Stop Being an A**hole. Your Child is Watching

Man it’s getting rough out there, moms! There are a lot of judgemental meanies running around and you better have some thick skin if you want to be a mom these days. A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on Mommy Nearest called, “5 Mom Shaming Trends that Need to Stop Now,” that went viral on the Huffington Post. Like thousands of shares and international viral. At first, I was excited – holy sh** everyone loves my article!


But then it made me sad.

The reason this article was so popular wasn’t because I a brilliant writer, it’s because I struck a cord with so many moms worldwide. A painful cord. That means all these moms could relate to being shamed and that made me realize it’s a f*cking rough world out there. And when did it get that way? Like we don’t have enough issues in the world that we have to hate on ourselves for our parenting styles? Like seriously? It’s high school drama for moms!

Having thick skin myself, I have never been afraid to speak my mind or stand strong on my opinions, but I realized that many moms are not. And a lot of the things we say and do can really hurt other people.

My problem with this?


And if we’re all acting like a**holes – how do we expect our children to turn out?

Think about it.

So a couple weeks ago I spoke at The Mom Con in Pittsburgh, and I made this the topic of my speech. It’s been proven throughout history and cultures that “it takes a village” to raise a child, so seriously can we just STOP with the unrealistic super mom status? It doesn’t exist and all it’s doing is stressing us all the F out – and heart disease is already the #1 killer among women – do we really NEED that extra stress on our hearts? NO.

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So – as I talked about in my speech, I want you to join the movement of the #VirtualVillage.

I want you to literally stop yourself on the street the next time you see another mom stroll past and just say – HEY. YOURE DOING A GREAT EFFIN JOB. Okay, well maybe you don’t have to swear at her, but you get the point. Imagine if a stranger did this to you? Wouldn’t you feel like a million f*cking dollars?

Let me give you a few examples:






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Personally, these have happened to me:

1. Did you ever read about the time a stranger bought mine and Maximo’s dinner on Valentine’s Day? They wrote on the receipt that I was an amazing mom. I cried. I still have the receipt pinned to my wall in front of my desk to look at and remind me everyday. People are watching. They see you be a great mom, but they just need to SAY it more.

2. One time I was breastfeeding Max in Lincoln Center, one of the busiest squares in NYC. As I sat there in the little green chair as people swished by, one lady stopped and commended me on breastfeeding in public. She said I was helping other women overcome a fear as they watched me, and I might not even know it. I beamed with joy. Like I said, people are always watching, but if we spoke up more about the POSITIVE things happening, don’t you think it would start to trickle down a little more?

So my point is. Seriously, stop being such an asshole. I know I am guilty, too. But I am going to make a step to be more proactive, and I want you to as well!

Like I told all the moms at The Mom Con – I want you to tweet me or Instagram me and hashtag #virtualvillage. You can find me on both as @citymomsecrets.  I want to see all the good you’re doing in the world, and I promise I’ll share it – I want it to keep being shared. If enough of us get out there and do it, maybe enough moms will see it that THEY will do good for another mom, and so on and so on, until at least for that one moment, a mom won’t feel shamed, she’ll feel empowered.

And that my friends, is A LOT more powerful than putting someone down.

[tweet_box]Stop being an a**hole. Your child is watching.[/tweet_box]

By | 2017-11-18T11:05:42+00:00 December 3rd, 2014|Girl Talk, Motherhood|25 Comments

About the Author:

Stephanie Barnhart is an award-winning blogger, columnist, and outdoor enthusiast writer featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and other media outlets. She is also the NYC Editor for


  1. Robin Rue December 11, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Spot on. We lead by example and we should always treat others how we want to be treated.

    • Stephanie December 12, 2014 at 7:28 am


  2. calichristy2 December 11, 2014 at 10:27 am

    exactly agreed on all points, as a mom I want my child to respect people as i do.

    • Stephanie December 12, 2014 at 7:28 am


  3. klcmaher December 11, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Thank you for being a voice in the wilderness. We ALL need to be more observant and accepting of each other instead of being so critical! I fear it is a terrible trend that only we can stop. I’m part of your crusade for more positive things in every aspect of my life. If everyone would find one nice thing to say to each person they come in contact with every day, it would be a much nicer world to live in.

    • Stephanie December 12, 2014 at 7:29 am

      Thank you! I think it just needs to be said from time to time 🙂

  4. Tiffany December 11, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Awesome article! Love the title. 🙂

    • Stephanie December 12, 2014 at 7:29 am

      haha thanks Tiffany!

  5. loveforlacquer December 11, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Amazing article! Totally agree with everything you stated!

    • Stephanie December 12, 2014 at 7:29 am

      Love it!

  6. Theresa Beauteeful Living December 11, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    I love your message. It’s true…we need to stop thinking that there’s such a thing as “supermoms.”

    • Stephanie December 12, 2014 at 7:29 am

      it’s hard! Just trying to remind ourselves 🙂

  7. debbie jean mcmullen December 11, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    A friend of mine shared your article om FB – thats how I came across it 🙂 I totally agree – it has to stop! Being a mom can be so difficult some days! Facing criticism on top f those hard times makes it really tough!

    • Stephanie December 12, 2014 at 7:30 am

      So glad you found it and it resonated with you! It’s hard to be a mom these days – we need to come together and stop the hate.

  8. Esther Wilson December 12, 2014 at 12:55 am

    I agree. There is way too much judgement and unrealistic expectations of moms these days.

    • Stephanie December 12, 2014 at 7:30 am

      Totally – only we can change that perception!

  9. FamiGami December 12, 2014 at 10:08 am

    You ladies seriously need to 1) stop judging each other and 2) stop caring what other people think. If someone judges you for something, do it more often.

  10. Dhemz Apdian - Dias December 12, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more. It has to stop. Period!

  11. Carly Anderson December 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    I definitely could not agree with you more! We are teaching our children to be way too critical of each other.

    • Stephanie December 12, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      I agree – it’s our upcoming generation we need to worry about!

  12. Maggie King December 12, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    So true! We are all in this together! I think in general women need to stick together instead of shaming one another!

    • Stephanie December 12, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      every little bit counts 🙂

  13. Danielle Stewart December 13, 2014 at 12:05 am

    This is so true you really hit the nail on the head. I try not to judge because I know everyones life is different and what works for some doesn’t always work for all.

  14. Lisa Rios December 13, 2014 at 3:27 am

    What a great article!. The title is pretty much different too. I totally agree with all your points. Thanks for sharing this.

  15. ElizOF December 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I wish all the mean moms would read this and get with the program… Here’s to the #VirtualVillage!

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