I’ve recently discovered when talking to other moms I often start my sentences with, “No judging but…” I do this to be funny and break the ice, however I really am setting the stage for them to put their judging hats aside.
Moms are some of the most judgmental people I have ever met when it comes to methods of parenting. They always have advice, most of which is unsolicited. I am not sure if these actions are a result of our mother-bear instincts, the pressure society puts on us to be perfect, or because we just want to believe our way is best. Each of us have developed our own parenting skills from books, the media, parents, friends, strangers and the go ole’ trial-and-error method. From the minute of conception we are pressured to do the right things and make the right decisions. But who is right? You? Me? Family? Oprah? Maybe the answer is – all of us.
I recently had a woman lecture me about drinking decaf coffee because I am pregnant. She insisted the small amount of caffeine in decaf elevates the baby’s heart rate to unsafe levels, however my doctor said I could drink regular coffee everyday if I wanted to. Was this woman a doctor? All knowing? The Dali Lama in disguise? Either way, I went home and manically Googled if I was hurting my baby. Was it really necessary for her to send a pregnant woman into a panic? It wasn’t like I was taking shots of tequila while lifting heavy boxes. Geez. Should women feel entitled to share their thoughts because they are a mom too? When are we crossing the line and doing more harm than good?
Because this is my second child I have become accustomed to being judged by others, however I admit I do take the time to listen. Hell, one of these b*tches actually might have something to say worthy of an ear. I have decided to just take the information and then choose whether or not to give a sh*t about what they think. One thing I do know is that I am doing the best I can. It is difficult to manage everything and keep up with the do’s and don’ts of parenting. I also know that I would die for my son and love him more than words can say. I tell him I love him often, I feed him, I shelter him, and I hug and kiss him everyday.
In the end we all want what is best for our little tykes, so let’s stop with the criticizing and harsh judgments. Aren’t we supposed to be emotional creatures and nurturing by nature? Can’t we stand together and just criticize men instead of each other like we use to do before we had kids? What happened to the Girl Power phenomenon we all embraced in the 90’s compliments of the Spice Girls? I, for one, would like it reinstated. What about you?
Here is a list of reasons I am considered (by some moms and most parenting websites) a bad mom:
- I loved breastfeeding and plan to do it again with my next baby. It is FREE, and my doctor says it’s what is best for baby.
- I don’t cloth diaper. I know – I’m hurting the environment. Call me lazy because that is exactly why I don’t do it. I wish I wasn’t lazy because it would save a lot of money if I did cloth diaper.
- I don’t feed my child all organic food. I would love to, however it is very expensive and feeding an entire family on organic food only is not an option at this time.
- Sometimes (ok often) I let him go to bed late. This is mostly because I love spending time with him and at times – it’s the only free time I have.
- I let him sleep in my bed. It doesn’t bother me and one day I’m sure he will go in his own bed. Until then, I will not rush him.
- I let him watch Little Einstein’s and other shows on Disney Junior. Cartoons are a fun part of being a child. Why ban them?
- I let him play with the iPad. It can be a great babysitter at times!
- I let him play with my iPhone when out to dinner to get peace.
- I don’t give him a bath every night.
- I don’t care if he is a boy; I smother him with love and kisses and let him cry when he gets a boo-boo. This doesn’t mean he is going to be a pansy when he gets older.
- He doesn’t have all the latest and greatest toys. I live in Chicago – who has space for that?
There is my dirty parenting laundry. The judging can start now. Go!