If you’ve ever been “mom shamed”, you know it sticks with you – like, forever. So, just don’t do it. It’s that simple – understand everyone is going through different things and does things differently than you – accept it and move on. Don’t try to change the person or tell them how your way is better. Just stop.
I took my son to the doctor the other day and experienced “mom shaming” in a whole new way. My son was talking to me and pointing out colors and shapes and he just turned two. This is something I am super proud of because I have been spending time working with him on this.
Cue the mom shaming. The doctor looked at me and said “awww is he your only child” in the tone of “bless your heart.” You southerners know that when people say “bless your heart” it is NOT a compliment. It is more of a way to make fun of you.
When this doctor said this I just stared at her and said: “yes, he is.” She said “oh, that explains why your son is so smart. You still have time to teach him things. When you have another one, you won’t have time to teach them things or read a story to them.”
I instantly felt my pride slip away and felt almost guilty that I only had one child. Once we left the doctors office, what she said stuck to me. I was polite in the room, but I got angry.
First of all, I get where she is coming from – I am sure things will get much more busy and complicated when or if I ever have another child. I am not disagreeing with the fact that it will be harder to teach them and I will not get as much one-on-one time.
However, what if I was unable to have any more children? What if I had tried for years to have that one child? How would that mom feel leaving that doctors office? Also, why should I be feeling bad because my son is smart? How dare she make me feel guilty for something like that?
Don’t shame the parents that get to spend time with their one child. You don’t know what they went through so they could even have a child. You never know the situation.
So, if you are a parent that uses the phrase “awww is that your only child,” please stop. It doesn’t feel good, and whether you meant it to have negative connotations or not, it’s still negative. If you just ask the question “is that your only child”, it works without having to put the “awww” in front of it.