No one told me motherhood would come along with a whole new set of unsolicited advice — and shame — at every stage. It is as though there is an invisible set of standards we must meet. When we don’t, we are faced with the repercussion known as mom shaming.

Motherhood is already exhausting. We go through nine months of sleepless nights and body changes and hours of active labor to then be handed an amazing human who we are solely responsible for. The weight of that responsibility alone can be exhausting mentally and emotionally, not to mention all the physical tiredness we go through.  

And then we add in the emotional hardship known as mom shaming. If you are already a mom, you have most likely experienced this hurtful part of motherhood. We, as mothers and parents in general, tend to be sensitive about our parenting styles. We all parent differently, but nowhere is it documented that your parenting style is better than mine. I would like to believe we all have the same end goal in mind — to create kind, healthy, loving, and, one day, successful adults. Success, of course, can be defined in different ways, but in the end, we all wish for a life filled with happiness for each of our children. 

So when we are criticized for our choices if they vary from another’s decisions? There is pain. The damage that comes from mom shaming means our feelings of insecurity and unworthiness then pile on top of our already-existing mom guilt

A mother’s mental health is something that needs to be cared for. Running a household, with all the societal pressures that come along with one’s gender, can be backbreaking. So why are we all guilty of mom shaming? Let’s be real… we are all guilty of this at some point. 

Often these hurtful comments come from places of envy or loneliness. The need to create attention for oneself by putting someone else down. We, as women — we, as mothers — need to exemplify the kindness that, deep down inside, we are truly looking for. Mom shaming is a form of bullying, in my opinion. We are hurting someone with our words by speaking about or attacking that which is so near and dear to our hearts — our parenting. 

Let’s stop and think with both our hearts and our minds before we speak. Differences in opinion and in parenting are not bad. So, like we tell our children, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” If you see a mom who might be feeling left out, why not attempt a friendship? If you see a mom who is having a hard time, why not offer a few kind words, like, “You’re doing a great job.” If you see a mom who looks overwhelmed or isolated, why not share a “hello.”

The smallest acknowledgment can go a long way in what could become a collective effort to stamp out mom shaming. Let’s do this together.

Nancy is a mom of five girls ages 10 to 1 and a zoo wrangler to two rescue pups, a black lab named Duke and a chihuahua named Pancho. She loves black coffee, hot weather, a bargain, and all things guacamole. Being a mom to five strong little women is no small task. Her bilingual home is filled with all the wonders and joys that chaos brings. On days where she finds a tiny bit of time to herself she writes at As a graduate of Bowdoin College, Nancy has gone from classroom teaching to focusing mainly on the nonprofit education sector. She has had the privilege of working with organizations like Summer Search and Posse, and she has served as a community organizer. Before motherhood, she lived in Los Angeles, Boston, and New York City. Currently, she is a stay-at-home mom to her five amazing girls and has been happily married to her best friend for the past 18 years (he’s clearly outnumbered). They are excited to raise their first-generation American daughters together while keeping them close to their Guatemalan roots. Nancy is thrilled to find herself contributing to Boston Moms, especially coming from a fear of writing. It’s a testament that it’s never too late to keep dreaming and growing!