Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Mommy Wars

The judgmental comments of moms toward other moms are what keep me from sharing some of the truths about my son with other people. I don't lie, but I don't speak up either. If people could accept that parenting is a personal decision we all might be more free and able to learn from other parents without the fear of being judged and criticized for our decisions as parents. What some people see as terrible parenting may just be what works for someone else and they are doing the best they can in that moment. What more can you ask of someone? Hindsight is ever perfect, but at the time all you can do is your best. Being berated for it doesn't help.

I read an article today about confessions from moms, and the comments people made that the editor chose to post with the confessions are a glaring insight into that editors opinions. Some of the confessions made me cringe, but I am not that mom. I am not in their shoes and what right do I have to judge them? I have debated a few questionable things in my two years as a mom and I am sure I will debate more as my children grow up and test the boundaries of my sanity. I have done things that others might see as questionable. My husband has done things that I thought were insane and I am sure that he has held his tongue with me a few times.

If moms could just sit down and agree that we are all moms together and share what works for us there might be less of people doing truly unsafe things because instead of flying blind we would be able to have a trusted friend or two or three that we know we could be open with.

I am blessed. I have a good mommy friend who I have talked openly with. I have my cousin as well, who is my biggest inspiration as a mom. And I have my mom, who leads by example and is always there to talk to. But in my moms group, I hold my tongue. They ignore children who are not theirs, too afraid to step in, and that fear of judgement for helping has put children in danger. They won't say it out loud, but they sort of look at you funny if you say something they don't agree with. You feel like the moms are judging you.

Same with the online message boards for moms. If you say anything that the others don't agree with they all jump on you for it. Things like "I would NEVER do that..." or "If I saw that happen I would call the cops on that mom".

It makes me afraid to connect with other moms for that fear of being judged. But we all do things as moms that other moms might find weird, or wrong. Parenting is a journey, there is no one true way. If children are fed, clothed, have a safe dry place to sleep and are not being beaten or abused... why judge someone on their choices? And feeding them corn dogs for dinner is not the kind of abuse I am talking about.

I confess...

I gave my son chicken nuggets from the fast food place a few times. And fries.

He is almost two and still doesn't know how to use a fork or spoon properly. I try, but some days I don't feel like cleaning the mess so I plan meals he can eat with his hands.

I have given him a cookie or a candy just so I could have 5 minutes of peace and quiet.

I put him to bed an hour early a few times because he would not stop whining and I didn't know what else to do, so I decided he must be tired.

Unless he gets really dirty he only gets a bath once every 3 days or so.

When he was really annoying at the store I bought him a toy car so I could finish shopping in peace.

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