Something has been on my mind for a while now. Something that as a parent, you can’t help but notice. It has been nagging me to the point where I think my husband is exhausted hearing me talk about it (and I’m pretty sure he’s ready to go buy some earplugs).
It’s the way lots of us judge our fellow mommas. It’s something you don’t really notice until you become a mom, and I think dads are either oblivious to it or just don’t work that way (which is nice). But fellow moms, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s the looks, the comments of “oh, we use x” or “our family does y.” Topics like:
- organic vs. not
- GMO vs. non GMO
- disposable vs. cloth diapers
- cows milk vs. other options
- food dye
- grains vs. no grains
- stay at home vs working mom
And the list goes on. It’s the mom that starts the conversation with “so what kind of milk are you transitioning C to when he turns 1? Oh, you’re going to do cow’s milk? Oh we don’t believe in that.” Or “Oh, your poor kid has the flu? Didn’t you say your family got the flu shot? That’s why we don’t do the flu shot, we just wash our hands.” Yeah, like I don’t wash my kids hands. I just let them run around putting their mouths on water fountains and eating their food off the mommy and me class floors. (for the record, I do wash my kids hands and they don’t eat off the floor.)
What happened to the village? To supporting one another’s choices…to be a cheerleader for your fellow moms? We moms put enough pressure on ourselves already – questioning everything from whether it was the right choice to start solids at 6 months to whether it was the wrong choice to start kindergarten at age 5. We certainly don’t need to add to another mom’s second-guessing. And I certainly don’t need “friends” making me ruminate about the non-organic green beans I fed my kids with dinner last night.
Social media has something to do with it, I’m convinced of it. Whereas before, conversations were more personal, more one on one – we now have the ability to blast opinions and share our position to the world. It’s much easier to hide behind a screen and use that free speech thing. Think your friend shouldn’t have given her kids pop tarts as they walked to the bus stop? You can now “coincidentally” share an article on Facebook (targeted but not targeted, you get what I’m saying) on why pop tarts are bad for kids. Anti-vaccine and have a friend who just posted about 12 month shots? Easy to just happen to come across an article that talks about why vaccines are unsafe…and share away that afternoon.
So one thing I’m promising my friends and myself – you won’t see me sharing things on social media that make you feel bad about your parenting decisions. I will not condemn you for choices you make for your family that are different than mine. I will not coincidentally post “Wow!” and share a post that talks about how you’re poisoning your kids if you give them anything that isn’t organic. There is a difference between sharing information and strategically pointing out choices you don’t agree with…and us women know exactly what we’re doing when we pick one approach or the other. We’re pretty smart, except sometimes not when it comes to standing with one another.
Who’s with me?