10 March 2010
Passing Mommy Judgement: The Jury is OUT
If you thought high school was going to be the most cliquey, drama filled, gossip oriented time of your life, you obviously haven't ever experienced motherhood! Everyone talks about the joys of motherhood and how there is nothing like it. Yes, being a mother is one of the best, and most fulfilling, experiences in the world. However, it does come with some negative side effects. Some of the not so pleasant baggage that accompanies us on the journey of motherhood includes judgment, jealousy, passive aggressive tendencies, plain-ole aggressive tendencies, lying, bragging, so-on and so-forth. It's not just about preparing to be on the receiving end of these monsters, either. It's about "trying" to avoid being one of the monsters. Sadly, it cannot be completely avoided. All mothers have been judged, just as all mothers have passed judgment on other moms. It's going to happen. Period. The same goes for bragging.
"My baby could hold his head up since birth."
"My baby is fatter than your baby."
"My baby was walkiing at 8 months."
"My baby can say her ABCs backwards."
"My baby never watches TV."
"My baby got her first tooth at 3 months."
Who cares? Uh, we ALL do, when it is our baby! You are going to do it, and it is going to be done to you. It cannot be helped. Motherhood is a very serious responsibility, and most mothers treat it as such. They make some hard decisions based on what they believe to be best for their child and for themselves. Once these decisions are made, and the mother has convinced herself that she has made the right choices for the well being of her children, it is easy for her to feel insulted or to become defensive when someone else comes along who happens to do things differently. Everyone wants to defend their parenting decisions because they truly believe that they have done the right thing. Nobody wants to be told that they made a bad choice (though all of us have made, and will make bad choices regarding our children). A friend of mine once wrote, "I don't think I have ever failed my boys in any way." I find that really hard to believe, because we all make mistakes and have regrets, especially when it comes to our kids.
The drama involved with parenting, mostly mommying, is endless. For some reason the daddy world is so much more laid back. I think that is just because men do not have the same type of protective gene that women have. They also have much smaller drama genes (usually). Anyway, I find it hard to believe that there would ever be a blog out there, started by a man, and with 177 comments from other men, bashing another dad for not wanting to wear his baby. Yeah, the blog exists, but of course there is not a male comment in the bunch (as far as I can tell).
Is this really our nature? YUP! If you are a mom, you cannot deny it. You have looked down on other moms for doing things differently than you. I know I have done it. We all have reasons for believing that what we do is the best way. Though sometimes we do know there is a better way, and do the lazy mom thing because it is easier for us (not breastfeeding by choice, letting our kids watch too much TV, giving them cake for breakfast, letting them play in the street, etc). No mom is completely selfless, or even close. The decisions that we make open us up for judgment. We should all be aware of that, and learn to take the worst of it with a grain of salt, because arguing about parenting never gets anyone anywhere! I might tell you that I don't understand why you would choose not to breastfeed your child. This is only because I have been able to benefit from breastfeeding in so many ways, that I do not understand why anyone would turn down the opportunity. However, this puts everyone on the defensive. But, then you can turn around and tell me that you don't understand why I let my daughter watch Super Why and Dora all morning, when it has been proven that TV will rot her brain. Uh, because I have to harvest my farm on Facebook, DUH! It all equals out, yet we will still continue to judge. Mothers are the most judgmental people on the planet.
None of us are perfect, we are all very far from it. That doesn't stop all of us from still seeming to think we are better than the mom next to us...at least some of the time. I know I'm not the worlds greatest mom. Hell, I let my 6 month old daughter sit on top of a picnic table, then she fell off onto concrete and got a concussion! The same week as the concussion, she almost choked to death on a hairball while on tummy time because I never cleaned my floors! Judge away, ladies!!! But, I still think I'm better than a lot of moms! Wow! Yeah, I just said that. There is no point in hiding the truth, when every mom knows deep down, that they feel the same way. We all deserve medals for the things we do (giving your daughter a concussion comes with tons of guilt...and it's not exactly easy to watch her cry, knowing you could have prevented it), but we all also probably deserve a kick in the butt every now and then as well, for being drama queens.
For those few men who are reading this, count your lucky stars that you have a penis, and that you can sit back and relax about being a dad. It's not likely that another dad will ever ask you something like, "Uh, your 2 year old is still sleeping in a crib? Do you think that's a good idea?" I apologize on behalf of all of us drama mongering mommies for making you take sides against our closest friends because they let their 6-year-old watch a scary movie.
For you future and soon-to-be moms reading this, don't think that you will be able to escape this guaranteed part of motherhood. Take all the pregnancy/mommy advice, including this advice, in stride! Your children will be the judge of your parenting abilities and decisions, not anyone else.
I read the book, "I Was A Really Good Mom, Before I Had Kids", while I was pregnant with Jocelyn. It's hilarious, but honest. I highly suggest it!
Cori, when we write our book, we are going to have to dedicate a chapter or two to drama!
If anyone is thinking about commenting on this, saying that they are not a judgmental mom...just don't comment. I will call you a liar! Haha.