Ana Veciana-Suarez: Ease Up On The Mom-Shaming, Internet

By Ana Veciana-Suarez
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As columnist Ana Veciana-Suarez points out, “There are basic, non-negotiable tenets of child-rearing, of course: providing a safe environment, food to eat and a bed to sleep in, guidance, love and loving discipline. Yet, what people choose to weaponize online can be astoundingly immature and petty. Ignorant too.”

Tribune News Service

Raising a child is the hardest job anyone can do, both physically and emotionally. The long hours and constant worry. The self-doubt. The sleepless nights. The stomach-churning ups and downs. And the relentlessness, the bone weariness of it all.

Now let’s add another ingredient, a toxic one, to that stew: public shaming. The finger-wagging once done in the privacy of a kitchen has been amplified by social media, brought out into the public square to embarrass the recipient and, let’s be honest here, to make the rest of us feel superior.

Mom-shaming is a thing. A big thing. It has been featured in magazines, debated in talk shows and reported on the national news. And yes, it happens to women more than men, to celebrities as well as commoners. As we offer a peephole into our lives, posting pictures of our families and sharing private moments and thoughts, we give strangers an opening to opine.

And opine they do, regardless of others’ feelings and the extent of their own expertise. One thing I’ve learned after several decades of mothering: The smartest parents are often those who have no children. Or put in another way: The longer I parent, the less I feel I’m in full possession of all the answers.

At any rate, my generation faced only a fraction of the censure millennial mothers encounter these days. Mothering has always been a competitive sport, but it is now more evident than ever.

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