Yesterday I posted something on a moms’ group on Facebook. I was feeling pretty dang good about myself … until …
… the madness ensued.
Okay, okay, I get it!
Like I said, I owned the choice. I know safety regulations for car seats and all the business about layers and coats. But I made a judgement call that the risk was not significant.
This all got me thinking. About motherhood today. And then I remembered this article where a 90-year-old mom to 9 kids reflected on what she thought would be the hardest part about motherhood today.
“Raising children is never easy — but I would think getting too much advice from the Internet must be confusing to young moms nowadays.”
As millennial moms, everything we do is judged and dissected. Everyone has an opinion about what’s best for our kids. Research is constantly debunking what we thought we knew. Motherhood has turned into a moving target. There are dozens of philosophies and styles we can ascribe to.
The pressure to be perfect and have all the right answers or risk public shame and scrutiny is the problem with motherhood today.
Did I feel attacked? Not at first, but as the comments KEPT coming in and more arguments ensued I started to feel, well, judged. They thought I was putting my child’s life at risk. They thought I didn’t know what I was doing. They thought I was a bad mom.
I ended up deleting the post because I didn’t want to see it anymore.
After one of the moms wrote on the thread and urged me to “reconsider” the danger I was putting my child in … I’d had enough for the day.
I get it that people really thought this was a danger. I also understand that car seat manufacturers have to save their behinds and they do this by telling buyers not to use other products with the car seat. Yes, this was a swaddle blanket not intended for use in this car seat, but like I said, it went AROUND the buckles and not under and although it was fleece, it was not significantly thick.
I still stand by my decision.
I made it thoughtfully. Let’s not quarrel about it anymore because at the end of the day, these are my kids and my husband and I get to make the decisions about their health and wellbeing.
If any of these moms REALLY had my child’s best interest at heart they would have messaged me directly or posted about it kindly. Instead of throwing me under the motherhood bus, they would have gently nudged me in the right direction. But this thread quickly became a battle to see who was right.
It appears we are a generation of mothers constantly searching for affirmation that yes, we are in fact, good mothers. And in our search for a pat on the back, we’ve become know-it-alls, tearing down other mothers at the slightest infraction and claiming we are only trying to help them.
I’m sure I’ve done this. I know I’ve done this.
I’ve judged decisions other moms have made about sugar intake and discipline and safety precautions. But you know what? They aren’t my kids. I’m not their mom. She can do whatever she thinks is best.
I’m going to have to remember this next time I see a mom feeding her baby junk food or letting their kid ride a bike without a helmet.
This has been a lesson for me to be on the receiving end of such motherly judgement. If I really feel I must offer advice, it should be done humbly with pure intentions and then I have to remind myself, she’s the mom. She gets to decide what’s best for her family and she is the one who has to live with those consequences–good, bad, ugly, terrible or wonderful–just like we all will have to live with ours.