This last week as I was browsing the internet (#igetmynewsfromfacebook) I came across an article about Chrissy Teigen (anybody else obsessed) and her husband getting out to dinner just weeks after their precious daughter was born. I thought to myself “Good for them” while waiting for the page to load and then to my horror realized it was a post SHAMING her for daring to go out and leave her daughter with someone else.
I sat staring at my screen thinking surely this article was just some kind of SEO/click bait and that no one in their right mind was actually judging this poor woman for going to dinner with her husband. I quickly hopped over to her Instagram and Twitter accounts and it turns out I was wrong, she was totally being judged.
That’s when I remembered something….MAMAS ARE MEAN!
I love being a mom, but let’s face it…us mamas as a whole are some mean judgmental ladies. Mama Bear rarely does us justice. We have a slew of opinions and thoughts all about how our parenting is better than yours. Quick to judge. Slow to grace. We are a pretty tough crowd.
I thought about writing poor Chrissy an open letter to tell her she had committed no crime but judging by her tweet the next day it seems like she can handle herself. But for all the other new mamas out there….let me share a few words of wisdom with you. A little advice for the newbies, a sort of welcome letter if you will.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE RIGHT WAY TO PARENT. Aside from abuse or neglect there is no wrong way to parent. The last time I checked a mother wasn’t defined by who gave their kids the most organic meal or who threw the best Pinterest party. Nope, good ol’ Webster’s dictionary defines a mother really well…..a female parent. That’s it. That’s all. Nothing about vaccines or breastfeeding or car seats or sleep schedules. All that is crap. That’s right I said it…CRAP! All us “sanctimommies” get up on our parenting high horse and start babbling on about the right way to raise your children and then the rest of us that don’t do it that way get defensive and an all out mommy war ensues. And it’s dumb. And we know it.
GROCERY STORES AREN’T FOR GROCERIES. You used to get food at the store? Now be prepared for a basket full of unsolicited advice. Any outing you take will be an open door for strangers to impart their infinite wisdom on you and your precious babe. With my boys I would always get scolded for not keeping socks on their tiny little feet. I would always try explaining to the sweet elderly lady in the produce aisle that they don’t keep them on, and short of duct taping them to their toes they weren’t staying put – but instead you learn to just politely nod and smile and say “Yes ma’am”. Or you can take the road less traveled and tell them to mind their business.
IGNORE THE ADVICE YOU DON’T LIKE. Like I already said, there is no right way to parent. You are going to get a ton of advice…both solictied and unsolicited. If you don’t like the advice you are given? IGNORE IT. People can’t wait to share their successes and stories with you, but in the end your the one bringing up baby. Parent YOUR way.
I think we can all agree that we have all been guilty of being a sanctimommy a time or two. It’s hard not to to be honest. It’s easy to pass judgement, and I find myself doing it more than I honestly care to admit. The mommy wars aren’t gonna end anytime soon. The judgments aren’t going to end anytime soon either. But maybe we can all try to be a little more honest with ourselves and promise one another that when we can, we will try and offer more grace. That and we will remember these truths…there is no right way to do this. You have to be the one to find out what works for YOU. So good luck with that. Don’t let friends and family and strangers make you think you are ever doing it wrong because spoiler alert….we are all messing up and at the same time we are all trying our best. You will be ok. I promise.
Chrissy Teigen, WELCOME TO THE MOTHERHOOD.