If you’ve spent thirty seconds on social media you know exactly what I’m talking about. Post a picture of your kids eating a treat and you risk being shamed for feeding them empty calories and teaching them poor nutritional habits. Post a photo from the beach and wait for the comments about sunscreen, appropriate beach wear and the risks of skin cancer. Or, post the queen mother of risky – or shall I say risqué – photos, a picture breastfeeding your baby… well then buckle up Buttercup. Actually, buckle up, add a helmet, maybe some elbow and kneepads, and I wouldn’t say no to a cup – I’ll take all the protection I can get.
Here’s the one of the worst parts – according to the survey, moms who have been shamed are more – yes, you read that right – more likely shame another mom. Like breeds like people. Shame breeds shame, nasty breeds nasty and mean breeds mean. But – and it’s a big but – mercy breeds mercy. Grace breeds grace. Kindness breeds kindness.
There should be no tighter group than moms. When you see a mom with a flat-out-freaking-out toddler in the produce section, instead of throwing her that, “do-something about your kid” look, give her a smile or a nod, maybe throw her that Mockingjay salute. If nothing else, give her the gift of no eye contact at all – she’s got enough going on.
If your friend posts a picture of her kid outside without a hat, congratulate them for getting the child away from a screen and enjoying the great outdoors. If your friend posts a picture of her kid watching a movie on an iPad, congratulate her on figuring out a way to get ten minutes peace. Maybe she’ll get to shower or pee without an audience for a change.