Mom-Shaming: Can We Just Stop?
Written by: Jen Johnson
“Mom-shaming” is a thing. I’m trying to figure out why.
The latest controversy is over Little People Big World star Audrey Roloff. What ghastly thing did she do? What horrible offense did she commit as a mother? What could possibly have sent the internet into a tizzy? She dressed her five-week-old daughter in a onesie that read, “Always More Milk” and brown tights. People on social media are freaking out over brown tights. “Omg ... she is so cute. Not crazy though... how her mother dresses her. What happened to cute little dresses... not ugly colored leggings. LOL...”, wrote one person. Added another -- “... not a fan of the outfit. Creepy brown tights. Why not a colorful beautiful dress! The onesie needs help!”
BROWN TIGHTS… people are worried about this ridiculously adorable (not to mention happy and healthy) baby being in BROWN TIGHTS.
My daughters are now nine and seven, but I vividly remember the terribly uncomfortable pregnancies. I remember crying out of sheer exhaustion in the middle of the night when I’d wake up to breastfeed for the 4,000th time. I remember struggling through Target with one kid screaming in the cart and another running through the aisle with one shoe. And now, on a regular basis, I pick my girls up from school and they’re wearing a striped shirt (with a lunch stain) and polka dot pants (darkened by the rubber mulch on the playground), mismatched socks, and shoes that look like they’ve been attacked by a dog.
I remember the early struggles of parenting and I’m living the daily difficulties of it now. I can only begin to imagine how hard it gets as they grow older. That’s why I don’t shame brown tights. I also don’t shame moms who give their kids Nutella, like singer Kelly Clarkson did. Social media trolls actually accused her of “child abuse” for that. According to one person, “Nutella is packed with sugars. Don’t make your kids blow up.”
Actress Olivia Wilde was recently shamed for posting a photo giving her son a peck on the lips. “It’s gross,” one person wrote, while another said, “Kissing your kid like your husband. It’s not good for him.”
Here’s the thing. If I don’t like the brown tights, I won’t put them on my kid. If I’m uncomfortable with a kiss on the lips, I won’t do it. If I think my kid shouldn’t have Nutella, I won’t feed it to her. In the meantime, I will understand that your parenting style is likely different from my own, and I will simply click the heart symbol on Facebook because your kid is adorable, with or without brown tights.
Jen Johnson co-hosts The Show with Jen and Truta on KC102.1 in Kansas City weekday mornings from 6-10 am. She lives in Overland Park with her husband and two daughters (ages 9 and 7). Random facts about Jen: she was an extra in the movie Derailed (with Jennifer Aniston), she lived in Alaska for a summer, she was a traffic reporter for NBC in Chicago, and she tore her ACL playing basketball in college. She’s passionate about fund-raising and participating in Walk MS (multiple sclerosis), Cure SMA’s (spinal muscular atrophy) Walk-n-Roll, and raising money for Variety KC. Twitter/Instagram @jenkc1021