If You're Being Shamed By A Rich Mom, Here's What You Need To Do

One of the least welcome parts of new motherhood –- far, far worse than the stinkiest diaper or the kiddo who just won't go to sleep -– is that no matter who you are and how you parent, there's a whole world of people out there (moms and non-moms alike) who think they know how to do it better. While moms are shamed for working, they are also shamed if they choose to stay home. Moms who breastfeed are shamed, as well as those who are unable or unwilling to do so. Moms are shamed for how they dress their kids, the names they pick out, and of course, every single thing they purchase.

In fact, mom shaming is big business, as witnessed by Michelin's "So much is riding on your tires" ad campaign. This is a textbook example (literally, for Okahoma's Geary School District) of pathos in advertising because the clear implication of posing a baby next to a tire is that if you don't purchase these tires, you don't care about your child and are putting their life at risk by cheaping out with non-brand tires. Well, not every parent can afford "only the finest" for their child, whether it be tires, clothing, or food. If you are struggling to keep your kids fed and clothed at all, you know how painful it is when a more fortunate mom calls you out for what they see as your financial shortcomings.

Ways in which rich moms shame less fortunate ones

Romper reveals that income-based mom-shaming is a real problem, and more fortunate moms may not really be aware that they are engaging in this behavior. Poor mom-shaming may take a number of forms. For one thing, if you're questioning a woman's "decision" to return to work soon after her child is born, what you may not realize is that it's not a decision at all but an economic necessity and/or one driven by the fact that her job does not allow much (if anything) in the way of maternal leave. Conversely, some moms may "choose" to stay home with their kids because their jobs do not pay enough to cover the cost of childcare, but they tend to receive some flak for this choice-that's-not-really-a-choice as well.

Often lower-income moms may be given a lot of grief, even by well-meaning teachers and childcare centers, for what they serve their kids. However, not everyone can afford all-natural organic food. Less well-off moms also get dragged over their diapering, clothing, and toy choices, since sustainably-grown cotton is not part of everyone's budget nor are handcrafted wooden playthings. 

Needless to say, having the time and/or funds to participate in "mommy and me" classes and playgroups are also not in the cards for many  low-income moms and kids, although better-off moms may express the opinion that such things are absolutely crucial for a child's growth and development.

How to deal with rich mommy shame

The only way to deal with mommy income shame is to realize that all the shame should be on the other end. Okay, so having a high income need not be a source of embarrassment in and of itself, but being tone-deaf sure is. If you're a low-income mom, realize that you may not be able to supply your kids with all the high-priced toys, expensive vacations, and other material goods enjoyed by their better off friends, but know you're providing them with something far more valuable: An example of strength and resilience. No matter their circumstances later in life, your kids will have an early start on learning the coping tools necessary to let them deal with life's downs as well as its ups (and also how to score the best deals at Dollar Tree).

As for snappy comebacks that will put a rich mom in her place, you're better off not even trying. Either ignore her or freeze her out with an icily polite "thank you for your input" (universally recognized as the courteous way of saying "talk to the hand"). If you want a little "poor mom" inspiration, though, you might enjoy this short YouTube video from filmmaker Dhar Mann in which a poor mom does get the last word, that being: "It's not about how much money you spend, it's about how much love that you give."