Mum’s the Word: 3 Ways to End Mom on Mom Crime
Friday, May 08, 2015
We continue to “facebook” our frustrations about mothers not controlling their kids at the mall. Meanwhile, I still find myself judging the crunchy mothers who name their daughters “Starlight” and dress them up in outfits that even Bjork would refuse to wear.
Despite the fact that we have a holiday dedicated to our mothers, they’re still one of the most criticized groups of people in our society. Shockingly, the people who do the most criticizing of mothers are in fact…other mothers.
I’m sure many of you saw the viral video of a mother disciplining her son during the news coverage in Baltimore. Whether positive or negative, people had an opinion about both the video itself and the mother’s form of discipline.
I even posted a status about the incident on my Facebook where I critiqued both the Media’s agenda and the reaction of viewers. However, like most posts on social media, words were misinterpreted, and my critique on the Media and society morphed into a critique on the mother herself.
The resulting slew of comments that I received lead me to think about our habit of being overly critical and committing “mom on mom” crime.
In the recent opinion piece published by The New York Times, Ylonda Gault Caviness examined the bicker wars about what is and isn’t the right way to raise children. In the end, she falls back on her common sense and the truth that ultimately every mother does what she thinks is best (aka she has honorable intentions).
“That doesn’t mean I’m beyond reproach. It only means I trust myself. I know how, as Mama might say, to make a dollar out of 15 cents...I know I don’t have to be a baby whisperer, toddler whisperer or anything other than my natural self to understand their needs. I usually know how to keep it together. When all else fails, I know how to go someplace and sit down,” wrote Caviness.
This introspective examination of her own behavior as a mother is probably what every mother should be doing.
However, since it’s easy to get distracted from our self- improvement projects when we read about a celebrity writing “Fresh” on their kid’s birth certificate…here are few things for us to remember before judging another mother.
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Related Slideshow: Mum’s the Word: 3 Ways to End Mom on Mom Crime
One of my favorite quotes from Parenthood’s last season is, “There is no dress rehearsal for life.” This means when we’re parenting that it actually is our first rodeo. So as newbies in the biz, are we really qualified to so heavily critique other mothers as much as we find ourselves doing everyday?
It’s easy to raise an eyebrow at the mom dragging her screaming kid down the aisle at the library, “Hello! This is a library for God’s sake.” Still, we all know that but for the grace of our emotionally volatile children, the people making the scene could have very well been us. So instead of thinking of all things that that mom did or didn’t do that lead to this tantrum, think back to last Tuesday at Chipotle. Don’t you remember when Joe Jr. threw his sister’s Sippy cup into the back of the head of an innocent bystander? As soon as that repressed memory pops back into your head, take a moment to smile encouragingly at your peer. Trust me, she could use a friendly smile.
Don't take it personal.
When we see a mother on her Facebook posting a slew of articles about how everyone should breastfeed and here’s why: “your child will die,” it can be easy to get a little butt hurt if we are a mother who either was unable to or chose not to breastfeed our children. That negative feeling we get when we see other parents parenting differently is often the root of why we criticize each other and commit this mom and mom crime. “One of the reasons we judge each other so harshly in this world of parenting is because... we perceive anyone else who's doing anything differently than what we're doing as criticizing our choices, ” said Brene Brown in her book Gifts of Imperfect Parenting. Brown hits the nail on the head. So instead of taking ANOTHER PERSON’S PERSONAL choices as an affront on our own choices, let’s remember that not everything is about us.
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