The Top 7 Reasons Why You’re Mom-Shaming

“Did you see how she’s feeding her baby?”

“I can’t believe she thinks that’s ok?!  He goes to bed where?”

“What kind of parent would let their child sleep that way?”

This is parenting, in public.

This is motherhood, preparing for our close-up, knowing full well that our cracks and flaws and doubts will be revealed to critics who are watching and waiting for us to fail.

I’m so embarrassed. Am I the only one in this playgroup who is feeding a baby this way? 

I can’t keep my eyes open.  I love where my baby sleeps, but maybe I’m doing it wrong?  

Is everyone watching me?  Does anyone really see me?

Welcome to the Mommy Wars, ladies.

Where we are horrible to each other online, in playgroups, and in tight little huddles in the preschool parking lot. Our parenting beliefs are not as easy to hide as religion and politics, so we use them as weapons when we need a release. The Mommy Wars are collapsing our confidence one snarky Facebook comment at a time.  We are breaking each other down because we’re crumbling inside, our pre-motherhood identity slowly disintegrating under the weight of the laundry, the groceries, and the thirty thousand jackets and sand toys and leaky sippy cups that our kids have left in the car. Motherhood is hard. So why are we so cruel to each other?

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1.  You’re bored. I get it. If my son asks me to be the “red ninja” one more freaking time, I’m going to stab myself in the eye with his plastic sword.  I spend endless minutes spinning around with him and yelling “Ninjaaaaaa-GOOOOO” like a good red ninja. Until I can’t take it anymore, and retreat to the quiet of the Internet. The parenting routine can be mind-numbing. Sometimes a good argument about how the formula companies have brainwashed the sheeple, or how breastfeeding past 12 months is perverse can make you feel like your neurons are actually firing. Our mothers’ generation watched soap operas in the afternoons. Facebook and Twitter are the new Days of Our Lives, but it’s dangerous when we can contribute to the train wreck in real time.

2. You’re angry. When you’re a mom, you can’t get mad at the kids in the same way you get mad at adults. I have an out-of-body experience when my 1 year old takes his entire breakfast and launches it off his high-chair. I hear myself saying calmly “Bennie, no throwing food. Food is to eat.” when inside my head I’m screaming “Are you fucking KIDDING ME?! I would give anything to actually eat a hot breakfast and you are throwing it on the FLOOR?!” But mothers can’t say that. So we yell at each other instead.

3. You’re jealous. You know that mom who wears the tassel bikini to the pool? The one we all whisper about, because her fake boobs barely fit in the little triangles (Who the hell wears little triangles when they’re swimming with a screaming 2 year old anyway?) And she obviously had a bikini wax. Who has time for that? Although I must admit, I considered subjecting myself to the searing pain of having hot wax put on my lady parts, just so that I could have 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to lie down. Why are we so judgmental and snarky about each other’s bodies? Well ladies, it’s because we’re jealous. Your fake boobs are perkier than mine.  I wish I could rock a triangle bikini.  We hate each other for being someone else’s version of perfect, when the truth is that we hate ourselves for not being Pinterest-ing enough.

4. You’re overwhelmed. Get kids dressed, get myself dressed, get everyone fed, feed them again, clean up food they threw on the floor, assemble the stroller, disassemble the stroller, get them in car seats, unpack the lunch boxes, make the snacks, nurse the baby, play with everyone, do the dishes, and be the red ninja. This is motherhood. I love it. But it freaking exhausts me. Then we go online and filter out the sweat and the stains and the screaming with pretty photo filters. Why do we lie to each other about real life? You show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.

5. You’re exhausted. Not even going to explain this. Instead, will go microwave my piss-warm coffee and raise it in your direction.

6. You’re not sure of your identity. New motherhood can be lonely. We all want to belong, and it helps to have a group of people who think like we do. It feels safer to be tethered together by similar parenting beliefs. In the riptide of motherhood, we’re all looking for a life raft that will help us stay afloat. Even if we have to kick you off of yours.

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7. You’re dying to be recognized. Do you do a touchdown dance when your baby sleeps through the night? Do you shout it from the rooftops when you hit the 6 month mark of exclusive breastfeeding? Our celebrations scream “Notice me! Someone please tell me that I’m doing a good job, because nobody else is! Wait…I am doing a good job, right?”

Now do you see why we’re so mean to each other? We’re exhausted! We’re short-tempered. We’re terrified that we’re screwing up the little people who we love most in this world. We are needy, and lonely, and getting lost in this brave new parenting landscape because our map has been spit-up on by our baby and torn apart by our toddler. We shame each other on the Internet, because we’re worried that we’re the ones doing it wrong.

Moms, I need you. We need each other. It will only get better, when we start feeling better about ourselves. Put away your keyboard and put your hand on my shoulder. Log out of the Facebook groups and text your best friend. Tell her she’s doing a great job. Tell her your baby ate a crayon when you weren’t looking. Tell her the truth about motherhood. Your children are watching… is this how you want them to treat each other?

Related post: 15 Things Experienced Moms Really Want to Say to New Moms

About the writer

Kim Simon is a Co-Founder of the I Support You project. Her essays on parenting, social justice issues, and current events are featured regularly on The Huffington Post, MSN Living, and Yes Magazine. She is the facilitator of the upcoming parent support group “The Truth About Motherhood”, and a frequent guest speaker presenting on the motherhood identity shift, the “fourth trimester”, and infant feeding choice. Kim lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two little boys. She can be found telling the truth about motherhood on her personal blog Mama By The Bay, on Twitter @mamabythebay and on Facebook.


Abbey 4 weeks ago

I am so over the constant size comparisons. My child is in the 50th percentile at 1 yr and today I was told, “oh he is so little,” by a woman toting a fucking 23 lb 5 month old monster.

Kacey 1 year ago

I wonder how widespread this so called mummy shaming is.? I have not experienced it and neither have my friends. What I DO see is mums helping each other out practically, offering a shoulder to cry on, a safe place to vent and agreeing to disagree on some issues. Just because women do things differently or have different parenting ideas it doesn’t mean they are shaming us.
I am a little tired of these articles. They perpetuate the bitchy woman stereotype.

ez 1 year ago

this article overlooks the real reason why women are divided. patriarchal societies continue to be upheld by holding all women, all of the time, to standards that cannot be met, and to damn women whatever they do. internalised misogyny means that women treat other women badly.

Patty Seifert 1 year ago

These are the same women who made fun of your hair & clothes in the 6th grade. Some people never grow up.

Nicole Lynn 1 year ago

Never understood the mom shaming-every family is different and what works for one family may not work for another. I never sleep trained my kids, for example, while other parents say that it was something that had to be done-I never gave my kid a pacifier but I dont’ judge moms who do, my kid never wanted it. It’s just like mind your own business and let parents do what they need to do!

Meredith 1 year ago

We need more posts like this to keep reminding us that whether you have kids or not we all have our behind the scenes struggles (and victories)! I don’t regret times I’ve been friendly but I do still feel icky about times I’ve been catty.

Crystal Evans-Verduzco 1 year ago

Love this!!!!! I know a few that are like this
We get judged for everything these days it’s ridiculous!!!!!!!
If we shower we are judged to be bad moms if our house is clean were bad moms!!! Everything

girl in Australia 1 year ago

None of the reasons in this article are an excuse for being a bitch. Simple. Just don’t be a bitch.

Allison Sampson 1 year ago

Love this

Katie French 1 year ago

This is how much I care about other peoples opinions on how I raise my kids:


Christina Zepeda Rodriguez 1 year ago

Seems like some women need to spend less time judging/criticizing other moms and more time focusing on their own children. Putting down/shaming others won’t make you any better.

Lani Mays 1 year ago

For the record, my fake boobs are saggy and pitiful.

Alyssa King 1 year ago

So true! As women we are ever so clever at tearing each other down. Let’s be adults and examine why we feel the need to behave this way, articulate our feelings, and then rise above it for the sake of solidarity!

Ashley Cool 1 year ago

Excellent read.

Pamela L (Rookie Parenting) 1 year ago

I’m glad to say that since I had my first, I haven’t met many mean moms, except for one. At first, I thought she was just into the mommy war and I tried to make excuses for her. But turns out she is just a mean person to moms and non-moms and even her own kids. That big revelation made me realize I wasn’t a bad mom she wanted me to believe. I was just a mom who had a mean friend.

Heather McFarlane 1 year ago

Reason #1 you’re mommy shaming: You’re a bitch.

Krystal Diaz 1 year ago

Some mothers are idiots and do some of the dumbest shit in the world. Don’t get me wrong I understand everything on the list but some people are just stupid.

Valerie Evans 1 year ago

I have decided that I am no longer in high school (haven’t been in quite a while) so I will not be bullied, and I don’t care anymore about what other moms think. I’ll raise my kids the way I want to.

Ashleigh Marie Weegen 1 year ago

Hahaha number 1! My life at the moment.. I’m my worst critic! I don’t need others..

Catherine Lavallee 1 year ago

Beautifully written!

Jordan Powers 1 year ago

Great post…thank you! :)

Brittany Wentworth 1 year ago

“Piss warm coffee and raise it in your direction”? Hahahaha I’m dying right now.

Betsy Lee 1 year ago


Ali Fantastic McLing 1 year ago

I’m ashamed to say I was a mum shamer before having kids and a few months after having my first. But when I realised I wasn’t perfect, I figured no one else was either!! I’m up to baby number 4, and my view is if mum, dad and kids are relatively happy, then you’re doing alright!! Every mum is different in how they do things, and just because it’s different to what you do doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Laura A. Lord 1 year ago

Yes. Yes. Hell yes!

Rebecca Greene 1 year ago

The only thing that drives me crazy and gets me ‘judgy’ is when I see babies strapped into their car seats with the chest piece all the way down past their belly….then I think maybe the Mom genuinely does not know that that is all that is stopping the baby projectiling out of the seat in the event of a crash. I often gently point it out and get varied reactions. I do not really care because that is a safety issue and not a personal parenting choice thing…..have a pretty good handle on everything else.

Venus Alfante 1 year ago

As Chris Rock said, Women hate women!

Cristine Ann 1 year ago

wow, I knew that some moms were santcimoms but certainly wouldn’t have thought they judged each other to this degree. I will mom shame moms-shamers!!!!

Emily 1 year ago

I almost never encounter actual mean moms in real life, thank goodness. They seem to mostly exist on the internet. I’m so thankful to have mom friends who support each other.

The only negative comments I’ve ever gotten about parenting have come from an older relative of my husband. She seems to think a lot of what we do is too newfangled to be effective or not strict enough – she was amazed that swaddling wasn’t invented in the last 20 years, and told me that her kids just ate whatever she put in front of them when I mentioned that my two-year-old is rather picky (I put food in front of my kid and don’t offer her alternatives either – she just refuses to eat!). One time she told me the Moby wrap looked like a baby straight jacket. At my daughter’s birthday party, she told me there were too many presents. I could go on.

This certainly isn’t traditional mom-shaming, since her kids are grown, but I wonder if the reasons for mom-shaming listed above apply to her too. Perhaps she needs to be encouraged that she did a good job and her kids turned out okay (they did – they’re lovely people). Maybe I should try to keep that in mind the next time she says something snarky – none of us know what we’re doing, and we worry about doing right by our kids even when they’re already grown up.

Susan Williams 1 year ago

I found myself on the verge of internally judging a mom at the beach today whose 4-5 year old was wearing a swim diaper. I caught myself and thought, “I have no idea why this kid is wearing a diaper. She could have special needs. There could be a million reasons. Why would I judge that?”

Becky Gorton 1 year ago

There is immense amounts of mom shaming with older kids too. The biggest difference is that the older kids hear their mom and friends talking poorly about another mom and the kid thinks it’s OK to pick on the other mom’s child because he hears his mom doing it.

Dana Ayers 1 year ago

While I agree with most of the list, I think one was left off: some women/people are just bitches. Plain and simple. They know right, they do right, and no one can tell them different.

Beth 1 year ago

I attended a support group for new moms after the birth of my first son. I had received a Baby Einstein CD for him that was marked Birth-1 year. He was about a month old at the time and when I played the CD there was no reaction at all from him. When I asked about this at “support group” everyone laughed at me. I didn’t know anything about normal baby behavior, and was hoping to find a group of women who had questions as silly as mine so we could work this motherhood thing out together. Instead, I was made to feel foolish and I never went back.

Alli Finiasz 1 year ago

Love this!

tammy 1 year ago

This is beyond perfect! I’ve both judged and been judged. Both ends suck. So I’ve stuck to minding my own business now. If my little group of mom friends want to gossip, I won’t have part in that bull shit. I’m doing the best I can, and so are they! New motto: not my circus, not my monkeys.

Christine Smith 1 year ago

I’m a people watcher and have thought most of those things. While I don’t define myself with any of the reasons why people “shame”, I am a seasoned mother of four. I rarely point out their parenting fails, unless your kid is being a holy terror in my personal space. I honestly believe a lot of people are just ignorant.

Traci Muller Rylands 1 year ago

This is exactly why I never joined a mommy group after I had my son. Did not want to be under the Mom microscope.

    Jess Lynne 1 year ago

    I joined one to save my sanity and found that the moms in my area were just there to have fun.

Tashona Chlam 1 year ago

I look at this like all other opinions about me, you’re not paying my bills, paying child support, babysitting ect then your opinion doesn’t matter, I do the best I am capable of each day and do not care about the perfection everyone else portrays because we all have moments of glory and shame

Jenny Cooper McEntyre 1 year ago

Hit the nail on the head!

Eugenia Hermosillo 1 year ago

I wing it most days. :)

Denise Lucas 1 year ago

This is why I strive to think like a dude. Ever hear of “dad shaming”? Furthermore, it allows me to lay on the couch, drink beer, and watch baseball with no regard to the dirty dishes in the sink or the mildew that may or may not be forming in the bathroom.

Corrine Garvey 1 year ago

I could truly care less of anyone thinks about me or my parenting. Mom shame me all you want. Honestly though if I go to a birthday party and some crazy health nut mother put kale chips in the piñata I may have to punch her in the face… just saying. lol.

Joe Casey 1 year ago

Being a dad, what’s also fun are the mom’s who glare at you and tell you that you as a father are doing it/teaching you’re child wrong.

Regina Corley 1 year ago


Allison Smith Killins 1 year ago


Jessica Josh Marek Pman 1 year ago

I have never seen mommy wars as much as when I was in a MOMs Club. I personally don’t drink or eat a standard American diet, for health reasons. I got judged for not drinking or eating cake… It was horrifying! I don’t care what anyone else does, not my monkey, not my circus, but being avoided and crap talked because I’m different was not fair.

Sarah Samson D’Amato 1 year ago

I wonder what the excuse is for little old ladies in the grocery store who LOVE to tell you what you’re doing “wrong”!

    Leslie Dickson 1 year ago

    Boredom. Plain and simple. Reliving their glory days of motherhood.

    Kylie 1 year ago

    Forgetting motherhood. According to my mother I never had a tantrum, never put anything in my mouth that didn’t belong and didn’t throw my food on the floor- ever!! Lol

    Joanne 1 year ago

    Because they were there once and think they’re helping. Actually I had one sweet old lady give me some great advice in the grocery line…take a deep breath and take it one day at a time! Both my kids were melting down and I was a mess because I hadn’t had more than 2 hours sleep a night in 2 weeks and I was fried. She gave me a hug and said I was doing great but that I needed to breath and remember that this phase might feel long but it’ll be gone in a blink. Then when we were done checking out she walked me over to the starbucks in the store and bought me a coffee which I drank while she cuddled the babies and listened to me cry about life in general. She made my entire motherhood I think lol!!

    Maggie Rose 1 year ago

    omg. one day when my son was 2, he was having a meltdown over a candy bar or SOMETHING. all the old ladies around me were asking “is he sick?” “is he tired?” “did he miss his nap?” like bitch NO, he’s 2! Then they started thinking they were funny by going “oh I know.. he’s mad at daddy. Are you mad at daddy, little guy?” which made me so mad. we’re young parents. not like 16 and pregnant young but I was 20 when I got pregnant, my boyfriend was 18. so for him to be called out like that as if he had done anything wrong, oh it made me mad. I almost hit a grandma that day. never went back to that store hahaha

Ana Hill 1 year ago

Awesome & thank you! I was mom shamed for not breast feeding. I couldn’t. I was in ICU after birth, 90% blood transfusion and close to death. Please don’t judge when you haven’t walked in another moms shoes. You don’t know their story. Support one another for the triumphs!

    Lala 1 year ago

    Similar! I was in ICU for 3 days after delivery and my son (2nd child) was in an incubator 3 mo, his skin so sensitive the first 2 weeks touching wasn’t allowed. I cared more about his life or death than to what I could check off on the mommy to do list. They gave pills to help produce milk, hosp grade pumps…I think those 3 months I expelled 80ml total. It felt like my 1st sight of him I inhaled and didnt exhale til he was released 3.5 mo later lol. Yet with my first child I bf 2 yrs and 4mo! Nobody would believe it as I yank out the formula and bottle at the malls! We know a different side to motherhood. It has even made me a nicer driver. You have no idea if who just cut you off and sped off is headed to the NICU. Private dramas are playing out beside us, so we just have to be more patient, less reactive and more open minded.

Nicole Light 1 year ago

I’d never say anything to someone’s face but there are some things that in my opinion are not ok. -not visiting your first born newborn preemie in the hospital because going there “just isn’t in the cards” -being more concerned with smoking weed/having a beer after work than saying “hi” to your child (and then getting mad and telling your kid you don’t love them when they ignore you when you finally decide to say hi) -repeatedly leaving your toddler alone with an alcoholic (especially when there are plenty of other options) that you know is going to get drunk and pass out (and potentially drink and drive with the child in the car). -lying in your child’s baby book about when their “firsts” were (so what if they walked later than you hoped, does that make them “not good enough” or something?). -repeatedly putting your wants ahead of your child’s needs. Not saying I’m anywhere near perfect, but I don’t think discussing these (mind boggling) things about other mothers when I’m alone with my husband makes me a bitch.

    Kylie 1 year ago

    These are all reasons I would call cps. I agree with the previous poster about how people call for dumb reasons, but if knew a kid was alone with a passed out drunk person I would be calling:(

    Lala 1 year ago

    The stuff you listed we ALL would be talking about! Mommy shaming is different. Its like middle school for moms with no mature social skills. Its the looks where three moms stop and stare at a mom who looks ragged dropping her kid off at school so she notices the stares and second guesses herself, its the “ahhh you only bf for 6 mo, but research says a babies brain requires…” When the mom asks what you made for dinner before the kiddie tournament knowing full well your answer would be no where near the gourmet meal she made which is the whole reason she is asking. The thing is the same logic persists as it did in middle school, the weak only try to ridicule you to try their hardest to bring you down so they can feel strong. Thats why I 110% care about my kids but 0% what any mom would judge me on, because EVERYONE has had their flip out moment, their dash through the drive thru, their “your clean enough, lets go” moments.

Amanda Maness 1 year ago

Amazing!!! Couldn’t of said it any better.

Rachel Bracken 1 year ago

I mom shame myself mostly, always second guessing myself!

    Aubri Armistead Girardeau 1 year ago

    Me TOO!

Daphne Irvine 1 year ago

THIS is my new favourite page.

Allison Diehl 1 year ago

Great article.

Tiffany Bartoo Craig 1 year ago

If I could like this more than once, I would. Love this so thank you for posting it. Just wish more people would realize this.

Sarah Madmama 1 year ago

This is how I feel if we have made it through the day without too many tears and tantrums, and thats from me not the small boy lmao – he is alive and its bedtime and he has about 3 meals today xx

Rachel Smith Dalle 1 year ago

Great article!

Sabrina 1 year ago

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only mom that doesn’t give a shit about this stuff. Again and again I see in comments and confessions women complaining about “that” kind of mom. I don’t care that you feed your kid pb&j everyday or if you buy them organic stuff or if you let them get school lunch. I don’t give a shit whether you breastfeed or formula feed. I formula fed, got judgmental looks, but I couldn’t care less. I especially don’t care about what you do in your free time, just like people shouldn’t care about what I do. As long as everyone is happy, healthy, and safe that’s all that matters. In one blog post I read the author say that people generally don’t notice you because they’re stuck in their own soap opera and I know that’s true for me. I know some women on the playground have looked at me judging for whatever reason and I really, really don’t care. I’m not yelling at the author of this article, she said what I just did. I’m just ranting.

Destinee 1 year ago

I love this. I truly do. I have to say, to date (four years into this roller coaster ride of parenthood), I’ve only run into a handful of truly “mean moms,” not a one of which I actually know. My friends and family are incredible-mostly, they either don’t say a thing or just cheer me on. Granted, they know the hell that is the life of a single mom with two kids, both of whom have medical issues. Mostly because I openly speak and blog about it haha. My sister, however, had DCF called on her…because she put her two year old in his bed when he was in trouble. And dared to take him to church twice a week, which someone felt was her “brainwashing” her child. No joke. And she’s in the Navy overseas What a nightmare! I fully support calling in when a child is in serious danger, but what they called in on my sister for was a joke. Horrible. Let’s back off the Mommy Wars and the Holier-than-thou, shall we ladies?

    Lala 1 year ago

    Very lucky too I have never run into any moms making judgements. The moms I run into wouldnt want to be the one to throw the first stone, because we know NOBODY is the ideal, perfect mom. Ea mom knows about the moments she has totally lost the plot. It just comes down to manners. I couldnt care less about how long you bf and I dont care for anyone who cares how long I did lol privacy please! After bf nobody says, “ahh her ratio of veg to carbs for her toddler is way off.” To me, thats how silly the bf comparison is.

Jessi Endsley Ritter 1 year ago

This is great – but we need one on why women with no kids feel the need to mom-shame! Lol

    Cheryl Andrew 1 year ago

    I also hate the people who say “I hope you never have kids” as a way to “win” online arguments.

    Christina 1 year ago

    Or a kid-less brother-in-law! Yep, FML!

    April Neese 1 year ago

    I used to be that no-kid person. Thinking “I would never do that with my kids” etc etc. Judging only because I had NO idea what the hell I was talking about. Now with a 2 month old I realize how much of an idiot I was – and honestly was clueless. lol.

    Katy 1 year ago

    Nothing worse! Don’t worry, their time will come.

    Sandy Broda 1 year ago

    Two things. First, post-menopausal isn’t so old that you can’t have natural born kids who are still in school. Second, when I was a kid (60’s) it really was much rarer for kids to have meltdowns in grocery stores (or any other public place). Standards were high, discipline was strict, and fewer women were in the workforce, so the need to run a bunch of errands with kids in tow didn’t arise. Most bad behavior happened at home, and kids were pretty sure that they would get in trouble from any available adult if they “tried something.” It’s just a different world today.

    Cath Bruyning 1 year ago

    Christine O’Mara “Fast forward a few years and you are sleeping with a diaper butt on your face covered in Cheeto dust.” you made me LOL. Thank you 😀

Tania Mitchell 1 year ago

Oh wow I loooove this article!!!

Megan Pierce 1 year ago

This is wonderful, thank you!

Jaime Holmes 1 year ago

Boom! Great read.

Elizabeth DeVirgilio 1 year ago

I think we’ve all done this at some point, I try really hard to not do this anymore…it’s not my place to say what’s right or wrong for a mother and her kid(s), just like I don’t want anyone talking about me and my mothering skills. We are all doing the best we can with what we have and what we were given. We don’t need people, especially other mothers talking bad about us, we need a helping hand, a kind word or a hug every now and then.


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