This post was written over a year ago. It’s still just as true today as it was then.
“I know I’m a bad mom….” This is what some women say before they say, “because I got a sitter so I can clean the house.” Or they say, “I know I’m a bad mom because I gave my son a popsicle before dinner.” You never hear that phrase before a statement about neglecting their kids or leaving them in a hot car. You will always find that phrase before an example of a minor offense, like letting the kids stay up too late or having a sip of wine at lunchtime. (The mom having a sip – not the kids.)
But I know what’s going on. Moms have a way of saying things like this to feel out your opinion. It’s a way to see if you’ll judge them. They are also looking for approval. For you to get them off the hook. To get you to tell them that their offense isn’t that bad and we’ve all been there, done that.
Serious. Show up to any park on a weekday and you’ll find all sorts of similar conversations. The guilt is right out there for everyone to see and though they don’t say it, it seems like they are wondering if they really are messing up their kids. Sometimes we are our own worse critics.
When I find myself saying, “I know I’m a bad mom…” I realize how silly it sounds. It’s crazy the judgement we place on each other, ourselves, and how – in reality – we are all in the same parenting trenches together.
The parenting trench. It’s us against the hardest job we will ever have.
I don’t feel that we have to gang up on our kids but we really need to start rallying around each other. Whether you are new to this rodeo or not – each kid is an individual and I would be stunned if you told me “this one” didn’t offer up a surprise or two. No one can be fully prepared when any child makes their appearance but there is a de-sensitizing that takes place after the first born.
You get to a point where some things just don’t faze you anymore. I will always wince when I see a kid – mine or not – about to smack her face off the floor but truthfully, some things just don’t ruffle my feathers like they use to.
For instance, when my son was small I would try to keep him as clean as possible – which worked out since he preferred staying tidy. My daughter [shown above] has a different outlook on life. She likes things messy and when she’s soaking wet and asks to roll down a sandy hill, I tell her to “go get ’em. Show them how it’s done.” (Oh and she will!)
We have a tendency to change as parents as the kids grow or more additions are added to the family. Parenting styles differ so much but we’re all on the same boat. Every one of us is working hard to just stay afloat. We should try to be a little kinder to ourselves and our fellow moms.