Parent Shaming is Real: A Working Mom’s Perspective
It’s time for Week 2 of my #workingmomwednesday series! For this series, I reached out to some of my sweet blogger friends who are working moms, and asked them to share their experience juggling it all.
Check out Week 1: Finding the Balance as a Work at Home Mom
This week, Lindsay shares how she has personally dealt with the pressure and criticism facing working moms. Lindsay is the Chief Marketing Officer for tech startup Jiobit, where they are building a location tracker for kids. It’s a little piece of stress relief that will make many parents’ jobs easier.
I’m a bad mom.
In full disclosure, I’m also the CMO at Jiobit, where we’re building a tiny location tracking wearable to help parents keep track of their kids. I joined this startup after the founder (friend and former colleague) told me about how he lost track of his 6-year-old son at a crowded city park for 30 minutes. As a mom and stepmom of 4 boys (ages 1, 3, 11, and 13), I could relate immediately. When he explained his idea to build a solution to a problem that we had both faced, I was in.
So why am I a bad mom? Because turning to technology to help solve a parenting issue makes me lazy. It means I have no control over my kids behavior and am too distracted to parent them. In fact, it means I have no business being a parent at all.
At least, that’s what some of the comments on the Facebook ads we’ve run would lead me to believe.
Parent shaming is real.
Every parent will face it. The internet provides the perfect curtain for shamers and trolls to hide behind as they attack and judge. In response to our introduction of a product that can tell me if my child wandered off or if they arrived home safe after school, the shamers pounced. Here are a few things they had to say…
Technically you could say that we asked for these comments by paying to reach a large audience on social media. In other words, we paid to be shamed and criticized. I acknowledge that. And while I do believe we’re all entitled to our own opinions, I feel that there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed. Here’s an example of what I mean…
Marketing 101 would probably teach you not to engage with these types of comments but, as a mom, I felt compelled to smack it down. As I thought more about it, however, I actually felt bad. I don’t think parent shaming happens because people are mean. I believe it’s a result of our own insecurities and frustrations because, as we all know, being a parent is the hardest job in the world.
Parenting is hard and sometimes even sucks.
Even though Facebook feeds might suggest otherwise, I know that my husband and I can’t be the only parents living through toddler tantrums, unsuccessful potty training, and sleepless nights. We aren’t the only ones battling with teenagers to express gratitude, accept technology limits, and keep eye rolls to a minimum.
And yes, sometimes parenting sucks. Especially when I worry that I’ve screwed something up or that something bad may happen to one of my kids. My goal is not to screw up and minimize any risk of something bad happening.
That’s why I fully support using the tools available to us as modern parents – that includes the use of technology to give me peace of mind. Not because I’m a bad mom.
There’s so much pressure to raise perfect, well-behaved, respectful children that we feel the need to defend and justify our own decisions, even at the expense of other well-intended parents. I’ve been guilty of it myself but I can tell you that the second I’ve said something like “My kid would never wander off” is the second I find myself crawling around Target looking under clothing racks.
Behind every parent’s decision is a good intention.
We should all remember this. Who are we to shame or judge a parent who’s doing what he or she believes is best? Instead, we should embrace and support one another through this journey.
I’d love to hear what you think about this topic. Have you had an experience with parent shaming? Do you have any parent hacks you’d like to share?
Lindsay Slutzky is the mom to 4 boys and a chocolate lab. She is a master multi-tasker who completes more tasks by 9am that most people do all day, thanks to her early rising toddlers. She loves fitness, wine and her super supportive and patient husband. She loves connecting with other moms to learn from them and hopefully inspire them to do what makes them happy and accept “good enough.”
*Article and images republished with permission from Lindsay Slutzky of Jiobit.