You know how you’re always feeling judged by other mothers and wondering if they’re talking about how you dragged your 3- year-old off the playground screaming because why can’t you handle her tantrum? Or how bad of a parent you are because you decided not to volunteer for the 500th fundraiser at your school? Or because you actually admitted to people that you don’t like spending time with your kids all that much? Or how you want to egg the meangirls who are trying to run your daughter out of being class president even though they’re only 14?
And you know how Time magazine is trying to make you decide if you’re good enough? Or if The Atlantic wants you to believe your life is a disappointment because you can’t have it all. Or how if you God forbid give your child formula, a whole slew of moms are telling you that you should have been breast feeding exclusively.
Doesn’t it feel like the public just wants moms to either be in one camp (the bad mom) or the the other (the good mom)? But mostly they just want us in the “you suck” camp.
The social pressure about our decision-making abilities as parents produce eons of guilt. There’s an unreasonable slew of pressure about being the perfect parent.
Just today, Buzzfeed confirmed this good mommy/bad mommy infighting by reporting that “bad” was the fourth most common adjective used to describe mothers. Some of the other winners? “Naked” and “new.”
Writes Koa Beck at Mommyish:
So the takeaway here is that you’re either a “good” mom, a “bad” mom, a “happy” mom, or a “naked” mom. Those are, at least for BuzzFeed’s corner of the Internet which I think is safe to call a pretty sizable portion of it, how we’re culturally describing and defining motherhood.
I’m not trying to get all Tao of Pooh on you all. But let’s stop the madness of motherhood judgement. Accept that there are different parenting styles and that there is no “bad” way to raise yours. (Unless of course you are beating your child, which I’m guessing if you’re reading this article, you are not.) Accept that our parents generally fucked us up and fucking up your kid isn’t the worst thing in the world! Accept that you do not have all the answers about parenting and the next time someone asks you if they’re doing the wrong thing, reply: “If you think it’s the right thing, then it’s the right thing by your child. You’ll find out soon enough if it’s not.”