Generally, we speak of mom shaming when a mother is criticized, denounced, or exposed for certain behavior (usually publicly). Affected individuals are lectured or criticized, and the remarks or concerns are often unfounded. Along with this, mothers are unexpectedly confronted with criticism. Mothers affected by „Mom Shaming“ often receive the criticism unasked.
Yet anyone can become a victim of mom shaming, even celebrities. In the recent past, Duchess Meghan was when she was walking in the woods with her son Archie and her dog in early 2021. The son was in a baby carrier, however, he was hanging out a little crooked. This resulted in numerous Internet users voicing criticism. Among other things, the duchess was suggested to hire a chaperone. The photo of a paparazzo had given the impetus for mom shaming. The pictures went viral on social networks. Numerous comments from users followed, which fall under the category of Mom Shaming.
It is Mom Shaming is an Anglicism that has become naturalized in the German-speaking world. It is composed of the words „mother“ and „exposing“.
Causes of Mom Shaming explained
One cause of mom shaming is a distorted ideal image of the mother role. Digitalization has played a part in creating unrealistic ideal images. Images that imply perfection are frequently disseminated on social networks. This is one of the reasons why the Twitter platform had discussed abolishing the Like button. It has been proven that social networks convey a false ideal image that endangers younger people in particular.
Nowadays, experts speak of a distorted self-perception that is reinforced by social networks. These are people who feel ugly, unsuccessful or inferior, although it does not correspond to reality. One reason for this are the images on social networks that pretend a perfect world. Frequently, prominent people post pictures that are deliberately staged. Pictures are taken of the house, car or vacation that suggest perfection. As a result, young people equate the images with reality.
Ultimately, social networks have also created a platform for mom shaming. The comparison with other mothers reinforces competitive thinking. As a result, conflicts arise. In addition, younger mothers in particular are under enormous pressure when they see the supposedly perfect mothers on social networks. Away from this, it often happens that people who do not have a family themselves engage in mom shaming. It’s a negative spiral that runs through social networks.
Dealing with Mom Shaming – Keeping an eye on things worth noting
First, it’s helpful to refrain from comparisons. It’s important for moms to go their own way. Along with that, everyone has the right to shape child-rearing according to their own ideas. On the other hand, it is important to show solidarity with other mothers. You can exchange ideas to find the right way to deal with mom shaming. It is of elementary importance to get rid of the competitive thinking. This makes it possible to approach other mothers openly.
In addition, it is essential to leave ideal ideas behind. Along with this, one should realize that in the 21st century, it is not exclusively the woman who is responsible for raising children. The father also has an important role to play. Old role models are no longer appropriate. As a woman, it is important to step out of the victim role and take an active role. This makes it much easier to deal with Mom Shaming.
Conclusion: What is Mom Shaming?
Mom Shaming is ultimately a serious problem. In many cases, mothers even develop mental illnesses. Additionally, mom shaming causes suicidality rates to rise. That’s why it’s important to raise awareness about the issue. Young mothers in particular have a hard time withstanding criticism. Consequently, it is important to intervene should mom shaming occur. Those affected should also defend themselves and clearly distance themselves from people who express hurtful criticism.
About „Mom Shaming“
It is interesting that mothers are so often criticized for their lives with triple burdens. Many moms take care of the household, the kids, and work a job or profession. That they have the energy to do it all is admirable. But the standard by which mothers are measured is far too high. Fathers, on the other hand, are asked to do much less and are more likely to be praised for taking care of the children or the household. Double standards prevail here, because what is expected of women is worthy of recognition in the case of men, if they take on even the smallest of tasks.
Our German language also nicely illustrates this double standard: the expression „Rabenmutter“ is much more common than the expression „Rabenvater“.