It's one of the things I never anticipated after having kids.
Here's a list of some of those things that trigger my deep-down feeling of "What Kind of a Mother Are You?"
1. Feeding My Kids McDonald's
I mean, really. There's so much hype on organic and natural, you feel shameful if your child eats a flippin' happy meal. I grew up with Ronald McDonald and those days were some of my fondest memories. Now, we are literally made to feel like rat poison and McDonalds are one and the same. I'm not pushing that a happy meal a day keeps the doctor away, but some times I wish we could go back to the days when we didn't have all of this information. For some, it's just another weapon in their "I'm a better mommy than you" arsenal. Well, judge all you want. When I'm in the drive-thru line, I'll ask them to add a little extra pesticide on your behalf.
2. Rocking or Patting My Babies to Sleep
I read Baby Whisperer. Made me neurotic. I tried Baby Wise. Too strict for me. That's probably why my firstborn didn't sleep through the night until he could tie his shoes. With my first, I dreaded bedtime, not only because it took so long, but because of the shame and guilt I felt from rocking or nursing him to sleep. And then when my second proved to be a sleep struggler, I re-lived it all over again. Eventually, I did sleep. And now that my youngest is almost two, my favorite time is lying him down with his teddy, and patting his bottom while I hum softly. My oldest is eight now. And honestly? I'd rock that baby to sleep all over again...only this time, guilt-free.
3. Letting My Kids Watch TV So I Can
Stick them in front of the tube for thirty minutes and I'm fine. But, when I use my television to distract my kids so I can chillax for a little bit, that gut-guilt ain't far behind. Now, I do play with my kids and most days I feel at least some-what on top of things, but somedays it's a "do-whatever-it-takes-to-just-sit-for-longer-than-two-seconds" kind o' day. Everyone deserves a little break. Why should I feel guilty about that?
4. Buying Plastic Sippy Cups
Again, it's that whole "save the earth" thing. Now, I'm all for going green, but when people start pushing that we are only to buy wooden toys and metal sippy cups, I just shake my head. As if I wasn't already feeling guilty enough about letting my kids drink chocolate cows milk each morning, now I am poisoning them with the very cup with which I'm feeding them? Does it ever end? Well, apparently, that guilt ain't going anywhere. My Jersey budget won't allow me to purchase new twenty-dollar stainless steel zippy cups every time I toss one out after finding it shoved underneath the couch full of three-day-old chocolate milk! (whew) At least with the plastic ones, I can do that guilt-free.
Now, I can see how silly that all sounds. But, every mom has had that feeling of mommy guilt at some point. It's the combination of putting too many high expectations on ourselves and comparing ourselves to the other moms that seem to be doing it all perfectly.
It's a lie. No mom gets it all right. Just because something works for someone else doesn't mean I have to do it that way. What one mom determines necessary, I might find ridiculous. And that's okay...as long as I don't make her feel like less of a mom for it. Instead of judging each other, we should support each other, realizing that we are all doing the very best we can.
I declare a Mommy Wars truce. And let's kick that mommy guilt to the curb while we are at it.