There are a lot of parenting movements in the world. Some of us are helicopter parents. Lots of people are free-range parents. Some are old, some are young. Some breastfeed, some don’t. We all disagree on a ton of things. But one thing we can agree on is that we all hate mom-shamers.
We’ve all encountered the smug moms who think they’re better than other people because of some random choice that is insignificant in the long run. (“Of course you can always buy a birthday cake instead of baking one from scratch, and that’s just fine if you don’t really love your children.“)
Ugh, we just hate that, don’t we? That’s why this Facebook post from Karen Johnson, a stay-at-home mom of three and the blogger behind The 21st Century SAHM, is going viral.
Johnson’s a stay-at-home mom who works out every day, but she doesn’t think that makes her a better mother than someone who works or is single or doesn’t exercise at all. (And we’ve all seen people attack mothers for exercising too much instead of doting on their babies, and for not exercising enough and being “lazy.”)
She posted a photo of herself holding up a big bag of the super cheap kind of popsicles and wrote, “My house is never clean. Like ever. I have friends (with kids) whose houses are spotless. Are they better mothers than me? Nope. Am I a better mother than them? Nope.”
She buys the cheap popsicles.
The visual of the cheap popsicles is a perfect reference. We all recognize those things. They’re not organic. They’re not secretly full of vitamins and fiber. We at them ourselves as kids, and whether or not we let our kids eat them now, we know they’d probably survive if we did.
Johnson says sometimes her kids eat them for breakfast.
“I have friends who are super organic, chemical free, and dye free. My kids sometimes eat popsicles for breakfast. The cheap kind that are 50 for $2.00. Are either of us better than the other? Nope.” she wrote.
But there are people out there who will definitely come after a mother who feeds her kids popsicles. Kelly Clarkson was accused of child abuse for letting her daughter eat Nutella. I once got yelled at by a little old lady for letting my toddler have some of my ice cream. (Meanwhile my husband let her have some ice cream, and 400 little old ladies came out of the walls to gush about what a great dad he must be.)
Shame to the mom-shamers!
Johnson’s note is super relatable. We’ve all been on the receiving end of a mom-shamers’ garbage. That’s why hundreds of thousands of people have clicked “like” and “share” on Johnson’s post.
“So how about this?” Johnson finished. “Can we all climb down off judgmental mountain for a second? And just support one another? And just say, Hey, motherhood is hard. You’re doing a good job. Raising kids can knock the wind out of a person. You got this.”
There’s nothing tackier than the smug moms giving other parents shit for choices like formula feeding, drinking, sending the kids to the “Kids’ Club” on family vacations, paying kids allowances, etc. As mothers, we all have our own strengths and weaknesses. I’m just trying to keep more marks in my good column than in my bad column. (I read to my kid in three languages last night, so it’s OK if she ate a chocolate muffin for dinner and I lost the fight about making her brush her teeth, right?) None of us is going to manage to be perfect. We’re just trying our best, and that’s good enough.