Thursday, August 12, 2010

Judgment is not the best form of flattery

(Here’s some salt.  Take a grain of it while you read.)

I hate the game.  You know the game.  The Mommy Game we all play where one Mommy is a Good Mommy and the other a Bad Mommy. Good Mommies have only wooden toys handmade in the mountains of Appalachia and purchased at the independent toy shop down the street.  Bad Mommies buy their mostly plastic, battery powered toys at the local Mega Store.  Good Mommies serve only organic, locally-grown, hormone-free, pesticide-free, cage-free, free-range, grass-fed foods to their whole families while Bad Mommies do their best but don’t get worked up if the local market is out of organic milk.  Good Mommies have all their preschool applications completed months before they’re due. Bad Mommies didn’t know they were a month behind. Good Mommies sign their kids up for a wide-range of classes so their kids can find their “passion”.  Bad Mommies miss the sign-up deadline and just say “we’ll try for next session”.  Good Mommies stay home and raise their children.  Bad Mommies go to work and hire someone else to take care of their kids. (Here is where you need that grain of salt.)

It’s a terrible game to play, the Mommy Game.  No one wins.  The self-declared Good Mommies sit smugly atop their gilded thrones while the Bad Mommies have no idea they’re being judged from above.  At what point does the Game end?  When do the Good Mommies and the Bad Mommies start to play nicely together?  How do we move past the judgments?  Aren’t we all just trying to do the best we can with what we have?  

Everyday as a parent, as a Mommy, is a struggle.  So why do we always make that individual struggle into a group competition with no clear winner?  I’m ready to step up and say “You do your thing, I’ll do mine, and let’s just throw the kids in the sandbox together”.  There is no need to “one up” each other when what we really need is to support one another in all of our incarnations.  We’re all Good Mommies, at least in the eyes of our children.

12 comments:

donna said...

Oh honey, you said a mouthful. I don't know why when someone makes different choices, it feels like a judgment.

I definitely subscribe to the "do what is right for your family and I'll do what's right for mine" school of thought.

Madame Queen said...

I truly believe this is one of the hardest thing about being a mom. If you work, you're ruining your children. If you stay at home, you're not socializing them. No matter what we do, there will always be someone out there who has an opinion about it and will feel the need to share it with us. That's why, most days, I just try to keep my mouth shut. I just nod politely and go about my merry way.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

No Mommy is perfect. So, even those Mommies who sit high atop their thrones will eventually realize the fall down is a long one. As others have said, do what's best for you and your family and know in your heart you're a GREAT MOMMY.

Shelly Overlook said...

Sadly, I think the judging begins in pregnancy. What you eat, what you wear, how big you get, etc etc etc. You're doomed no matter what you do (breastfeed/bottle, cloth diaper/disposable). I think if we spent as much time making our world a happier place instead of wasting time judging others, we could accomplish quite a bit. Every woman is simply doing what works best for her at the time. Shouldn't that be enough?

bessie.viola said...

Love this. It's so true... I wonder, some days, if it will ever end. Maybe when the kids graduate? But no, probably the Good Mommies will be the ones sewing custom bedding for their child's dorm.

I like your sandbox idea. I'm in for it.

Hillary said...

Amen!

adventuresofanurbanhousewife said...

*Wild Applause!!* I believe that as long as your kid is healthy and happy then you are a Good Mommy.

Cupcake Mama said...

Do you think the competition plagues women our entire lives and it is more intense and noticeable when it involves our children?

Sara said...

Yes, Cupcake Mama, I do. 100%. And I know I'm not immune, either. It's just so sad.

k said...

Right on, jive turkey.

rougie said...

GREAT post. And I am not even a mommy. Unless you count Psycho Kitty. Good for your for saying what a lot of people don't have the cajones to say.

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