Motherhood is hard enough with already making umpteen decisions per day and keeping children alive and thriving. But when others start pushing their own agendas and mom-shaming, that makes the job so much harder.
Actress Kristen Bell confessed that she has been the victim of mom-shaming and mom-guilt for the past several months, ever since she opened up about potty-training her 5-year-old daughter.
Couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard had the easiest time potty-training their eldest daughter, who simply needed to be told to go try out using the toilet in the bathroom next door. Their younger daughter, who is now 5, has had a much more difficult time with the whole process.
"My eldest daughter, at 21 months, we merely suggested that she use the toilet in the other room. Never wore a diaper beyond that."
"We were lying in bed, giggling, my husband and I, like, 'Why does everybody make a big deal out of this potty training? It's so easy! Just tell the kid to use the toilet!'"
"Currently, my youngest is 5 and a half and still in diapers. Every kid is so different."
Bell shared this in an interview with Momshaming several months ago and also said she was confident her daughter would get a hang of the process when she was ready.
After several months of backlash for these comments during the Momshaming interview, Bell opened up on Twitter and in a follow-up interview with Today's Parent about the mom-guilting and shaming she had experienced.
Bell stated back in May on Twitter that she didn't see anything wrong with her daughter for potty-training late and stressed that every child goes through each developmental process differently.
@maejonesnow I also dont think its humiliating if ur kid wears diapers late. Everyone is different. My 5yr old wou… https://t.co/p4vY3MsKc1— Kristen Bell (@Kristen Bell) 1590164607.0
Many followers were supportive and shared their own thoughts and experiences on the matter on Twitter.
Some reaffirmed how this process is totally normal and shouldn't be stressed over.
@KristenBell @maejonesnow I am an Early Childhood Teacher, mother of two and grandmother of four. Your daughter is… https://t.co/mVN7hVXzt2— Kimberly Gibson (@Kimberly Gibson) 1590201283.0
@KristenBell @maejonesnow Yea i am sure outraged twitter users know what best for this specific family and how to raise there daughter.— TheHenji (@TheHenji) 1590199157.0
@KristenBell Thank you for sharing about your daughter in diapers! I thought I was the only mom struggling and felt… https://t.co/O6zNJhejR9— Corneliafs (@Corneliafs) 1590238187.0
Others confessed how they or a child they know potty-trained late, and they turned out just fine.
@KristenBell @maejonesnow I know I’m late to this party, but I was only potty trained shortly before entering kinde… https://t.co/uOkDhy9rfj— the beth (@the beth) 1593751356.0
@KristenBell @maejonesnow My 4 year old wore Diapers at night. We tried but she said she enjoyed peeing in it. And… https://t.co/F9laapcOsJ— Sophie ツ (@Sophie ツ) 1593720226.0
@KristenBell @maejonesnow I wish my parents had let me wear pull-ups/diapers longer as a kid. Instead, I developed… https://t.co/Qt1x2B8YEL— Krista O'Berry (@Krista O'Berry) 1593807312.0
But, of course, the root of Bell's mom-guilt had to come from somewhere.
The more negative followers on Twitter had plenty to say on the matter, as well.
@CAclintonite @maejonesnow Dont you worry, she won't sleep in diapers at 14 :) Her small bladder has a hard time ma… https://t.co/bPajOlceiU— Kristen Bell (@Kristen Bell) 1590254129.0
@KristenBell @maejonesnow I feel that if a child is that old and still in diapers there's something wrong with the… https://t.co/NkpDsvzelg— Sabrina silva (@Sabrina silva) 1590359037.0
These negative comments were largely the focus of Bell's follow-up interview, where she stated that she had been struggling with mom-guilt, as well as a bought of anxiety and depression. Bell also clarified that her daughter is now well on her way to being fully trained after all the backlash.
"The Twitterverse was kind of mom-shaming me, which I'm not interested in. So I kept responding with the same thing: 'Every child is different,' which they are."
"And yes, I have a five-and-a-half-year-old who still sometimes wets the bed and that's OK! But she's getting there."
Though Bell and Shepard have figured out at this point what their youngest daughter needs in order to be potty-trained, they were totally right in saying each child's needs and timing are different.
The whole point is that parents are teaching their children and giving them the tools they need to be successful when they're ready to be, not to rush them to meet the same standard as everyone else.