Monday, April 28, 2014

Damned if you do...

I recently read an article about "moms who suck." As I scrolled down, I felt my face get hotter and hotter. Gee, I thought, everyone must totally hate me. Maybe I'm trying too hard. Immediately, I started second-guessing most of my decisions and weighing the real importance of them. This is a thing I do on the regular as a mom and it's a nasty place to have your head stuck. Worrying about your (obviously harmless) parenting skills and second guessing yourself is uncomfortable and it should be; because it shouldn't happen. We do what we feel is best and while it's important to put a lot of thought, care and love into the choices we make for our kids, we shouldn't feel doubtful or self-conscience because of a silly internet article. If something doesn't go well, we should learn from that mistake and choose to do things differently next time. But things like asking people to tone down their language, eating organic food, and get this, being well-dressed should not be things that determine whether I am a good mom. We're all in this together as parents. This is the hardest job on earth.

I don't care if you lost all your baby weight in five hours and I certainly don't care if you feed your kid chicken nuggets for dinner every night. We should support each other, learn what one another's goals are and lift each other up. There is enough negativity in the world, mamas.

I like feeding my kid organic food and have been known to splurge on organic home products. This one is a doozy. If I had a dollar for every time someone rolled their eyes at me for this, I would be stinking rich. Listen, my family does not buy everything organic. First off, that's impossible and second, it's extremely expensive. We do however, buy organic where we feel it's most important. I think it's important that Kade use a soap without any harmful chemicals. I also feel it's important that his dairy and meat products are hormone-free. When we can afford it, we buy the "dirty dozen" organic. It makes me nervous that traditionally-grown blueberries test positive for over 50 chemicals after being washed. If this doesn't freak you out, that's okay. This does not mean that Kade never eats anything unhealthy. He enjoys lots of goodies when at grandmas and yes, we eat fast food (although very rarely) for special cousin dates or when visiting with family from out of state. If you feed your kid Micky Dee's on the regular or have a freezer full of processed food, that cool with me. I shouldn't feel guilty for feeding my kid what I feel is the right food for him because of what you choose for your kid.

I don't like you to swear around my kid. No, seriously. I'm sick of hearing, "He's going to learn it anyway" because he doesn't have to learn to use those words. I honestly believe it's possible to raise a kid who doesn't use disrespectful language. If he learns at a young age that those words aren't necessary, I hope he will carry it with him through adulthood. I'm guilty of swearing- in fact, I used to be a downright sailor and sometimes, I still slip. As I get older, though, I'm learning that those are "filler words." I don't need them, especially because they often make people feel, well, crummy. And I don't want to make people feel crummy. I'd like to lift people up, not stomp them down. If you feel like swearing around your kids, that's totally your choice and I respect that. We should respect each other and the decisions we make- that means please don't swear at my house and I won't ask you to tone down your language in your own home.

If I feed my kid well and use appropriate language, I'm an annoying and overprotective mom. If I feed my kid junk food and swear around them constantly, I'm irresponsible and perverse. We're so quick to throw the ax. Isn't it time we stood up for each other and offered advise and support where it's wanted?

All of us have these things about our parenting- if you put anyone under a magnifying glass, you could find a dozen things that you disagree with. But the thing is, just because we disagree doesn't mean that one of us is wrong. What's right for me may not be right for you. Every family has different needs and desires and goals. If we really want to raise each other up, it's time to stop judging.

We're in this together.

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