It’s Your Thing…Do What You Wanna Do (Even if Everyone is Judging You For It)
We’ve all talked about mommy shaming. We will talk about it more. Daddy shaming, mommy shaming, shaming in general is just a big pet peeve of mine. I was talking to my mother yesterday and she mentioned, “When did it become so wrong to have differences of opinion and be able to have a civil conversation about it?” But really, when did it? Having differences of opinion is a beautiful thing. If we were all programmed robots, all thinking the same thing, there would never be division. But imagine a world where everyone agreed all the time. I don’t think that’s beautiful. That is not diversity. Imagine a world where differences of opinion are celebrated, in all areas, personal areas such as parenting choices, lifestyle choices, etc. And while many claim that is what they aspire to do, not many actually do it. The other day my children ate peanut butter toast off my spoon while running around the play room. One friend’s children ate goldfish crackers that same day for breakfast and yet another friend’s children ate breakfast sitting down at the table like they do every morning. Each one of us parents differently and each one of us is giving our all to be the best parent we can be. And each one of us is doing GREAT.
Breakfast time at my house does happen more frequently as a free feeding carnival and once summer comes we will probably continue this tradition while they run around naked outdoors. (They will probably even pee in the grass…GASP). Even dinner time at the table can be a somewhat exciting experience with beans flying and squash face masks. But, my children do sometimes eat breakfast at the table and my friends children do eat other things than goldfish. Parenting is not an exact science, and what matters is the big picture. Hey, at least none of us chew our food and spit it back into their mouths like Alicia Silverstone did with her son Bear…(Yep, I am totally sitting here still thinking that is weird BUT I would be willing to bet she made that admittedly disgusting choice because she truly believed it to be the best for her kid. I am just waiting to see what he thinks later, but I won’t shame her for it. I mean, that took balls to admit to in public you have to hand her that.)
One of my friends just weaned her one year old, another just weaned her three year old. Both of them are amazing moms and neither one made a wrong choice. Each one made the best choice for her and her child. Each one should be confident in her parenting decisions, for they are both doing their BEST. I have doubts in my parenting abilities, just like we all do. Sometimes I even cry about it. (Just ask my husband about the other night when we all went to bed after 10pm and I was momentarily convinced I was destroying my children’s development by having irregular bedtimes and so we all three sat in bed and cried while the poor man tried to calm us all down.) For us, naps and bedtimes differ because my husband and I both work and we made the choice to have flexible scheduling so we can spend more time with our kids. But, my children do nap, and they do sleep. Sometimes we go to bed earlier and they wake up at 8 AM. Sometimes I work late and they wake up the next day at 10:00 AM. They even sleep with us and our crew of cats, and yes, we are all still alive and well. And for the most part, I try to practice what I preach and own my parenting choices in confidence, but it can be SO difficult when we are inundated with not only everyone else’s opinions but we also have a zillion articles pelting us via social media every day on how we should parent and why we should do things a certain way. I mean, hanging out with other mamas can straight up give me flashbacks to watching Mean Girls with Lindsey Lohan. (That scene in the school where everyone acts like a jungle animal? Yeah, just replace the school with the park playground.)
Why don’t we respect each other’s choices – parenting and otherwise? Why do we feel it is our own personal mission to ‘correct’ one another? I may not agree with you, and I’m not only more than willing to have a civil and respectful conversation about it, but also equally willing to admit that perhaps neither of us is wrong. Maybe we are both right. Maybe I don’t understand why you do what you do, and for that matter you may not understand why I do what I do, but I am going to leave it to the Big Man Upstairs to work that out. Let’s toast to our differences and leave it at that. I have many friends, (both mom friends and non mom friends) who I know have different opinions than I do. However, I am not going to let that effect my opinion of them or my love for them.
Because I also know that they truly are doing their best and acting on what they believe is the right thing to do. And it probably is. Just because it is different than my choice does not make it wrong. So, in the words of Aretha Franklin, “It’s your thing, do what you wanna do” and I will also add, “R E S P E C T”, let’s start socking that to each other on a daily basis, shall we?