Dear Fellow Moms.

Posted on December 20, 2011



So you’re a mom…it just so happens that I am too?  OMG!  It’s amazing, am I right?  At least most of the time it is…sometimes, well let’s just say sometimes it’s not.  We can all just give each other that “knowing” look and nod our heads at one another to confirm that, hey…we’ve all been to that not so amazing place, and leave it at that.  Now that we all have this wonderful common thread that binds us together, let me just get down to brass tacks, okay?

It’s not a contest.  A marathon, maybe, but not a contest.  I swear to you it is not…there are no medals or accolades at the end…no parade, no fanfare, no picture of yourself on the Wheaties box.  I know, I am being a total killjoy, but I just wanted to tell you so you can stop competing.

Look, we all want the best for our kids, we want them to look back on their childhood with fond memories, often we want to give them the things we never had, and most likely we all want them to grow up to be responsible, well-adjusted adults.  There is nothing wrong with wanting any of those things for our kids, and considering I want all that for my kids as well, I obviously have no problem with it.  I do have a problem with the methods some people take to give their kids the best childhood ever…or rather I have a problem when moms think their way is the best way, and anyone who does anything different is doing their child a disservice, or is a “mean” or “bad”  mother, or that their child will end up in therapy.

I don’t have my kids in a lot of extra-curricular activities now.  There are only two days a week devoted to after school activities.  My kids are both still in elementary, and for now that is plenty.  Personally the thought of having something everyday makes me break out in hives, I need  free unstructured time to breath.  That’s just me though, and come next year when my oldest heads off to middle school, and decides he wants to do a sport or band…well…I am just going to have to load up on Benadryl and back scratchers to deal with the outbreaks.   This is not to say that I think or believe that people who do have activities planned for their kids everyday are wrong, because I don’t, what works for them, works for them.  So please, have the same respect towards moms who don’t have a jam-packed extra-curricular calendar…I am not robbing my child of anything, they are involved in something they love, so what gives any other mom the right to belittle that?

That is just one example, there are so many other areas that moms seem to think they need to compete in.  Some are focused on being the most perfect, trying to be June Cleave and Martha Stewart all rolled into one, and you see arguments break out over how it is near abusive (gasp) for a child to eat anything other than organic, homemade, grown from their own garden, food, or have mass-produced anything, or wear something that isn’t handmade.  Some focus on getting their child everything, catering to their every whim, and anyone who tells their child no, must be an ice-cold bitch.  Some even try to out lazy, or out gross one another…yeah I know it seems weird, but I have seen it…I have my lazy, and/or gross moments, but I don’t see them as a redeeming value, but maybe that’s just me.

The point is everyone raises their kid differently, and while yes, I might see a mom do something I wouldn’t do and wonder “WTF?” in my head, what gives me the right to tell her she is doing it wrong ?  Of course if she is putting the diaper on the kid’s head and not his butt, I would tell her she is doing it wrong, because that would be helpful.  Telling her I feel sorry for her kids because she doesn’t bake them cookies from scratch, or because they have a fake Christmas tree, is not helpful…it’s just rude.   Your kid is not going to grow up to be a happier adult because you handmade his/her Halloween costume.  My kid is not going to sad and despondent because I don’t let them eat Burger King (I would though if their food quality hadn’t gone down hill so much…which is sad because the Whopper used to be wonderful).  Telling me that I am setting my kid up for ridicule at school because I won’t let him have a cell phone/ tv/x-box/computer, or whatever, and that you feel sorry for him because kids will make fun of him (dude, I have seriously heard this…don’t even get me started).  How about, if you feel so sorry for my kid, you help ensure that your child is not the one making fun of him…how about we teach kids not to ridicule others for what they do, or do not have. My kids aren’t going to be robbed of happiness if I don’t Polly Anna sugar coat the whole world for them, and they aren’t going to have a warped sense of reality if I don’t inform them of every single bad thing that happens in this world.  I like to keep it “real” and let my kids know that sometimes the bad comes with the good and vice versa.  If you don’t then that is your prerogative, and who am I to tell you that you’re wrong?

My kids are going to be just fine.  Yours will be just fine too.  They aren’t going to care if you were the most motherly mother on the block, or if you were an attachment parent, let them cry it out, let them play in the mud, or kept your house spotless.  They are going to care that you loved them with all that you had.  They are going to care that you taught them how to show love.  They are going to care that you took the time to look over their drawings, to plan them a party, or make them their favorite dinner…it doesn’t matter if it was the biggest birthday bash of the century, it just matters that you took the time.   Instead of worrying about what kind of mother everyone else is, and worry about everyone else’s kids, because they do things differently than you, worry about how your constant need to out do everyone looks to your children.  It’s okay to always want to do your best as a mom, but not at the expense of just enjoying your kids, and your kids being able to enjoy their time with you.

Please stop making everything into a competition.