Way back when I was pregnant with my twins I joined the online Babycentre community. If you’re not familiar with it, the site has the option for you to enter a ‘signature’ underneath all of your posts. Lots would enter a simple bio about their family, others inspirational quotes where more their jam.
Then there was the badges of honor. ‘Breastfeeding, Pampers buying, organic marrow puree expert and all round A* parent’.
I could never figure it out. Was this an innocent attempt to drum up conversation with like-minded Mums.
Or was it the forum equivalent of a rap battle.
Here’s mine, what you got. BOOM!
I got to thinking.
There’s been a lot written about judgement between Mums in my circles just recently.
The general consensus is we shouldn’t be doing it.
So who is doing it? If we are all of the opinion that judging another Mother is wrong, where are the judgy pants coming from?
I thought about what ‘judging’ was.
I checked the dictionary.
‘To judge is to form an opinion or conclusion’.
Now I left school as soon as they would undo my chain but even a dunce like me knows before a conclusion comes an introduction, research, a discussion.
I thought about the kinds of things Mothers felt they were being judged on;
The way they feed their baby and after that the foods they feed their children.
The sleeping habits of their brood.
The amount of television their kids watch.
The way they look.
The clothes and toys they can afford for their child.
Their views on discipline.
If we look at this brief list we can see that these things rely on a variety of factors. Income, family structure, religious beliefs, cultural differences, how mind numbingly tired the Mother is.
No two situations could ever be the same.
When I was little I would try to crack codes on my sisters padlocks (she had a lot, I don’t know) and I would attempt to write down all the possibilities. I never did it once. Of course I didn’t.
The same can be applied when trying to imagine someone else’s situation, one digit out of place and the whole thing is thrown off kilter.
So I decided to draw my conclusion, after my research and analysis I felt qualified to pass this one judgement.
Who is giving Mums such a hard time based on a tiny snippet of information, blacklisting them after seeing a snapshot of their day?
Arseholes, that’s who.
Complete and utter bumholes.
I stand with the rest of the Mother tribe and say we are all in this together but as with any group of people, some Mums are arseholes.
If you scowl at me as you drive by because my daughter momentarily stepped into the road and you were forced to dramatically apply your breaks despite being 10 metres away- you’re an arsehole.
If you widen your eyes and smirk to your friend when you see me unbutton my top to breastfeed my baby- you’re an arsehole.
If you enjoy discussing how much of a mess I was trying to get my kids to walk home with me- you’re an arsehole.
But still, next time your cheeks flush because your little kiddywink has shoved another and you’re forced to remove them from the party games or the play equipment, I’ll give your shoulder a squeeze and throw you a smile. I’ll let you know you’re not alone, even on that pedestal you made for yourself.
Because I’m not an arsehole.
I know you worry that people are judging you. I know you sometimes wonder if you’re getting it right. I understand that you comment on others parenting choices to justify your own. I guess it comes back to one thing, you do you and I’ll do me. Say the kind things and keep the rest to yourself. Don’t be an arsehole.
If I had to evaluate all I’ve learnt, I’d say we need considerably less arseholes.
Maybe more wine.
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