Moms Tell All: Being Shamed for Parenting Decisions

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tl;dr Stop shaming moms for breastfeeding.

It’s hard to understand the perspective of parenthood until you become one, and even then, there’s no definitive set of guidelines to follow. 

Becoming a mother doesn’t just stop at giving birth to an infant. There are important — and at times difficult — decisions to be made every step of the way in raising children. In spite of this huge responsibility on their shoulders, other people deem it necessary to make unwarranted criticisms.

Moms from all over the country sound off on a mom-shaming incident that sticks out, and the lessons learned from it.

Fila Clare Cui-Bensi

Marketing Lead for Visayas and Mindanao

It’s easy to say to let it pass—until someone says the exact wrong thing.  Around 2-3 years ago, a distant relative saw me feeding my baby using a bottle. She came up to me and said, “Uy ‘day, dili diay breastfed imo anak? Gi breastfeed unta na nimo para manambok.” 

As much as I would have wanted to breastfeed my baby, I couldn’t. During my pregnancy, I was hypertensive and up until I gave birth, my blood pressure goes high if I’m stressed and I can’t sleep well. The medicine that I was taking back then, which would have been safe for breastfeeding, didn’t work to lower my blood pressure. Hence, I had to make the choice to stop breastfeeding, or else it could lead to more serious conditions for me.

At the end of the day, our kids’ health, comfort and safety is our priority. We just all need to take a deep breath and remind ourselves that there are a million different ways to raise amazing kids. Just because someone is doing it differently doesn’t mean they’re doing it wrong.

Follow Fila on Instagram at @filaclarecui.

Tara Tricia Merced Bontol

Stay-at-Home Mom, Content Creator

Mom-shamed is such a strong word, but a choice I’ve made as a mom in which I was made to feel bad about was when my husband and I decided to pierce our daughter’s ears for earrings as early as six months. I posted the video on my social media account to share the milestone, and there were comments that I found to be insensitive. 

Of course, my initial reaction was hurt. I felt like I was questioned as a parent, but after emotions have settled, I’ve learned to choose my battles, give grace to myself, and extend it to others — some of the many things I learned when I became a mother. Remember, people see things as they are, not who you are. You do you. You got this Momma!

Subscribe to Truly Tara on Youtube, and follow her on Instagram @_trulytara

Meghann Hernandez

Marketing and Communications Manager, Lifestyle Columnist

I’m glad to see how breastfeeding is greatly encouraged and supported by society nowadays. Back when my eldest was just an infant, I used to worry about travelling, dining out and running personal errands as it was not easy to find a spot where I could nurse or pump milk in peace. 

Despite being very discreet and well covered up, I still received a couple of unsolicited (sometimes unkind) comments—suggesting that what I was doing was inappropriate. There were even whispers saying that it might be “more comfortable for me” to do it in the bathroom. I just eventually learned to block out the noise and shake off the nerves.

Follow Meghann on Instagram at @metro.mom

Barbie Patiño-Burchards

Mom to Tanya and Gerhard

I am not really sure if it falls under mom-shaming but there were instances when my little boy was in his very early stage in developmental milestones and was having leaps of delays and I got so worried, of course. I know our friends and families mean well but whenever I express my worries mostly to people who are close to us, I have always been told to “Just wait, you’re just praning,” and that some children are just really late bloomers when it comes to speech and whatnot. 

For me, telling worried moms/parents to ‘just wait’ does not help at all. I’ve always trusted my mommy instincts when it comes to these things. So if I meet a mom who is going through the same worries as I went through, I would always tell them that if instincts tell you something else and you have the means to meet specialists and therapists, then go for it! Book an appointment as soon as you can, tell your pedia all your concerns and take immediate action. Waiting does not help, early intervention does.

Follow Barbie on Instagram at @mrsburchards

Ara Casas-Tumuran

Content Creator and Host, Former TV Journalist

Our breastfeeding journey for almost three years is the highlight of my motherhood. As a working mom before, I would patiently pump breastmilk at the workplace just so I could bring home milk. I would always bring my cooler everywhere, even during presidential coverages. When I arrived home, I would make sure that Yanna would directly latch on me.

The biggest challenge I had was when a staff member of an international airline refused to allow me to hand-carry my cooler filled with frozen breastmilk. The staff insisted it must be checked-in. Paying the baggage fee was never an issue but I felt that my right to safe-keep my pumped breastmilk for my child was violated. On the other hand, this international airport in Luzon had no breastfeeding room. I had to pump at the lobby, using my jacket to cover myself up.

Despite all that had happened along our journey, I could really tell that a mother’s love is immeasurable. A mother’s love can move mountains.

Subscribe to Mommy Ara Casas-Tumuran on Youtube and follow her on Instagram at @mommyaracasastumuran.

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