By now I’m sure everyone has seen this meme going around Facebook, everybody passing it along with statements like “So True!” and “This will never be me again!” I read it and felt pissed. Oh great, another thing I’m being judged for at the park. And anywhere else where mom’s judge each other, which is pretty much everywhere.
I posted an angry response all over Facebook, and felt relieved to get nothing but agreement.
“Ugh. Look, I know cell phones can be a problem. Lord knows I’m not perfect with mine. But you know what else is a problem? Judging other parents you don’t know at the park for their parenting skills and their phone usage. You don’t know why they are on their phone. Maybe there’s a freaking emergency going on. Or maybe they are desperately searching for a job so they can feed their kids, and taking their kids to the park while they surf classified ads is better than sitting in their mom’s basement. Or maybe that mom is a student in the middle of researching for a really big research paper so she can make a better future for herself and her kids and she’s trying to find creative ways to do it while still keeping her kids entertained and active. Or maybe she’s a perfect, freaking devoted mom every other second of the day and just for this one blessed hour a week she needs a fucking break to read a fucking article or check her Facebook so she can stay sane, refill her cup, and better be able to devote herself to her kids the other 167 hours of the week!
Let’s tone down the assumptions and the judgements, people. Being perfect and a constant paparazzi to your child 100% of the time is not a requirement for motherhood.”
Why do we get off on judging each other’s parenting so much? We all do it, and yet we all feel extreme amounts of stress and anxiety because we know other people are doing it to us as well. I know I have altered my own parenting practices in certain times and places because of my fear of judgement from other moms and people in general, sometimes doing things that I don’t think is right for my kids or me. I have avoided certain social situations because of all the stress. I have agonized and cried and felt too sick to eat over all of this nonsense. And I know I’m not alone.
I am of the personal belief that I need to be the change I’d like to see in the world, and stop judging other moms. While it has not spared me any judgement so far (I am, officially, the weird mom in the neighborhood that no body talks to), I’m not going to contribute to it anymore. I’m not going to add power to the judgement force. At least not over stupid shit like cell phone usage.
I hope maybe one day more parents will join me.