No More SHAME

I deleted a truly horrible comment from my blog this weekend in which one mom ripped into another who had left a comment describing the struggles she is going through as a mother.  The commentor had said (and I hate to repeat any of it, but for illustration’s purpose) things like, “You don’t deserve to be a mother, shame on you!”

How can anyone think this will motivate change?!

You will not be bullied in my home

I can only imagine that person is filled with their own debilitating shame and pain, to unleash something like that. But it’s not the first time that I have confronted this attitude.

In this age of parenting we make many connections online, and often gain support online. However, it also means our actions can be needlessly examined and judged.

Stop! No more shaming!

The retort I’ve heard is, “If you didn’t want people replying, don’t post it online.”

I don’t buy it.

Of course, we’re not dumb, it’s worth being careful where you post things, but there is no reason we can’t create safe online places to talk about parenting. Not everyone is so lucky as to have friends or family with whom they can openly discuss parenting difficulties and issues.  We need these safe spaces to learn and talk about this messy and often overwhelming task.

We see all of the glossy and pretty parts that people post (because, frankly, you don’t want pictures from the time my 3 year old had a stomach flu the entire 9 hour drive…) We also need to have places we can post about the difficult and confusing parts of our life, so that we can do the work of becoming better people and raising better people.

This work will not be motivated by being shamed. We do not require being shamed or ridiculed by others to  make big parenting changes.  We need love to have the courage to do this work.

Love is the backbone.

When you act and speak out of love you speak from a place of strength.

What gives you the strength to care for your newborn through those sleepless nights?
Love.

What gives you the strength to be there at the death bed, or in the hospital, or on the other end of the phone line when your family is facing the worst?
Love.

And what gives you the strength to wake up the day after you’ve completely screwed up in this parenting game, when you feel ashamed and broken, and you don’t know the answers nor do you want to learn any more answers; what makes you take that next step and try to do better?

Is it more shame?! No!

You get up and you try again because you LOVE your family.

And every day I hear from people like you who manage that feat. We are imperfect, we don’t always get it right.

But we’re here, doing the work.

I honor you for being willing to tell your stories here. And you will NOT be bullied in my house.

We cannot heal if we cannot tell out stories.

We cannot tell our stories if we are concerned about being attacked.

I will be doing my best to prevent any further bullying in our discussions. I have always worked to make this a respectful and safe space, but now I have filters in place to catch inflammatory language and premoderate those comments. I only wish I had put the preventative comment catching policy into place sooner.

We are a no SHAME parenting community. We want to raise children who are responsible and respectful adults and that starts with the dignity and respect we model every time we interact with other people – whether they are online or face to face.

Be a LIGHT for the people around you!
Listen with respect.
Ask questions with genuine curiosity.
Do your own work and be KIND.

We can make a difference.

No More SHAME.

With Love,

~Alissa

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14 Comments

  1. Samantha Mertler says

    “…what gives you the strength to wake up the day after you’ve completely screwed up in this parenting game, when you feel ashamed and broken, and you don’t know the answers nor do you want to learn anymore answers; what makes you take that next step and try to do better?” —– I missed the comments on this post, but if this is a section of the comment from the mother who was ripped into… I’m with you mama. I have fallen to pieces in the last week with my oldest. Hugs and gratitude for saying it out loud, the scariest thing that happens as a parent, screwing up so badly that it makes you want to run away. Solidarity people, its what we need!

  2. Tracy Utting-Buchanan says

    Surely as parents we all make mistakes and react in ways we never dreamed we’d be capable of. I know the part of being a mum that surprises me most is the crazy amount of love I have for my children. This is followed by other extreme emotions that are both positive and negative and are generally related to the amount of sleep I get. Sometimes all I need is to vent and feel like other mums understand. I love pages like this where we connect from around the world and support each other. It’s so reassuring. There have certainly been times when I’ve felt like I don’t deserve to be a mother and felt so guilty for my actions or behaviour. I hope that mum you mentioned knows that most people here have been in that place and get it. I hope she has the support she will definitely be needing.

  3. Creative With Kids says

    I am certainly hoping the mom that received the comment realizes it was so completely off base and inappropriate. It’s SO hard when you’re already in a “raw” place to have someone fling words at you like that. During the past year I installed a plug-in that emails people the replies to their comments – I didn’t even think of this situation where it could mean that someone got a really nasty comment mailed to them. I did contact the person who it happened to directly and apologize and let her know what measures I’ve put in place to be sure this doesn’t happen again, but UGH, I felt very bad that she reached out for support, and essentially got a smack in the face in return!

  4. Kayla Poitras says

    I love you moms. I fell to pieces with my oldest lately too… It’s so hard to feel like a good parent sometimes when you feel lost and don’t know where to turn. It’s nice to hear other parents are in the same boat on occasion!

  5. Fafa says

    Wonderful post.
    And I know a thing or two about love doing the job – my daughter has been fighting cancer for almost 2 1/2 years (she’s 3 1/2, and doing very well).
    Your blog is a wonderful resource for parents who, like me, have to face fear, worry, but also the isolation the disease can bring. You give ideas on how to spend time, great tips on various subject.
    And now love to all of us.
    Thank you.

  6. Maribel says

    I am having a hard time managing my anger towards my 13 year old daughter. Her negative attitude about everything, chores, going places, staying active, it drives me crazy and ignites me of anger. I just feel so angry towards her. She hates the fact that she is overweight and does not want to do anything. Makes me angry i have to push so hard to get her to do stuff. I feel disappointed in her for her weakness. I wish i did not feel so angry.

  7. Veronica says

    @Maribel well I do have a few ideas but I don’t know what you have tried and what you haven’t. Also depending on your Teen some things might work and some things might not. 
    Idea #1 Having her Doctor get on her level and have a talk with her if not you or someone in the family close to her or that she will listen to. Where they can show their concerns. Show and tell her how much they love her and want the best for her. Or maybe someone that has battled  being over weight as a youth or even now still a youth and what? how? When? and Why? They choose to make a change in their life. Someone that will take the time and have a talk with her lovingly that she will listen to. 

    #2 [part of #1] let her know not how much it Angers you but how much it Saddens you because you know of not just the health issues that will break your heart but also the everyday issues(ex. Society, Clothing(not just finding her size but also the extra $$ to get something she likes in the right size or trying to find the right size in clothing she likes, I have these issues), Let her know how you worry about her Adult health in the future because of it. Like Children harder pregnancies because of becoming an Over weight Adult and that there are risk to her unborn child with being over weight. an add in any thing else you can think of. 

    cont………..

  8. Veronica says

    ( part 2 cont…..)
    # 3(B) ok
    this one is a bit of lying [But hey it is for the greater good] k So Fib to her
    to get her to exercise more if this is a issue that needs to be addressed, Say
    tell her that you would like to spend some mother daughter time with her and
    take a walk or that you would like to take a walk but you don’t want to go by
    your self, or that you getting old and feel safer if she would go with her. Or
    say join a Gym or a local ymca or rec center class and that you want her to go
    with you or that you need her to go with you to help you.  Gyms can be
    fun. Say if they have a swimming pool or a sauna or something liek that or even
    a dance class or a yoga glass. Lets go and be silly. or even say an Art and
    Craft class and have some fun and then it might be easier to get her to go to
    another class or gym with you.
    #4
    Volenteer to help those in need. An Old folks home or Animal Shelter or
    something like that. My daugher man o man i had big time issues with her even
    going to school at times but when it came to helping the poor little animals
    out at a no kill shelter she was on top of that and not to toot our own horn
    but I think we and she did better job than some of the people that got paid to
    work there…lol She Loved it well she complained a bit about the hard work a little
    here and there but in the end she felt good about her self and didn’t mind it
    so much because it was for the baby kitties and puppies. 
    #5 No Work
    No $$$. Hit a teenager in the pocket and they Put up a BIG BIG fight but in the
    end they give in. Sit down and figure this one out. What chores are worth how
    much and ect. and when they should be done and even how they should be done.
    Easy said than done i know. Trust me I know and the back lash I got at 1st OH
    BOY! that was a nightmare and i was about to give up. at about a week and a
    half i started to see her give in a bit. then about 2 weeks almost there and I
    think it was about 2 1/2 weeks we were Golden. It has been a while back but I
    think these time frames are about right. I’m a single mother of 4 so this was a
    hard one I was about to pay her to go some where with her friends and do what
    ever. I needed a break about by day 3. LOLOL Seriously. But I do remember she
    was about 12 and 1/2 when she turned into this crazy teen that I wanted to send
    back to where she came from LOLOL. I totally wanted her to be the new born
    Little Girl that had to do every thing for. :0)

  9. Veronica says

    (part 3 cont…….)
    #6 the
    going places was kind of fixed by the other things. Like not having a car for a
    bit there and having to take the bus or a taxi and needing her help to get
    groceries. Or when i worked my self to death at work and needed her help going
    places. i was a waitress/hostesses/assistant manager at a restaurant and was
    able to get her to come to work with me and some of the younger crew members on
    the night shift became friends with her and on the weekends she wanted to o to
    work with me. Not just to talk to them on down time but I and them would pay
    her to roll silverware. But she was rolling silverware when she was 3 & 1/2
    and my boss told me no matter what I had to show up to work no matter what
    happened to the baby sitter.  Long Story there but I showed up and with
    her on the graveyard shift. We were very short handed just me and another
    waitress. So when she got older it was easier to get her to go in to work with
    me. I think she was about 15 years old at this time.  Don’t know if you
    can take her to work with you but there is a “Take Your Daughter to Work
    Day”. She even wanted to go to work with me when i worked at the bank but
    for security reasons she couldn’t.  But she thought it was kool to see
    what Mommy did to bring home the Bacon and it kind of helps in other areas as
    well. So maybe if not you another family member. It could help her to want to
    go places either with you or others more easy. And it will build some
    confidence in the right direction. 
    Sorry so
    long winded but I just hope something above can help you. I TOTALLY feel your
    pain and Anger cause I been there. Now it did take about 7 years to get my
    daughter straight in life but there were many things many many things that she
    needed to straighten out and fly straight   but she got there. Some I had
    nothing to do with. Her group of Friends Changed as well either who they were
    or the type of person they were. Which was a key factor as well.
    My
    daughter is now 23 and she is doing GREAT ! ! ! Just thinking how Amazingly
    Great she is Brings tears to my eyes. Cause we have come along way. She is now
    Married[to her Jr High Sweet Heart, has a 2 year old daughter of her own, she
    is a awesome mother and wife, she finished high school [a bit late but she did
    it] and she just Graduated college and is State Board Certified in her field
    and she is a freaking awesome Big sister. Her Husband is still in college and
    has 3 more year to go [ i think ] in his field but he is on his way as well. WE
    still bump heads on some things and had some issue here and there BUT things
    are always good again and fast. 
    Hang in
    there you Can Do This!!!! I just know you can!!! And Your Daughter will as well
    <3

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