Becoming a mother changes you. Right? We all know that. You learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible. You do and say things you never DREAMED you would (“Do NOT eat those crackers from the toilet!”) and you somehow manage to keep children alive off minimal sleep and exorbitant amounts of caffeine. You learn phrases that did not exist in your world. Sanctimommy, Mommy Wars, Mom guilt…these were not a part of my vocabulary pre-children. While most of this journey has truly been a joy to learn and experience, the hardest part about becoming a mother for me has been the unexpected judgment.
We live in a new kind of world. Social media has changed lives in so many ways but parenting seems to have become a completely different ball game with this new digital age. For every single comment/opinion/experience I share, someone could so very easily argue the counterpoint. Shoot, *I* could argue my own counterpoints 95% of the time. I actually debate sharing positive parts of my life/day with the social media world because I am genuinely fearful someone will assume I am judging them or their choices by my post.
Is it possible when a mom is sharing her win in parenting, that she’s actually NOT thinking about you and hoping to make you feel guilty and like a terrible mother? Is it possible, when I share an adorable family photo that I am not interested in you feeling badly that your child has been in pajamas all day and you haven’t taken off your yoga pants in three (because that was me yesterday)? Is it possible that article I shared about staying off of the iPhone was meant to encourage ME, not make you feel horrid (especially since I shared it and you checked it on your iPhone)?
Sure, this is a heart issue. And we can’t know people’s hearts. But that is very much my point. Can we stop making motherhood about placing false motives and perceived feelings on those friends we are on this crazy parenting journey with? Is it not hard enough as it is without feeling the need to defend your every choice to the entire (inter web) world? What would the world of mommies look like if we stopped assuming the worst of our fellow moms and could celebrate their wins (and losses) lovingly and gracefully WITH them?
So, no. I’m not sanctimommying you. I’m documenting these sometimes precious, sometimes horrendous days of my parenting journey. I am NOT out to make you feel terrible about yourself. I’m not interested in your guilt or shaming you. If we could meet for my fourth coffee of the day, I would tell you about my struggles – I’m not hiding them. And I would be willing to bet, “she” isn’t shaming you either. We as a womanhood of mommies who love their children dearly, have got to stop viewing each other as competition.
Because I promise you, your child doesn’t care that Milo’s mommy made him dinosaur shaped pancakes this morning.
Your child doesn’t care that their birthday party wasn’t worthy of gracing Pinterest’s pages.
Your child doesn’t care that you didn’t put on make-up today.
Your child cares only about you, momma.