I don’t understand this constant effort to polarize moms against each other. There are the working moms vs. the stay at home moms. The good moms vs the bad moms. And the helicopter moms vs. the free range moms. The moms who cried during the Parenthood series finale and the ones who didn’t (okay, maybe no one is talking about that.)
The problem with this effort to put moms in boxes and pit them against each other is that most moms don’t fit easily into any of these categories and we also don’t have much interest in attacking each other. Or at least I don’t.
I know moms who work outside the home. I know ones who don’t. But a lot of mothers I know do some combination of both. Some moms make Pinterest worthy organic gourmet cupcakes for playdates and some put out a bag of pretzels for the kids. The way I see it – both are fantastic options because my kid is at your house having fun. So I’m just grateful you invited her over.
And then the helicopter moms vs. the free range moms. Which are you? Probably neither – right? Do I need to watch my children every second of their existence? No. Would I let them take a Greyhound bus alone to Atlantic City? Unlikely. Like you – I’m somewhere in between.
I know my children’s capabilities. I know what they are comfortable doing. I know what I’m comfortable letting them do. Parenthood is a process of letting go, giving my children more and more freedom until they are ready to tackle this crazy world on their own – with the hopes of them someday finding me an assisted living facility with a sushi bar and a wine happy hour.
Silently judge a mom and I promise – you’ll probably end up in her shoes one day. I remember when my first daughter was a toddler. I watched a mom literally use her own hat as a tissue to blow her kid’s nose. I mean, OMG gross. Throw a packet of tissues in your diaper bag! Stop in a bathroom and grab some toilet paper!
But don’t use your hat to wipe your kid’s nose.
Yeah, well… fast forward and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my kids’ snot on my own clothing. Because who the hell remembers to keep tissues in their diaper bag? In fact, I haven’t even seen that diaper bag for weeks. We are all doing the best we can here.
Instead of judging another mom – maybe learn a little something from her. The mom with the fantastic shoes at the playground probably knows where to find the most comfortable wedges ever. I bet the mom who bakes those gourmet cupcakes knows a super fast recipe that anyone could handle. And the mom who has 5 children probably knows a great way to get kids of all ages doing chores. I swear, I do.
We need to have compassion and respect for other people’s choices. I’m not a good mom and you aren’t a bad mom. We are moms who are doing what we can to raise thoughtful, amazing children who will make this world into a more creative, beautiful place.