Give it a Rest

This post has been brewing for a long time.

Disclaimer: There is no-one individual in particular that this is aimed at. If there are any similarities to stories, it is purely coincidental. However, if you identify yourself in one of the comments/stories...maybe it's something to think about? Again, not aimed at any one in particular...just some of my thoughts from the last 2.5yrs

Now that's out of the way...

I have come to realise in the last 2.5 years, just how judgemental and competitive mothers are. This may be old news to you, but to me I am staggered by the notion and tired of it - I'm also grouping myself into this category.

I had a natural birth so I'm better than those who had cesareans...I had an epidural and drugs, I didn't so I'm stronger...I had my baby in a bath or at home so my experience is better than yours.

I've breastfed for 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 2.5 friggin years! Who gives a rats?

I don't breast feed, I bottle feed. I express, I don't...I don't shave my under arms!! (sometimes I do one side and forget the other!)

I use store bought food (isn't all of it in some form anyway?) I create my own blends, I only use veggies from my garden, I only use organic or preservative/additive free food.

I smack. I time-out. I like to be a bit more free-spirited. I do baby-wise I do montessori.

I have a routine, I'm flexible.

I love controlled crying/self settling. I prefer to cuddle for every cry.

I love my husband more than my children, I love my children more than my husband.

I don't give my children chocolates/easter eggs/lollies/juice...I do.

My 6 month old is walking - my 18 month old isn't...

I've got boys, I've got girls, which one is harder to raise? Aren't they all?? Their kids for goodness sakes! It's tough work no matter the sex.

And so it goes on and on.

I first came across this in a mother's group I joined when Eme was 3 months old. All the other bubs were only 8 weeks old and yet there was still an underlying competition between the parents. No-one wants to seem like they are doing the wrong thing, yet we all have differing ideas that we get insecure and worry about whether we've got it right or down pat. Sometimes though, this can start down the path of watching what others are doing and judging what they do and what their decisions may be.

"I wish she would just control that child" - while standing in the checkout line.
"I wish she would just smack them and be done with it!"
"How dare he feed his child that!"

I get it - I've thought the same thoughts. Had the same feelings.

But...I'm over it.

Who gave us the right (as parents) to become such oppressive and judgemental people? The baby is born and all of a sudden we're experts - though we claim not to be! We ask for the manual that should have come with the baby, yet we somehow develop a manual/Bible within the 1st year and judge how everyone else is doing by it.

All I'm asking is - can we just give each other a break? I don't like let alone enjoy living in such an oppressive society.

How about when gathering in our little mummy groups/girls nights/coffee catchups - How about instead of jumping down the mother's throat with advice and tips and "tsk tsk's", why don't we just try and listen.

"I'm sorry Harry keeps drawing on the wall while your cooking dinner. That sucks. I understand. I hear you. I still love you. You're not a bad mum, we all have tough days."

Whether you have 1, 2, 3+ kids - it's still tough work.

I can already sense the amount of flack I'm going to cop for posting this, but I can't not say anything anymore. I'm tired of it and I'm also guilty of it. If you are reading this and you have ever felt judged by me...I'm sorry. I'll try do better next time we meet.

And while I'm at it I have a confession to make. Yesterday, I gave Eme a McDonalds Happy Meal for lunch...and my 11 month old, Ava, yeah, I gave her an Easter egg I found under a couch. Shoot me now!

1 comment:

Leesie said...

Well, after the devotions my boss gave this morning I think it could have something to do with fear. He was talking about how fear of something can bring out ugly actions.
Maybe people are scared to say 'I don't know' so they go to the opposite extreme and pretend that they know it all. When they are questioned, they become defensive. We are proud and think that people are questioning our value as people.

And then there's the fact that we are sinful and think of ourselves and our actions more highly than we ought to.

Lol - I'm sure Ava enjoyed the chocolate. I probably would have eaten it myself :P