A couple of days ago I read a post on Scary Mommy, a blog that I really like. It was about having children and not being able to have nice things around. Now those of you who follow me know, that I have a different opinion and believe that you CAN have nice things in your house while your kids are still little. Which of course doesn’t mean that kids can’t be kids and that the house is sterile with crazy rules in order. Nope. I just have the opinion that if you teach your kids certain guidelines you will get around the refurnishing of your place. But I don’t want to go into details as I’ve already explained my point of view in the other post.
What I thought was interesting was the feedback I got after I posted a comment on the Scary Mommy post (on Facebook), which lead some of Scary Mommy’s readers to my blog and obviously motivated someone to comment on my post.
I’m all in for being able to share your opinion. What I found interesting while reading both, the comments on the original post and the comment left on my blog, was how judgmental mothers seem to be.
I’ve so far never heard of the word santimommy but I lost count while reading through the comments. Every time a mom had another opinion (which was similar to mine) she was labeled a sanctimommy. And the comments were actually really harsh.
Sanctimommy:A mother who is sanctimonious about her parenting choices. Looks down at and/or judges parents who don’t make the same choices. A combination of the words “sanctimonious” and “mommy”
See, I do believe that we as parents tend to see more good in our own kids than bad and that’s supposed to be that way. I guess we all tend to maybe make our kids better than they actually might be and maybe every now and then we tend to make ourselves look a little bit better than what we actually are. Maybe we even claim to know things we do not know. But are we santimommys because of that? Who actually is sanctimonious, who does make a show of being morally superior to others?
I might put myself back on the chopping block but if I can’t speak my mind and express the way I’m feeling without being told off by other moms, then where will it end? Why would someone label somebody else as sanctimommy just because that person doesn’t agree with what was said in a certain post? I never felt superior in my life. I really don’t like the sound of the word and struggle with what it means. Yes, I watch other parents. Watch them to see how they deal with certain things. What their approach is and very often I learn. I learn new tricks that help getting “un-stuck”.
There’s the other side too, you know. When I watch parents give up. Giving up after saying no to their kids. You can tell that they just can’t be bothered anymore. In those moments I would love to approach them and tell them not to give up. To follow through. What I don’t like is when I hear that kids have to be kids in those moments. Yes, that’s true. Kids have to be kids and kids should be kids. But that doesn’t mean that they should be allowed to ignore all rules. It should not mean that they can be aggressive and rude and loud and… little assholes. Nope. Because it affects everyone around them. It that’s the point where it has to stop.
Surprise, surprise, I actually judge as well (as much as I hate it). Sometimes, when I see how certain kids behave and the way their parents ignore their behavior, I judge. It crosses my mind that the kids would not act like that if the parents would have followed through. I wonder when they have given up because I truly believe that if you stick to some simple rules from the very beginning you will not run into certain issues with your children. It’s in moments like this, when I decide that my kids will never behave like this. That I will never accept behavior like this and that I will do my best to stop my kids from ever getting close to misbehaving in such a way.
Now please hear me out: I totally understand that sometimes you are just exhausted and you can’t be bothered anymore. I’ve been there too. I understand as well that some kids challenge you more than others. Don’t give up though. Understand the importance to pick up again. To continue trying to make clear for your kids what you as a parent want them and what you don’t want them to do.
There is no such thing as a perfect parent! We all make mistakes and we all are in a situation we’ve never been in before. There is no such thing as a parenting manual that fits all children and all parents. How easy would that be? How boring would that be? What bothers me is how moms attack each other and I struggle to understand it. We’re all in the same boat. We’re mothers, parents, facing the same kind of issues and changes. And instead of cutting each other some slack and be supportive we attack, throw words at each other and tell each other off for sharing our opinion and our experience.
Nobody can be a perfect parent. Nobody is asking parents to be perfect. All we need to be is real. Don’t fake it. You fake it if you tell people what they want to hear instead of what you want to say. You fake it if you try to make someone believe that their experience is not true or not real. You fake it if you attack someone to the point where nobody with the same opinion is speaking up anymore. It doesn’t mean that something can’t work just because it seems impossible for one person. Everyone is different and maybe the approach that one mom has with her kids works in this circumstance but would never work in another constellation.
We are all human beings. We all have our issues. We all struggle, we all give in or up every now and then. We all succeed and we all fail from time to time. How can we grow if we don’t keep an open mind and consider other people’s experiences?
Just because you have a different opinion doesn’t mean that you put yourself above others. It’s just about sharing. And maybe there is a good thought behind it.
There is no such things as a perfect human being. Just be a real one!