I’m the mom that people hate.
I’m the one who parks too close to (or over) the line and doesn’t move the car. Because I have kids, darn it.
I’m also the one who spends twenty minutes trying to park right.
I’m the one who helicopters my kid at the park. Yep, often I’m even on the playground right along with them.
I’m also the one who lets the TV babysit sometimes.
I’m the one who got an epidural, both times. (“Ooh ooh!” Name that film reference.)
I’m also the one who didn’t have a birth plan. (Except pain meds. See above.)
I’m the one who took too long to get pregnant.
I’m also the one who didn’t struggle with infertility for years and years. It seems like a strange thing to feel guilty about, but I do.
I’m the one with the organic snacks.
I’m also the one who lets her kid have the free lollipop at the grocery store.
Yep, I’m the mom that people hate. And I “hate” to break it to you, but you’re that mom too. We’re all that mom.
Okay, “hate” is a strong word. Maybe we should say instead, the mom that people judge quietly. Or the mom that people judge loudly. The mom that people give blunt advice to. The mom that people chew up on social media.
For some reason, judgment of moms comes quick and easy. I’m guilty too. I’ve thought, “I would never do that,” or something like it, out of an attempt to buoy my own self-esteem. I’ve taken a bit of pride when my kids are the good listeners at the public library story time – which then takes a hit when they’re the ones running around, yelling, making a mess.
This thinking makes it a society where you just can’t win. Have you ever heard that saying, “you could be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there will always be someone who doesn’t like peaches”?
Unfortunately, there’s always going to be someone who disagrees with the way you mom. There will always be new facts and posts popping up on social media that make you feel like you’ve been doing it wrong THE WHOLE TIME and you NEVER KNEW.
Here’s something we can all agree on: there are definitely wrong ways to parent your child. I think we can all agree on those – abuse, exasperation, manipulation, and neglect.
But if you are doing your best, if you are doing what you can to make sure they have what they need, if they are relatively content, if you smile and hug them and have genuine concern for their well-being, I think it’s safe to say that you are a good mom.
This isn’t coming from any recent circumstances for me, by the way. Just something I’ve noticed over my whole time as a mom. It happens all the time – whether it’s a celebrity mom bashed on Instagram, or unsolicited advice. I know I’m not the only one who experiences it.
I write all this to say to you and me both – don’t let other people’s opinions (or your perception of other people’s opinions) define your motherhood. You are doing a good job.We’re not parenting like our parents did, but our world is a little bit different now. Take heart, and hang in there, no matter what anyone says.