It’s no secret that being a mom is hard. It’s […]
It’s no secret that being a mom is hard. It’s not just the physical labor that makes it difficult at times, either. It’s the fact that it’s 24-hours, 7-days-a-week and always on-call. Even during “downtime” while the kids are napping, there is still something to do. Like time, it doesn’t stop. And as far as I’m concerned, all the moms I personally know and even those I don’t, are doing a pretty stellar job keeping their humans happy, healthy and alive.
So, when someone who doesn’t have children, or any experience with them, passes judgment on me over something he quite literally knows nothing about, I fight back. Because, say what you will about the way I dress or how I write, but my children and my parenting are off limits. Period.
I recently had an encounter with someone who accused me of “feeling guilty for poisoning your children.” Let that sink in for a minute. Two words stick out: “guilty” and “poisoning.” First of all, it’s bad enough that mom guilt is a very real thing that I feel on a daily basis—guilt from letting my kids watch too much TV, guilt from not being able to spend enough time with them, guilt from not throwing the best birthday parties, guilt from not being able to have more dates with my husband, guilt from not being able to contribute more financially, guilt from staying at home, you get the picture. But I do not have any shame or guilt over what I feed my children. Which leads me to my second point: poison? I didn’t realize that my daily home-cooked meals were poisoning them. I didn’t realize that the vegetables and fruits they love so much might as well just be arsenic, laced with carcinogens, laced with lead and asbestos. I didn’t realize that I was shirking my motherly duties because I gave my child a banana.
It’s amazing how unsolicited advice is dished out from day one. It’s like the minute a woman finds out she’s pregnant, everyone is at the ready with some kind of anecdote, suggestion or comment about anything and everything. Then, the baby is born and there is a constant stream of opinions, a bottomless well of things to do and things not to do. And why? When did it become de rigueur to question a parent’s logical, well-researched and thought-out decisions simply because it doesn’t fall in line with your own? There isn’t a set handbook for this whole mothering and parenting business. It takes a lot of trial by fire, trial and error, mistakes and tears and a whole lot of laughter and experience in between. My husband and children trust me to make the right choices, so why is it so hard for someone to let me trust myself instead of making me question my abilities as a mother?
I know I’m not the only mom or parent who will step up to protect her family. I know that I’m doing the best I possibly can for them and for myself. But that doesn’t mean that insensitive comments based on absolutely zero experience or fact don’t hurt. So to the person who inserted himself in foreign territory and acted like an expert, kindly take your accusations elsewhere. They are not welcome here because I’m going to keep on doing what I know works and is good for me.