There is a lot of noise on social media lately about motherhood. Not really about fatherhood, not really calling out the dads. I think there are flows every now and again where we the people get on our platforms and proclaim to the world that they are doing “it” wrong, whatever the new “it” thing happens to be.
Right now it happens to be parenting.
Aimed directly at mothers to be precise.
We have heard about the zoo incident where the young boy climbed into a gorilla pit. The one where seemingly the mother had no eye on her child for the entire time he climbed a fence and other security measures to find himself face to face, in a pit, with a 400 lb gorilla.
While I wasn’t there and I am by no means one to judge another mother I find it extremely frightening that this teeny tot was unsupervised in a public place. Surrounded by strangers and more danger than one could possibly imagine.I am infuriated by this parents lack of concern for where her child was until it was too late. I am appalled other adults must have seen this happening and said nothing. Did nothing. Stood back in judgement? Wonder? Horror?
How does the child escape the watchful eye of a parent?
I will tell you how. Mothers are human too. We are expected to be on a constant watch for our offspring, for potential pain, possible death. While I managed to watch mine for as many years as it takes to basically not fall into a pit at the zoo … I wasn’t exactly perfect.
Pick up any parenting magazine or surf a parenting website and try not to be persuaded to read about the struggle of working parents vs those who stay at home and how hard it is to make a life choice to be either.
Or the blogger who I briefly scanned proclaiming BS on stay at home moms who title themselves super human and their children saints.
I have been on both sides here. When my brood was teeny I stayed at home with them. We budgeted to the last dollar and we never had much but I was home.
Are my children saints because I was there 24/7? No.
Was I some kind of super human for making a choice to stay home? No. I was barely human. Have you seen The Walking Dead? I was the mommy version.
Mostly I was a mess chasing toddlers around in my pajamas from yesterday, wiping faces and picking Cheerios out of my hair. I usually didn’t know what day it was and I didn’t care as long as my family was fed and alive.
Once they were older I worked, I went to school, I got a better job, I found a career and I love it. I can provide things I never had, that they never had, and sometimes that means I work alot of hours.
Do vacations and big screen TV’s make me a better mother? No. If you ask my kids they think I’m pretty cool but that would only be so they can go back to playing video games on the new console.
Are my kids saints because I work to support them? Hell no. They spend alot of time being grounded for not helping with the dishes.
Then there are the celebrity parents on social media. Those with cute little baby pictures on Instagram followed up with attacks on parenting. Everything from when it might be alright to leave your newborn for a dinner out to how to dress a toddler or style their hair. Or those adopted kids to gay parents and how they can possibly be thriving in such an environment.
I received my fair share of parenting advice, lucky for me I could just hang up the phone or close my front door and not hear it if I didn’t want to. Social media seems to have closed that gap. There are plenty of opinions on everything. I have mine too but generally I just scroll on or unfriend or unfollow people who irritate me.
I simply don’t subscribe to those I can not seem to pass by without voicing a negative opinion.
I am well aware nobody wants to me to point out those dirty little kid faces in every photo posted. (please wipe your kids face, seriously)
Do I have cute little food face photos tucked away somewhere to embarrass my kids later? You bet.
The point is parenting is hard enough without someone in your face telling you that you are doing it wrong.
You probably are.
I probably am too.
…. but since nobody handed us a manual with our newborn we have to make it up as we go along. Be a good person. Wipe your kids faces and don’t let them wander off in dangerous places and you will be just fine as a parent.
Try not to judge others out loud and you will be an excellent mother. Kudos.