Well before social media, women would get together with other moms over coffee and talk about their children, compare notes, and give each other friendly advice. Sure there were some women who’d quietly judge other women’s parenting choices, and certainly many would whisper things behind others’ backs in disapproval.
Today, thanks to social media, we see it well too often – moms shaming other moms boldly. There are too many public forums on which to share unsolicited opinions; Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter. At least back in the day, the mom-shaming wasn’t right-in-your-face! Today, Ms. Shame-y McJudge-y can hide behind a computer screen or mobile device, spewing nothing but mean-spirited, snarky comments, and never have to worry about a real-life confrontation.
Just recently, Chrissy Teigen was mom-shamed over her daughter’s first trip to the dentist at three-years-old. The mom shamers said she should have taken her daughter to the dentist much earlier.
Hilary Duff was also recently mom-shamed for piercing her 8-month-old daughter’s ears. Mom shamers came out in full gear to question Duff’s parenting choices.
So why do moms shame other moms? If you have a differing view, why go through the trouble of spreading hate on social media? What is the root cause of women feeling the need to tear down others? This is why moms shame other moms.
1. They are insecure.
Carole Lieberman M.D. a psychiatrist/parenting expert and author, says moms who shame others do so because it makes them uncomfortable to see a different type of parenting.
“Moms who shame are insecure, and don’t like to be made to feel that maybe they are doing things wrong – and these other moms know something they don’t. They worry that they have damaged their kids, or are damaging them, by doing things a different way – so they have to put down these other moms.”
Some moms only feel good about themselves when they are able to try to make other moms feel bad about themselves,” says Shelley Meche’tte, Certified Life Purpose Coach and Women’s Change Agent.
“Secure moms don’t put one another down for different parenting choices, rather, they understand that no matter what…being a mom can be tough and every mom needs the support of other moms to lean on.”
“Until insecure moms understand their own greatness, they will continue to deflect that self-doubt onto others.”
2. They have a sense of entitlement.
Perhaps these women feel a sense of entitlement, which makes them feel they have a right to share their “best” ways of parenting, forcing them to judge women who parent differently. They’ve become self-titled “parenting experts”.
“Everything from bottle vs. breastfeeding, to co-sleeping and whether or not to work outside of the home becomes fair game for criticism in their opinion when others’ way of raising children differs from theirs,” Meche’tte says.
“The truth is…no parent can be the expert on how to raise someone else’s child.”
3. They are part of the mean girl club.
Let’s be real – there are people who are simply mean. They’ve maintained the high-school mentality of being a part of the “mean girls” club, and feel a sense of connection with like-minded women when they’re able to put others down (also ties into the feelings of insecurity and entitlement).
Anahid Lisa Derbabian, Counselor and Coach at HelpMeToHeal.com, says women can come across as too strong in communication their views.
“They may feel strongly about their views on a particular topic and may come off too strong in communicating them. They may go into the energy of aggression, believing that it helps them communicate their point.”
For others, there could be a deeper root of the issue. “They may have been raised with shame and guilt, and thus they may knowingly or unknowingly use these same tactics on others,” Derbabian says.
Instead of shaming other moms, these women should take a healthier approach by communicating their thoughts in assertive ways, rather than becoming aggressive or passive.
“Instead of them maturing and growing into womanhood, they became stuck in an adolescent mindset refusing accountability when it comes to properly expressing themselves without verbal harm,” Meche’tte says.
“It’s a hurtful and unnecessary cycle. Women who are responsible for the productive upbringing of children, shouldn’t spend their time trying to tear down other moms who are trying to do the same.”