We live in a society that allows way too much judging and shaming over the way that parents parent (or do not parent, for that matter). Everywhere you look online or around you — at the park, zoo, or anywhere else you love to be with your kiddos — there are comments, dirty looks, and snickers being thrown every way imaginable.
Everyone seems to feel they are the perfect parent these days, with strong opinions to share, which leaves me thinking, Gosh, I wish I were perfect like all of you.
Cursing in front of our children, breastfeeding or not breastfeeding, pre-K or no pre-K, organic or not organic, the list could go on and on (and on). Every single day of our lives, from the moment that we bring home our beautiful child from the hospital — well, actually, well before that — we are faced with a multitude of decisions that will impact their lives. Some decisions are more serious than others. Yet the constant need to rip parents apart for the parenting decisions they make is so unnerving to me that I simply can’t take it anymore.
We do our best. We know when not to sweat the small stuff. And most importantly, we know what’s best for our children, whether other parents accept it or not.
Me? I’m the mother of a rambunctious 7-year-old, and I have another child on the way. Does this make me a parenting expert? Heck no! But you know what, I have a little insight that may help some of you.
Cursing in front of your child, and many of the other mundane day-to-day decisions that we make as parents — the ones that we stress about, lose sleep about, and sadly, are judged by other parents about — none of these are actually messing up our kids.
It’s the big things that actually impact their life. Are your children clothed? Fed? Taken for regular doctor’s visits? Since you are spending your spare time reading a parenting article, I can guess that your answers are“yes.”
When things are being neglected, that’s when concern and helpful comments ought to arise. But until then, we need to stop beating ourselves up over being judged for behaviors that “might mess our children up.”
I get it — we analyze everything that we do for our kids and around our kids with a fine-tooth comb and might even pick ourselves apart more than any of these “mommy shamers.” At the end of the day, we are our own worst enemy, and we judge ourselves harder than anyone else watching us.
So go ahead, have that third drink this upcoming weekend at your neighborhood barbecue while your kids run and play or skip the bath time tonight — it’s not going to mess them up, I promise.
Your children will look back on these moments as memories that make them giggle for years to come. They will remember how much they are loved, because that’s all that really matters.