Hi, my name is Kammi, and I was a mommy shamer. I’m not proud of this, and it’s not easy to say, but it’s true. To be honest, it was so easy that I probably didn’t even know that I was doing it, but that’s the problem.
This year, I became a mom. Having a baby was wonderful, and I was so proud of myself, but then I started experiencing mommy shamers. I would post a picture, and someone would DM me a comment about how a toy I gave her wasn’t safe. My daughter would be crying at a restaurant, and a stranger would tell me I shouldn’t keep my baby out so late. Or the worst was when my daughter had an epic blowout at Target, and I forgot to pack extra clothes. So just imagine all the judgemental looks I got carrying around a crying, half-naked baby in a diaper.
Being mommy shamed was such an icky feeling, but an even worse feeling was realizing that I’ve probably done the same thing.
It was also in that moment that I realized that “mommy shaming” doesn’t just mean people posting nasty things about you online. It’s about how we treat moms in tough moments. You can be a mommy shamer not just in public but also in private. I may have not ever said anything to a mom’s face or sent her a DM online, but maybe she overheard me when I told my husband, “I would never let our kids behave that way.” I know I’ve stared and had a judgemental look on my face while a mom tries to comfort her toddler having a meltdown in the middle of a store. I know that in moments like that, I chose to judge instead of help. And in those moments, that’s when I became a mommy shamer.
So here it is– My open letter and apology to all the moms I have shamed.
I’m so sorry. I was naive, and I was stupid. I want to take ownership of my actions and fully admit that I was in the wrong. I didn’t know how hard it was being a mom and the daily struggles you were probably going through. I didn’t realize that going to a restaurant gives you a little piece of your old life you’ve been missing and that giving your child the phone for 10 minutes of peace means being able to eat interrupted for the first time all day. I had no idea that it takes at least an hour to get a baby fed, dressed, and pack the diaper bag for a Target run. And that during all that chaos, it’s so easy to forget to change your clothes and put any makeup on. I didn’t know that when you post a proud baby picture online, it’s so easy for one comment to steal your joy. What I’m most sorry for is that in those movements when I saw you struggling with your situation, I didn’t say, “You got this mama,” or even offer up a smile. I’m sorry, and I’m going to do better.
Please know that you are amazing. You are the best mother your child could ever have. Anyone who judges you doesn’t get it. They don’t understand, and it’s ok to ignore them. Motherhood is messy, chaotic, and sometimes less than picture-perfect. It’s ok not to have it all together because no one has it all together. I’m in it with you, and this time, I’m going to be right next to you, cheering you on.