Super rare moment this past weekend, a trip to Target ALONE. To buy nail polishes and manicure stuff! It was basically a holiday! On the way home, blaring Sarah Bareilles “King of Anything” I decided that’s going to be my new theme song when it comes to all the judgmental parenting junk people feel the need to spew all the time.
Here it is if you’ve never heard it:
I especially love this part:
“You sound so innocent
All full of good intent
You swear you know best
But you expect me to
Jump up on board with you
And ride off into your delusional sunset”
Actually, though, that’s hardly ever happened to me. At least now that I’ve stopped wasting my time on an online discussion board for area moms where people could somehow turn a post about my kid’s runny nose into a debate on vaccinating, sleep training, breastfeeding, and junk food. 😉
Here’s what I see a TON of though…and I’ve gotten pretty sick of it (even though I know I’ve been guilty of it myself). It’s the blanket statements like “I can’t believe ANY mom would do that.” Or, “Ugh some people are such horrible, awful parents, I just saw someone do this thing that I’ve decided is the worst thing any parent could possibly do.”
But here’s the thing. I don’t know the whole story. I’m not walking in that mom’s shoes. And so so so many times I read those kinds of statements from friends and acquaintances and think, “Yeeeaaaah, well, I’ve done that…so do you think I’m an awful Mom?”
When Artist was a baby, we had this little monkey backpack and it’s tail had a handle so she could wear it and we could hold onto the tail and stay connected. She LOOOVED wearing it (Now, knowing about SPD, possibly the gentle pressure of it felt soothing). She wore it pretty often when we were out…until a friend made a statement completely raking moms over the coals for using a “leash” on their kid like an animal because that was completely inhumane and awful…and they were obviously just too lazy to actually hold their kid’s hand like any decent parent would. And from then on, I felt self conscious letting her wear it in public, even though SHE wanted to. I was worried that I would be judged as an awful parent for doing what worked for us. 🙁
Of course, in the last 5 years I’ve had to pretty much get over caring what others think of my parenting. So, you think breastfeeding in public is gross? Sorry, my baby is hungry and I’m not taking my toddler and infant into the bathroom, so just move along and mind your own business. How could any Mom let their 6 year old eat nothing but french fries for lunch? Well, she has Sensory Processing Disorder with atypical aversive food anxiety…and at a lot of restaurants that’s the only thing she’ll eat. So, if I want to get to hang out with my friends at Chic-Filet and have an adult conversation and stay sane, my kiddo is going to eat french fries for lunch.
And you know what, you can go ahead and post about it on Facebook and let everyone know about the horrible awful parent you just saw. Maybe you’ll feel better for having vented about this thing you witnessed that for some reason got you all worked up. At this point in my mothering journey, if I read it, I’ll probably shrug it off…but maybe one of your other friends will now start turning down play dates at restaurants cause she’s worried about being judged for doing what works for her. Just some food for thought. Now to try to get Boo to stop doing her naked booty dance all over the house and put her panties on! 😀