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Saturday, November 17, 2012

If you can't say something nice...

There is this awful trend happening around us right now. We have all been a part of it, one side or the other, at some point in time. Nothing else makes you feel quite as angry/sad/a weird mixture of both as this. It has always been around, and unfortunately always will be. However, with the rise of social media it has become a thousand times worse, in my opinion.

What am I talking about?

Judgment.

People thinking that they are better than others in word, action, and any other way possible. Nowadays, it is passed off as "honesty" or "truth," but I'm here to tell you that it is neither.

Two things happened today to make me stew on this a bit. First of all, a blogger we all know and love, posted a picture of her daughter (who I believe is 2) eating a cupcake at a birthday party on Instagram. She was immediately hit with comments about not letting her child eat that "garbage." Women were saying things about her needing to "care more" about what her daughter ate. These are total strangers griping about a child eating a cupcake at a birthday party! Who doesn't eat a cupcake at a birthday party when you are TWO or 32?!?! Do you honestly believe this woman cares so little about her child because she gave her a cupcake...at a birthday party??

The second incident happened to me. I tried to be clever and share a little moment of our lives on FB in which I lamented about the absolute foul smell of baby food peaches. Not two seconds after hitting post, a person whom I have not seen since college and quite frankly only knew of in college because we were in the same sorority, commented that she took the time to make her own baby food and it smelled like it is supposed to :). Yes, with the :). The momma bear in me wanted to roar back that I am so stinking happy she has the ability, time, and resources to be a stay at home mommy who makes her child's food and probably chews it up and spits it in his mouth,  but some of us have to work. I didn't say that though because I honestly don't have anything against stay at home moms and I felt like that implied I do. I felt like saying that would imply I thought that job was less than mine, and it is DEFINITELY not! I replied that I felt like her comment was a little condescending, even though I knew she didn't intend for it to be. I told her I was totally happy using store-bought baby food because at the end of the day, it was more important to me to spend time with Emerson than to worry about keeping up with all of that. Her response was simply that she worked (for a month or two) and that she made his food on Saturdays. <insert my dumbfounded look here> In the interest of total disclosure, I was annoyed for a good 10 minutes. Then, I deleted it all. Who cares what this chick thinks and what she does with her own child? It's not worth the time to stress about it.

It got me wondering though. When did this become okay? When did telling someone you barely know that they're screwing up their kid because they don't do things your way become commonplace and acceptable? This is one area of mommyhood I don't understand. I would NEVER think of telling someone that I am a better mommy than them!

Quite frankly, I don't care what people do. Cloth diaper, disposable diaper, no diaper, breastfed, bottle-fed, co-sleeping, sleep training, surrogate, adopted, home birth, hospital birth, natural birth, c-section...it's all about what is best for YOUR family. Let me be honest and tell you that things have not exactly gone like I expected them to. I definitely didn't plan on having an emergency c-section, but my child was stuck and in distress. You'd better believe I gave up my hopes of a natural birth for her safety in a heartbeat. I tried my hardest to breastfeed, but like many women in my family, it didn't happen for me. I cried many tears over that guilt, but my child is just as healthy as her breastfed counterparts. Your child might end up being smarter, richer, more successful, happier, and healthier than my child. Um...so what? Is that going to make me love her any less? Is that going to make me look at her and think "What a failure?"Puh-leeze. If it ever does come to that then I have failed at parenting.

My point is this...Let's put an end to this, Mommies of the world. Quit comparing your child--when they walk, when they talk, what they grow up to be--to other people. Quit comparing yourself to other mothers! And for all that is good and holy, QUIT JUDGING OTHER MOTHERS! What they do and how they do it might not be how you would raise your child, but get this...it's not your child. Let that momma live in the peace that she is doing the very best she can for that child. Encourage her. Love her. Reach out to her. Support her. Laugh at the silly pictures she shares. Be a friend, not a judge.

Mommies unite.

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