You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

How to shut down a mum shamer fast

9Honey logo 9Honey 14/01/2018 Kelly Baker
a group of people sitting posing for the camera © Instagram/@Kellybakermedia

Parenting is one of the most fulfilling, most wonderful, most magical roles imaginable. It's also, on occasion, pretty damn tricky.

Ask any mum or dad and they'll tell you - there are moments this child-rearing business will bring you to your knees. One of those times is when another human take it upon themselves to subtly (or not so) let you know that you're not doing it right. That you're not good enough. That you ought to feel ashamed.

Pink with daughter Willow © Kevin Mazur/WireImage Pink with daughter Willow

It's a strangely common phenomenon sweeping the world and if you're not familiar with it, it goes like this - you parent to the best of your ability and someone tells you you're doing it wrong, or shoots you a disdainful glance (to let you know the same) or even, takes to your social media feed and posts about your parenting ineptitude.

And you, despite being a confident grown-up for the most part, take it heart like a quivering arrow and cry quietly in the bathroom after your kids go to sleep. Or, something like that anyway.

In short, it's a truly horrible trend that we've had first-hand experience of. And it's one we'd like to stop and ASAP.

We weren't so sure how to make that dream a reality, however, and so we went to an expert.

Come on down psychotherapist, child health nurse and mother Lesley McPherson who has provided us with these handy tips on dealing with the mum shamers of the world.

Shut the ‘experts’ down

Ask this person when they're willing to die your death for you - as they are clearly willing to live your life.

Perhaps also ask them to pay your bills.

If this ‘expert’ is a stranger, feel free to tell them to mind their own business. Actually, this holds true if it’s a friend. And distance yourself from them if they continue to shame you.

Never compare

Every child, every family, every home, every background story, every day is different and comparing is like putting us into cute little packaged up categories, slapping a label on and judging.

Who decides? Who gets to do the judging? Ask yourself these questions.

And remember that when someone points a finger of blame it’s often a reflection of what's going inside themselves. They may have doubts about their own abilities and be projecting that onto you.

Remember, it’s about them

The vast majority of folk who shame have power or control issues. They lack compassion and understanding and quite probably have severe self-esteem deficit issues too. Their reaction - and it is a reaction not a response - is to behave as was modeled in their own family of origin. Either that, or they learned to survive the family by stepping up and shoving themselves in other's faces.

It's not your problem

Remind yourself that it's none of your business what other people think. Continue to stay grounded in what’s good, right and true for you as a family unit especially your children.

Be nice to yourself

Cut yourself some slack. Nobody knows your child as well as you do. You are the very best person for the job and your kids, despite their some time appalling behaviours they would not change their mum (or dad) for any other in the world. Remind yourself too, parenting is the most rewarding job you could ever hope for, so don’t be hard on yourself and don’t ever allow others to be either.

Handy questions to ask yourself if someone attempts to shame you

How much does this person know about me? If it’s nothing, then don’t let a total stranger ruin your day. If they do know you then they should have known well enough that their comment, at the very least, was going to hurt.

Does anyone else know my child as well as I do?

Do they know what’s best for my child and me in this moment?

When did it become an offence for me to do what I believe to be the best for my child and myself?

The answers are obvious here and while we can get rattled what we need to try and do is disengage. Even better, try and not give a toss about what others think of your parenting because the truth is, it’s none of their business.

Pictures: 19 Things Your Mom Did That No Mom Would Think Of Doing Now

Let you ride in a car without a seatbelt: I have fond memories of riding in the car with my mom—and her sticking her arm out to prevent me from sliding off the seat when she made a sudden stop. Seatbelts, schmeatbelts, I'm still alive, aren't I? 19 Things Your Mom Did That No Mom Would Think Of Doing Now

More from 9Honey

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon