now?!” And then I saw that she was returning home with her dog. I then I realized I probably would have killed a dog through negligence while I had a newborn, because there is no way I could have responsibly handled that animal. So props to her. Also, I wish I had just stayed home and gone to bed at 8P like I normally do. The end.

  • Lee

    When I was pregnant and people asked if we were going to get rid of our dog and cat I would answer straight faced, “If we get rid of the dog and cat who will watch the baby when we go to the bar?” I got some strange looks but it shut people up.

  • Sarah

    This morning my friend was mommy shamed by her sister and brother in law for wanting a c-section. Like she is sooooo terrible for wanting to avoid hours of agony (she has a bad back from the military.) She had been told to have one early on because of placenta previa, and now she is being told it is “elective” because the placenta moved. She was only frustrated because she was having a hard time finding an OB/GYN (she had to move at 35 weeks) and wanted to stick with the ORIGINAL PLAN….I’m not sure why she is supposed to have her birth preference criticized for mentioning she needs to find an OB stat. Fortunately she addressed the comments (which ran along the lines of “think of your baby” “she NEEDS squeezed out”) Oh and get this: my friend’s husband family has plenty of male OB/GYNS —and therefore the entire family feels like they are experts too. The only conclusion I have is that they think it’s fine for her to have a c-section for the baby, but never for her own health and emotional well being. Like mommies have to suffer to prove their worthiness.

  • SA

    “Cover that baby’s ears…she’ll get an ear infection from that wind”….um, what?

  • Nicole Vasile

    “It’s one thing if you want to spout off some nosy nonsense to me, but touch my kid and we’re gonna dance.”

    Thank you for this…I would tweak

  • LiteBrite

    When I was pregnant, my MIL tried to tell me that now that I had a baby on the way, I should consider getting rid of my two indoor cats. The first time she brought it up, she was politely told that wasn’t an option. The second time she was shot down in flames. She never brought it up again.

    Now that our son is six, we’re constantly told we need to get him a dog, because apparently he can’t live a meaningful life until he has one. Considering both he and I are afraid of dogs, I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.

    • MellyG

      My dad had a cat before I was born, and it was part of the family until I was 18 despite allergies (it died when I was 18, that wasn’t a random “let’s get rid of the cat now age” lol). I have two cats now, and if I get pregnant they are not going ANYWHERE. They were here first! I will admit i judge people who get rid of their pets, while some have a perfectly valid reason, i can’t help but think if you are so quick to get rid of a pet – what if you have two kids? Should you get rid of the first one? If your life doesn’t “fit” with the kid anymore, are people gonna get rid of the kid like they did their dog?

  • Nicole Vasile

    Can we add pregnant weight-shaming to the list? When I was pregnant I was either told I “need to eat something” because I hadn’t gained enough weight (I gained 35-40 lbs) or that I would never make it to my due date because I was so big. One lady walked into my OB/GYN and said “SOMEBODY’S HAVING TWINNSSS!!!!!” I looked behind me….no one there.

  • Larkin

    #2. Oh man, my husband and I don’t even have our own kids yet and we’ve experienced this one. Some random person at a mall came up to me while we were shopping with our seven-year-old niece to say, “Her boots don’t look like they fit her quite right. You should get new ones or her feet will be messed up forever.”

    Seriously, random mall passerby?

  • Rachelxoxo

    So awesome! I always read these mommyish articles, but I’ve only commented a handful of times, so it was really cool to see my post at the top of the list! Feels good to know someone was listening and/or agrees :)

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