Fellow parents, we really need to leave each other alone. In the four
years that I have spent either pregnant or as a mother, I have
discovered that parents are, without a doubt, the most judgmental
demographic on Earth. I can say this with some authority because I have
also spent time as a teenaged girl.
Seriously, if you’re in the
market to have someone passive-aggressively dismantle your
self-confidence, I invite you to tell another parent how you’re raising
your kids. If you’re really a glutton for punishment, go have an opinion
about parenting on the internet. Those piranhas can flay you alive in
140 characters or less. If you have young kids or babies, chances are
good that you’ve had someone condescend to you about breastfeeding,
Montessori, or the evils of gluten this very day. Lucky you!
do we feel this constant need to shove our agendas onto other parents?
Isn’t it enough for us to carve out our own parenting niches, raising
our kids the best way we know how? Nope. If you’re not lording your
parenting choices over your friends, family, colleagues, that lady at
the grocery store, and BraydensMommy412, you’re doing it wrong.
old friend of mine loves to post about parenting on Facebook. Her
favorite pastime is rolling her eyes and sucking her teeth at anyone who
doesn’t prescribe to her particular philosophy. Today’s gem was a
particularly snide look down her nose at her poor ignorant friends,
awash in “misinformation” about rice cereal. Let’s make a mental flow
chart: If you find yourself overly concerned with what another parent is
doing, take a moment and ask yourself, “Is this abuse?” If the answer
is no, I kindly invite you to take a deep breath and mind your own
business. There are many more pressing issues than whether the first
food to pass a baby’s lips is rice or organic avocado.
oldest son was a baby, I breastfed him for nine months and made most of
his baby food. When asked about it, I would be lying if I said I didn’t
feel that nice glow of superiority. Hooray! I had my very own thing to
be smug about! I plan to do the same with our baby, but honestly, I made
those choices because that’s what worked for our family’s budget at the
time, not necessarily because it’s what bubbled up from the depths of
my glowing Earth mother heart. He ate a hot dog today, so there’s some
perspective for you.
My theory is that parenting is really hard
and most people are just making the best choices they can for their kids
and crossing their fingers and hoping that they aren’t turning them
into serial killers. I think that this obsessive need for others to
agree with those choices stems from the insecurity that somehow, despite
our best efforts, we’re screwing it all up.
We would all do well
to remember the wise words of our teachers: “Keep your eyes on your own
paper.” There’s peace in knowing that no one else has all the answers