It's hard, this parenting thing. None of us are given instructions aside from whatever guidance we received growing up. For some, that guidance was loving discipline with a swat across the behind (gasp!), which is also known as the-kind-that-makes-you-run-away-from-home-at-the-ripe-old-age-of-eight-and-vow-to-never-return (as my brother tried). For others ... well, let's just say it's a wonder you didn't burn the house down or kill your sibling.
Let me get up on my soapbox for a hot second.
If we're all being honest, let's just admit that we judge one another. Most of us don't mean to, but it seems to be a natural instinct.
How could she let her daughter leave the house looking like THAT?
That kid needs a bath.
Look at his mismatched socks.
She should set a better example.
There should be a test prior to pro-creating.
I'll admit that I've said all of these before. And you know what? It's MY kid that needs a bath, has mismatched socks, who should set a better example, and who lets her daughter leave the house in a t-shirt that may be a smidge too tight (she grows so fast, darn it!). I've even suggested that there should be a test before becoming a parent. Tragedies in the news like Bella Bond (Baby Doe) and Caylee Anthony have made me wonder why certain people are given the gift of children while others will give anything to have the opportunity.
Do you know why moms judge each other? It's because deep down inside we're insecure about our own parenting and we're projecting our own faults onto another. It's time to get real, mamas, and I'll start with me.
I'm not perfect.
I have not looked up from my phone while my eight year old has talked to me.
I let my kids mismatch their socks (unless we're going somewhere important).
My baby gets a bath every ... little bit ...
My daughter's clothes are sometimes wrinkled because I disdain laundry.
My kids pack Lunchables and Little Debbie snacks in their lunchbox.
We often eat dinner at 8 p.m.
My husband does a majority of the cooking.
So there you go. Judge away, but know this. There are many battles awaiting us daily, and I choose to believe that we're all attempting to do our best. My mama taught me to choose my battles, and that includes the ones I wage with my imperfect children as their imperfect mother.
I vow to treat other mamas as I want them to treat me: with understanding and a fist bump, because hey. We're all in the same boat. Some just paddle more efficiently than others.