13 Mothers Share Their Mom-Shaming Stories -- & How Bad It Hurts

Tanvier Peart | Aug 18, 2016 Being a Mom
13 Mothers Share Their Mom-Shaming Stories -- & How Bad It Hurts

Sad woman in the room

Being a mother is no walk in the park. No matter how much you try to bask in the joy that raising children brings, there are always things like fear, uncertainty, and self-doubt that can deliver a crippling blow. And to make matters worse, mom-shaming -- the art of making a mother feel terrible for a parenting decision -- seems to be on the rise.

Chances are you know someone who's experienced mom-shaming. Heck, there's a pretty good chance you have once been a victim.

Whether you're defending yourself against Internet trolls or some random person in the grocery store, mothers always seem to catch a ton of heat for not being perfect. (Yet dads get off scot-free.)

More from CafeMom: 16 Celebrities the Internet Mom-Shamed for Their Parenting

These moms are speaking up about their personal experience with mommy shame and how they felt knocked down, but not defeated. Hopefully their stories will inspire all folks to take a look at their own actions to make sure they're not a part of the problem.



Image via Goran Bogicevic/Shutterstock

  • Having 'Too Many' Babies

    Image via ARENA Creative/Shutterstock

    "Did I somehow wake up in China? Does America now have a limit on the amount of children you can have? I'm the proud mother of four children and am thinking about baby number five. My husband and I pay our bills, and life is, for the most part, sane. Until I ask you to reach in your wallet and provide whatever you can for my family, STOP telling me how many kids is and isn't okay to have!" -- Melanie D.

  • Dealing With Kids in the Middle of a Public Meltdown

    Image via Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

    "Trying to navigate the world with 3-year-old twins can sometimes feel like a remake of Mission: Impossible -- especially at the store. There are times when my wonderful kids decide to kick and scream down the aisle, or act like the energetic little beasts they are. No matter how quick I try to deescalate a situation, I still get horrified looks from other people. One man even told me to just buy my groceries online. Guess what? Kids have meltdowns from time to time! I'm damned if I try to discipline them and damned if I don't." -- Phyllis V.

  • Using Baby Formula

    Image via Pavel Ilyukhin/Shutterstock

    "One thing I wish the breastfeeding mothers, who criticize me for using formula, would realize is that I actually tried to nurse my daughter. I wasn't fortunate enough to have a strong milk supply and struggled so hard to get it up. After many tears and feeling like a total failure, I had to put my child's well-being first and buy formula. Parenting is hard enough without making anyone who doesn't fall in line with 'the standard' feel inadequate." -- Jonesy H.

    More from CafeMom: 12 Celebrities Who Were Body-Shamed Post-Pregnancy

  • Having a Nanny

    Image via CandyBox Images/Shutterstock

    "Guess what, people? Sometimes it's cheaper to hire a nanny than stick your kid in childcare. When you start paying my bills, then you can comment on the type of childcare I provide for my daughter. The nerve of some people ..." -- Samantha P.

  • Breastfeeding in a Restaurant

    Image via Dmytro Vietrov/Shutterstock

    "I remember sitting in a restaurant booth with my husband and 3-month-old. Our baby was pretty good outside the house, so we wanted to grab a bite to eat that didn't include ordering takeout again. At one point, my son got hungry -- and seeing as our booth was pretty tall, I figured it was okay to nurse him. You couldn't even see his head underneath the blanket. But that wasn't enough for the one or two women (yes, women) walking by who gave me looks of disgust. I'm just so tired of sitting in bathroom stalls and don't feel like I have to. But I guess that's where people think breastfeeding mothers should be." -- Kimberly T.

    More from CafeMom: 14 Amazing Photos of Moms Breastfeeding Wherever & Whenever They Want

  • Indulging in the Natural Parenting Lifestyle

    Image via Alliance/Shutterstock

    "'Natural parenting' to me isn't some mom category I subscribe to; it's just a way of life for me. I love co-sleeping. I enjoy babywearing. I homeschool my older children. I love making meals using edibles from my garden. And yet, people constantly ask me if I'm a part of some cult, because I want to focus on a more conscious way of living. What works for you and your family works for you and your family. Please show the same respect to me and mine." -- Evelyn N.

    More from CafeMom: 12 Natural Parenting Myths That Are Just Plain Not True

  • Not Having a Natural Childbirth

    Image via Martin Valigursky/Shutterstock

    "When I was pregnant, I did all I could to help ensure I would have a natural childbirth. It's something I really wanted to do, considering my mother, grandmother, and sisters were all able to do so. Unfortunately, there were some complications that resulted in an emergency C-section. While most of my family knows the reason behind my cesarean, so many others are quick to judge why I was so 'lazy' and 'refused' to endure labor and delivery the natural way. Sorry?" -- Joan W.

  • Being a Single Mother

    Image via Syda Productions/Shutterstock

    "You know, I didn't wake up one day and decide to have a child by myself. There was someone involved, and he walked out on us. Yet, I'm constantly chastised for being a single mother each and every day. 'Why aren't you married?' 'How can you give your kid the best life without a spouse?' Just stop." -- Vivian D.

    More from CafeMom: 13 Misconceptions About Single Moms That Need to Go Away Now

  • Still Having Baby Weight

    Image via Tatyana Dzemileva/Shutterstock

    "I recently joined a mommy group who decided to have a fitness outing. Bad idea. Not only did I receive looks that made me cry, but was also asked -- far too many times -- why I still had baby weight. I'm sorry my body can't snap back to how it was so quickly. I didn't know this was a requirement to being a part of a motherhood group." -- Emily L.

    More from CafeMom: 8 Incredible Things I Love About My Post-Baby Body

  • Giving Kids Snacks That Aren't Homemade or Gluten-Free

    Image via Angela Waye/Shutterstock

    "For the love of God, are there no other pressing issues to concern ourselves with? Who cares if I give my kid a brownie, graham cracker, or any other processed snack that I didn't spend hours slaving in the kitchen to make? Yes, I do believe in a balanced diet, but trying to scold me in a grocery store aisle is not going to make me rush to spend extra money on gluten-free items -- or whatever else costs a mortgage." -- Cheryl F.

  • Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

    Image via Dmitry Melnikov/Shutterstock

    "I have been called everything under the sun for staying at home with my children. I'm sorry, but daycare is just too expensive when you have four kids! I manage my home and keep it from getting burned down to the ground. And yet, I'm lazy, mooching off my husband, and setting women's rights back." --- Beverly R.

    More from CafeMom: 13 Stay-at-Home Moms Share Their Sanity Savers (So You Don't Lose Your Sh**)

  • Extended Breastfeeding

    Image via Oksana Kuzmina/Shutterstock

    "No one says you have to understand or agree with extended breastfeeding. All I ask if that you don't call child services on me for doing it. I love my 3-year-old and the bond that we continue to enjoy because of it." -- Carey A.

  • Enjoying 'the Martha Stewart Life'

    Image via donatas1205/Shutterstock

    "Is it a crime to enjoy cooking and making crafts you saw on Pinterest? I like to bake. I enjoy participating in my children's bake sales at school. How come I get talked about and prodded for trying to be a 'Martha Stewart wannabe'? I just want my kids to enjoy the extra things I do for them. Who knew that was so bad ..." -- April G.

    More from CafeMom: 17 Genius DIY Toy Hacks to Keep Toddlers Busy for Hours

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