True story. I didn’t have pain meds during labor. I nursed my son until he was 25 months old, and, as much as I loved him, I really, really wanted my boobs back (and so did my husband). I fully vaccinate everyone in my family, from the dog to my husband who hates needles. I don’t like for my son to eat really sugary snacks. Sometimes he runs into big objects (like cars) on purpose, and I think it’s funny. He has slept in his own bed in his own room since he was three weeks old. I carry him a lot, like, a lot. Sometimes my son is crying when I drop him off at preschool before scurrying out of there to barely make it to work on time. He loves hot dogs. And ketchup. So much ketchup.
Care to judge me?
As a general rule, moms love to judge – well, we don’t openly love it, but we do it all the time. I do it. I judge. I could tell you the ways I judge, but you probably already know them, because you do it, too.
But there are some that seriously have to stop already. Like these:
1. How We Give Birth. When I was pregnant, I knew there was about a negative 400% chance that I would be able to have an epidural. The risk of permanent paralysis vs. a few hours of pain made it clear that I’d have a pretty juicy birth story to share. My mom, on the other hand, was rushed into emergency surgery when it turned out that, at 32 weeks pregnant, her baby (wonderful little me) wasn’t getting much food or oxygen. Three decades later, she still hears that she “didn’t really experience childbirth,” and is somehow less of a mother, because she had a c-section. Last I checked, if a human being is released from your body, that’s childbirth, ladies. Also, if you welcome a child into your family by adoption, you have your own kind of birth story to tell.
2. How We Feed Our Children. Listen, until you see me force feeding my toddler a double-double, please don’t intervene (and even then, please assume good intentions and go about your business). I breastfed because it worked for me. I am a healthy adult product of soy formula. My mother was not able to breastfeed and I threw up nearly everything else I ate until I was two. We can’t all afford a 100% organic diet. We can’t all run out and buy new bottles every time a study shows up telling me what materials are no longer acceptable. I would have probably gone completely nuts if I had decided to make my own baby food, while other mothers revel in the creativity.
3. When We Start Our Children in School (or Daycare). “It’s crazy to send a two-year-old to preschool full time!” Mmmmkay. My husband and I work all day, and our parents are not full-time caregivers to our child. This means that unless, to the delight of my 125 middle school students, I bring my toddler to school every day, my son has to go somewhere. Why can’t he go to preschool? It doesn’t bother me one bit if your child stays home with you. Sometimes I’m even jealous that you get to spend all day with your kids. That’s not the way it worked out for me; so, my son goes to school. Every family has to make their own choices about what is financially possible – For example, I cannot quit my job and still afford to visit our family out of state. Since they like to see their only grandson on a regular basis, we made a choice. You might not agree with that choice, but please don’t call it crazy. I certainly don’t think it’s nuts that you chose to stay home.
4. How We Handle Our Children in Public. In all reality, I consider myself a fairly laid back parent. I tend to sit back and watch my son do something, watching from a close distance, checking out how he handles himself. At home. I do that at home. Because in public, every mother, nanny, grandma, auntie, older sister, wants to tell each other that their child is going to break a leg, going to fall, going to…sigh. I fell off things. I have scars. I got the wind knocked out of me. I learned to be comfortable with risk. Sometimes my son cries, and I feel like, in public, everyone is watching me to see how I deal with it. I’m not really myself, not really my son’s mother, when there’s an audience. Unless your child is endangered, please leave the other moms and their scrambling little monkey children out of it.
I know we all have our own little pet peeves. It’s hard not to judge, because we all truly want to believe that we are making the right decisions, the best decisions, the only decisions, for our children. And we are. We are making those decisions for our children, not anyone else’s.
So, moms, let’s all remember that although we are all in this crazy game together, our little players need rules that work for them…even if they look odd to someone else.
Related post: Dear Mom Judging Me For My iPhone