Today a fellow mother friend of mine told me a (horror) story. She had ended up giving in to her son in front of another mom because she was picking her battle and did not feel the need to press the issue and cause a commotion with company present. The other mom with her then felt the need to tell her that she was being “too nice” and then go on to explain how she would have handled it differently
If you have ever been that “other mom” in the above story…just do me a favor, will you? Smack yourself in the face reeeeeeally hard a few good times and say, “Bad me!” Seriously, it is none of anyone’s (no matter how awesome you think you are banging out this parenting gig) business how anyone parents their child. This statement is addressing different parenting styles, not verbal or physical abuse, of course. So unless you see a mother in some way harming her children…keep yo trap shut.
Maybe you wholeheartedly believe in feeding your child organically…that is wonderful. Good for you. But that is a choice that you make and that choice does not make you better in any way than someone that thinks that fruit snacks and twinkies are just a fun and harmless part of childhood. Keep yo trap shut. That mom does not want to hear about your research and no, they did not read the article that you did about red dyes or hormones in beef. Just leave them be and keep doing what you are doing and feel good about that. Perhaps you may think think that television rots the brain and you avoid it all costs. That is awesome, keeping kids busy is a full-time job and I commend you. Though, if a parent says that they let their child watch TV whenever they want…I know it may cause you physical pain but keep yo trap shut.
Everyone is different and, in parenting, we all have different priorities for wildly different reasons. Respect that. And if you cannot…well, you know what is coming…keep yo trap shut about it. You never can judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes and since it is not really possible to ever truly know a person’s driving forces or why they are the way that they are -no matter how lovely the sentiment- this means quit judging. Or, at the very least, keep quiet about it. You know, that other old adage that I love so: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
I have said it a million times over on this blog but, the truth is, all of us are just doing our best. Maybe my “best” is different than your “best”. That does not make either of us right or wrong, it just makes us different. Different is good. It is what makes up all of the beauty in the world, right? I am not sure when parenting became something that we all, as moms, felt the need to make into some grand competition but it really, truly is not. It is not about who tries the hardest to be healthy, who buys what kind of toys, or suppresses themselves into a shadow of their former self to be this Stepford-Mother-of-the-Year-figurehead but the fact of the matter is…being a mom is not about other moms and what they are doing.
It is about your relationship with your children.
So, if you feel that superiority bubbling up and you just cannot believe that mom is doing what she is doing…just remember the wise words of ol’ Amber..
Keep yo trap shut, yo, ’cause how does it feel when someone judges your parenting?
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.