Sunday, October 9, 2011

Motherhood: a falsity

This was a different time.
Get that through your head. 
This is a soapbox blog post. I'm sorry that it is going to come off as finger wagging. It's just something that's been bothering me. 

We need to change our thinking about motherhood. I'm being serious. We are way too hard on ourselves. I've been doing some thinking lately, and I've been doing some observing, and I think we're going about this all wrong. Many mothers feel like they are terrible mothers. They're not as good as so-and-so. Their kids are not as nicely groomed as so-and-so's kids. We are always comparing ourselves to other moms that we think are better than us. Which is weird. Why would we compare ourselves to people we don't know? We're all different. We all have different parenting styles. We all have different lives.

I volunteer in my kids classes every week. At first I thought it was this obnoxious chore that I had to do. Now I really, REALLY enjoy it. I love seeing the kids that don't match. Or seeing a little girl who is wearing an outfit that you KNOW she fought for. Her favorite dress that she wants to wear EVERY day even though it's ripped, has holes, and doesn't fit properly. Mom gave in. That's cool.  I love seeing the little girls whose hair hasn't been brushed. I love seeing a ponytail that was thrown up haphazardly. I love seeing what they have in their lunch boxes. I've seen Lunchables in lunch bags. I've seen bags of chips, I've seen lunches with no fruit. I love seeing all these things because there is no such thing as a perfect mom. There isn't.

Even if you were able to glimpse into the life of someone you thought was a perfect mom, your assessment would be wrong. It would be wrong because you can't discover that much in just a glimpse. People have good days, and they have bad days.

We're all in this together. 
Another myth: Judgey moms. You can't know that someone is judging you. You're at the grocery store and another mom says something to you in passing. You're thinking she's judging you. Maybe she's just trying to reach out to another mom because she's been cooped up with kids all damn day too. Yes people say stupid shit. That's a fact. But judging you? How the hell would you know that?

Myth: Pearl Clutchers. Where did this come from? Who are these "so called" pearl clutchers? Women who are dressed nice? Look, I already told you, you have no way of knowing if people are judging you. Who cares how they look! So now you're judging someone you think is judging you? Yeah that makes sense.

Myth: Domestic Enemies. They are not. They are just people that don't know any better. People asking you about adoption in front of your kid. I've made this mistake, unbeknownst to me. I was just curious because my husband and I looked into adoption for a very long time. I had questions. Sorry that asking you about how you acquired your daughter was a no-no. If you're not in someone's shoes than there are things that are not obvious to you. That's life.

Generally speaking I don't think people ever try to be mean on purpose. Or rude. We think we know people so we have expectations. You don't know people, you don't know what's going on in their life, you don't know. You wouldn't be on a jury and have to make a verdict without anyone pleading a case or providing evidence would you? So don't come up with a verdict on people you don't know.

If there is such thing as a perfect mom.
This would be it.


  1. I so totally agree! No mom is perfect! And what you said about glimpsing into someone else's life is true, it would reveal their imperfections. So their kids match perfectly...the kids room is probably a disaster or something. SOoooo agree. Be the best mom for your kids and for you, and that is perfect--even if it seems imperfect to everyone else :-)

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  3. *removed first post because of glaring typo* ;-)

    Wiser words were never spoken. I particularly like your point about people’s motives and how often what we interpret as judgmental, malicious or plain wrong really is just another person’s own insecurity or simply benign curiosity. I think most people believe they have noble motives, even if others sometimes view that belief as misguided.

    Great post!