The INSIDER Summary:
- A new study found that a majority of moms have been shamed for their parenting choices.
- The study found the most common reason they’re criticized is for the way they discipline their children.
- It showed that moms who face this scrutiny have more anxiety about their parenting decisions.
It seems like every week there’s a new story about a celebrity mom clapping back at haters. Whether it’s Jessica Simpson taking heat for her daughter’s swimsuit, Kim Kardashian getting shamed for her daughter’s fashion choices, or Chrissy Teigen taking hits for the way she holds her baby, mom-shamers are everywhere online.
And while celebrity moms certainly face some very public heat for their parenting decision, a new study showed that a majority of moms face this type of “mom-shaming.”
The study, conducted by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health from the University of Michigan, surveyed 475 mothers with at least one child under the age of five. The study showed that six out of 10 moms report that they’ve been shamed for the parenting choices.
The most common thing that moms are knocked for is how they discipline their kids, but their eating and sleeping patterns followed close behind.
Most of this criticism comes from family members, but 12% of it comes from other moms and 7% comes from commenters on social media. So if you find yourself commenting and sharing your two cents on someone’s parenting skills, you’re not alone: it’s becoming more and more common which can normalize this type of behavior, making you do it more and more.
And it’s having real effects on the moms themselves. A majority of moms who were shamed said that they then did research and reconsidered the topics they were challenged on and 47% of moms reported feeling unsure of themselves and their parenting skills. This can create a type of “maternal anxiety” and cause moms to constantly question their choices, one of the authors of the study told Broadly.
“A mom who’s unsure of herself and feeling like she’s getting a lot of criticism from all directions very likely is going to struggle to make a decision and struggle to be consistent with that decision,” poll co-director Sarah Clark, an associate research scientist in pediatrics at the University of Michigan, told Broadly. “I think we worry both about the mom having anxiety and maybe feeling like she’s not doing a good job, which could lead to depression, but we also worry about parenting becoming harder because we’re not having a consistent approach, which then leads to more criticism, which can get into a vicious cycle.”
So if you’re a person who can’t stop railing against Beyoncé in the comments for her parenting choices, you should probably knock it off, especially with the moms you know in real life. The study also showed that moms make decisions about who they spend time with and who they pick to babysit and spend holidays with based on if the person is overly-critical or not.
FOLLOW US: INSIDER is on Facebook