It’s Easy to Judge When the Shoes Don’t Fit You
Almost every conversation I’ve had with parents about parenting are usually backed with our desire to be seen as decent parents who know what we are doing. It is not because we want to impress anyone, but rather not be seen as bad parents. If we ask our friends for advice, it is because we care and want to give what’s best for our kids.
I was guilty of this in the first 3 months of being a mom. When I took Little Patch out, I felt like I had to show that I am a good, responsible mom. When someone mentioned that LP might be cold, I felt the need to put a blankie on him just because it would seem that I didn’t care about him if I didn’t act upon someone’s mere suggestion. Or if I dropped a toy on the ground, I would put it in my diaper bag because I didn’t want to be seen as a dirty mom if I put it back in LP’s stroller. In the end, who really cares?
Everyone wants to be a good mother. They want to be seen as someone that reads bedtime stories on a nightly basis, changes diapers regularly, changes their babies clothes and know their baby. I believe this is driven by articles in magazines about moms who can juggle a full-time career as well as taking care of their kids.
But after a few months, it got tiring. I wasn’t a negligent mom and I was doing the best I can. And sometimes things don’t happen the way I would like it to be.
It’s really okay that LP would miss a day or two or even 3 days of bathing or that I occasionally forget to sterilize his bottles. It doesn’t make me a bad mom, it just doesn’t make me look like a super mom. But I am a super mom… one that gets frustrated at times and takes it out on her husband, or one that lets LP sleep in longer than he should because it’s easier to deal with than waking up a grumpy crying baby. I’m a supermom as much as the mother with the screaming baby sitting next to me is.
I’m not even touching the subject of discipline. Everyone feels that disciplining involves words, love, and gentle scolding. Because if you don’t, some freak will call social services on you! I grew up in a family that talks loud, and my parents’ method of disciplining me involved striking me with a chinese feather duster. It sounds painful and even abusive but I never felt that ever while growing up because it was not.
What we’re doing may not be the best way, but it is not wrong either. And the difference between me and the best mom on the block is that I’m honest about what I do. My baby loves me and he is happy and that’s all it matters.