Monday, February 5, 2007

Judging Mothers

I find it interesting that there are so many stories lately of mothers judging other mothers. Ol' What's-her-name on that show did some "profound" reporting about mothers who sip wine while the kiddies play together. Is this OK?! [insert ominous music].

I've seen several posts on the subject and I don't want to sound like a broken record. Pretty much everyone has said "can't we all just get along?" Why do mothers feel the need to find something about other mothers to complain about? Is it all about making oneself feel better as a mother? Are we all so unsure of ourselves that we at least need one thing that we can say "well, at least I don't do THAT." I may lock my child in a closet, but at least I don't sip wine in front of him. I may yell at my kids when they get on my nerves, but at least I don't give them bags of glass to play with.

Just yesterday, I was leaving Old Navy. I looked out the window to the car next to me and watched a woman light up a cigarette. OK, not something I do, but smoke 'em if you got 'em. Then she turned sideways - showing her pregnant belly. Now, my first reaction was to beat her senseless. OK, just kidding. But, I did think "OMG, what the hell?" Yes, I think we can all point to research saying that she really shouldn't do that. But, how many of us know someone 20 -30 years older than ourselves who smoked and drank through their whole pregnancies and their 30 year old children are fine. I'm certainly not encouraging fetal alcohol syndrome, but I do know several women who've said such things to me.

Is it ever ok to judge and react? Probably. Child abuse going on in the line in front of you at the Qwik-E-Mart jumps to mind. Do you get out of the car and give the pregnant smoker a piece of your mind knowing what she'll tell you to do with it? What about the mom feeding the 1 year old a Snickers? What about a big greasy McD hamburger? What about.....

Everyone has something that gets under their skin and annoys the snot out of them. I think we all feel like the world is going to hell and we feel powerless to do anything about it. If only mothers didn't sip wine in front of their children, the world would be a better place? Not likely. If only that person would listen to MY point of view...

I think as mothers we ARE insecure. No one is sure what exactly they are doing. We are just trying to get through one day at a time without too much stress and trauma. I know I survived my childhood - and my mother was a thrower. That's why I move like a cat now :) Mothers should be helping each other out in the day to day survival of raising children. Not looking for ways to prove superiority. Imagine having that kind of support system, wine or not, that you didn't feel like your every move was being judged by the other females around you.

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