Week 19: The one where everyone does their best
A couple of weeks back I wrote a post about […]
A couple of weeks back I wrote a post about how I think moms do a big disservice to one another by not being honest about how challenging parenting can be. I am not going to take that statement back because I believe it’s true. What I am going to do in response to the uproar is say the following: I think the whole Mommy Wars debacle is totally played out and downright stupid. If you have enough time to judge the way other people are parenting, then you need to get yourself a more constructive hobby.
Many, many moms who are much wiser, more experienced, better looking and far better writers than I, have opined on this topic in the past. In fact, I would consider the market for posts on the topic of Mommy Wars to be completely saturated. And yet—AND YET—here we are, not being nice to one another; people claiming that some of us are bad parents (and bad people!) because we’re not parenting the exact same way that others are doing it. It’s so old. I honestly believe that the vast majority of moms are doing the very best that they can. Only what constitutes the “very best” for one person is not what is the “very best” for another person. And that is OK. That has to be OK.
There are exceptions, of course. For example, the other day I read about a person whose mom used to leave her and her siblings at home alone for days on end while she was down the street using. I think that we can all agree that that is one situation wherein the person is probably not doing her very best as a mom. I’m assuming you’re with me when I say that that particular mother could put forth a better effort. But, you know, on the other hand … she didn’t take the kids with her. I’ve never fought with addiction, maybe that’s what her best effort looked like at that point in her life.
Aside from that, I’m here to tell you that I think you’re doing a fabulous job. We all have our own struggles; I don’t know what your world is like. I do feel confident, however, that you are doing your very best. Because that’s what moms do. They do their best. Without fail. Working moms, stay-at-home moms, breastfeeding moms, formula-feeding moms, moms who sleep train, moms who co-sleep, conservatives, liberals, helicopter parents, free-range parents, Sharks, Jets, Capulets, Montagues—we’re all doing what is best for us and our families in our own particular situations. That is a fact.
Though I’ve never met one, I realize that there are children out there who are compliant, rule-followers who always do as they’re told the first time. They don’t whine, they don’t throw fits, and they don’t push buttons just for the sake of it. If you have one (or more) of
those children, I am so, so happy for you. I’m also a little tiny bit jealous because my children are not that way. Like at all. But you know what? I am also so, so proud to have children who are strong-willed, opinionated, hard-headed, rule-challengers who know exactly what they want. The world needs people like them, just as the world needs the rule-followers.
I have no idea what it’s like to raise a child who doesn’t push every boundary they’re faced with, so I can’t tell you how to raise a child like that. And if you don’t have a child who would rather stand stock-still on her own two feet for more than two hours rather than sit in a chair simply because you told her to sit in the chair, then you don’t know what my life is like. And I’m not asking you to. I’m not judging you, so the very least you can do is afford me the same courtesy.
Again, I feel as though this topic has been written about ad nauseam. It’s been beaten to death. Which is why I just cannot understand how there are people who can’t get on board: There is no one right way to raise a child. If you’re doing your best, then you’re a superstar.
P.S. I realize this post has nothing to do with my 19th week of pregnancy. Here’s the update on that front: I’m still pregnant, getting bigger by the day. I cry at the drop of a hat and when I’m not crying, I want to fight every person I come into contact with. I’m blaming it on the hormones. (Mostly because that sounds better than blaming it on my distaste for people in general.)