Mummy-shaming can have a lasting impact on a mother's mental health and well-being [Courtesy, Freepik]

The consequences of mummy-shaming are not just limited to mothers' mental health. It can also impact their parenting choices, with many mothers feeling pressure to conform to societal expectations or to seek approval from others.

This can lead to feelings of guilt, and even self-doubt, which can be detrimental to both the mother and child.

Dr Lindsay Malloy, an associate professor of psychology at Ontario Tech University, says that mommy shaming can be particularly harmful because it often comes from other mothers. "When we hear it from other mothers, we are more likely to internalise it and see it as a reflection of our worth as a mother," she says.

Dr Malloy also notes that mummy-shaming can perpetuate harmful stereotypes about mothers and their roles in society. "It reinforces the idea that mothers are supposed to be perfect and that any deviation from that ideal is a failure," she says.

According to Dr Sarah Allen, a licensed clinical psychologist and parenting expert, mummy-shaming can have a lasting impact on a mother's mental health and well-being.

"When mothers are shamed, they often feel like they are doing something wrong, even when they are not," says Dr Allen. "This can lead to feelings of guilt and inadequacy, which can erode a mother's confidence and sense of self-worth."

Dr Allen also notes that mummy-shaming can lead to a breakdown in social support networks, with mothers feeling hesitant to seek support or advice from others due to fear of being judged. This can further isolate mothers and make them feel unsupported, which can hurt their mental health and well-being.

Gender stereotypes

Another expert, Dr Andrea Bonior, a clinical psychologist and author, says that mummy-shaming can also have an impact on children.

"When mums are criticised and shamed, it can make them feel less confident and less capable as parents," she says. "This can have an indirect effect on their children, who may pick up on their mother's anxiety and insecurity."

In addition to the negative impact on mothers and children, mummy-shaming can also have a broader societal impact.

According to a report by Save the Children, mummy-shaming can reinforce gender stereotypes and perpetuate inequality, with mothers often being judged more harshly than fathers for the same parenting choices. As we celebrate International Women's Day, let us commit to supporting and uplifting mothers, recognising the value and importance of their contributions to society. Let us reject mummy-shaming and instead celebrate the diversity and strength of mothers around the world.

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