I'm Probably a Better Mom than You
I can't say that I've heard those exact words but I've read in between the lines of comments about how I dress my children, how long and if I breastfed them, whether or not I use time outs, and the organicness of my choice of poptarts (we actually don't eat poptarts in this family, so...) You can be sure I've seen it in expressions at the coffee shop and grocery store. Condemnation has replaced consideration. Sigh. I've been navigating this adoption/foster process, and recently came across a post on one of my new favorite blogs. The author comments within a post about the frustrations of being judged without contextual understanding. She writes in an aside "And this is a whole other post that I need to write some day - the joys of other people assuming you are the meanest parent ever because they don't understand your dynamics...."
I get it. Our culture has raised all of us, women in particular, to be judgmental about every little gosh darn thing. The judgements usually appear to work in our benefit, because if her jeans are too tight then mine are appropriate. If her kids are spoiled then I'm the master of balanced discipline. If their relationship is that bad, well, then at least I'm not that bad. We seek to affirm our own self ability and worth by condemning the faults of others. We are looking in ALL the wrong places and doing nobody any favors, FYI.
I don't at this time have any great big solution campaign. I don't have the perfect propaganda that will inspire you to inspire all of the parents in your life. I just wanted to take this post to point out something that I so prevalently see and say this: YOU ARE GREAT.
That goes out to all of you: step parent, adoptive parent, birth parent, grand parent, temporary parent, parent to be, parent not to be, grieving parent, parent of one, parent of many, single parent, sick parent, healthy parent, working parent, et all. It's hard to do all of the things that you do. I appreciate you. The works you do are good works.
Remind yourself of that.
And I promise I won't glare at you in the canned food isles. The produce department is another story.