You know who’s harder on parents than other parents? Nobody that’s who. I really had NO idea how judgmental and critical parents could be towards each other until I became a parent myself. Seriously, no idea. I had this insane notion that it “takes a village” and I would find this wonderful community of understanding and helpful folks out there all on the same team. You know – team raise happy, healthy kids. I was wrong. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have indeed met some wonderful, caring parents that do share that sentiment. Thank goodness for those people. But I also was introduced to the dark side. The side where people judge each other on everything from diapers to lunchboxes.
Am I a perfect parent? Hell no. But neither are you, or you or you. And I’m perfectly ok with not being perfect. In fact I’m better than ok. The truth is I’ve gone from being a wide eyed “what the hell have I gotten myself into?” mom to a more comfortable “Whatever, I’ll figure it out” mom. So if you are so inclined to judge me for my imperfections, my parenting choices, I say you go right ahead. In fact let me give you some stuff to work with:
I used disposable diapers. Yep, I did that and don’t regret it for a second.
I didn’t exclusively breast feed. Yes I know “breast is best.” I had my reasons for supplementing and that should be good enough.
My daughter had a soother. Until she was two. Yes she did. By the way her teeth are just fine.
My daughter had a bottle well beyond a year. She’s three now. I have yet to see any side effects.
We co-slept. That’s right. Our daughter slept with us from the day she came home.
I gave my daughter baby food from a jar. Not always but frequently. I think she’s going to survive.
I occasionally use the TV and/or iPad as a baby sitter. Sometimes mommy just needs to get stuff done.
I had an epidural during labour. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
We eat at McDonalds from time to time. And not alway from the “healthy options” menu.
I have dropped the f bomb within ear shot of my daughter. I try hard not to but it happens on occasion. And yes she has repeated it.
She’s three and I still won’t let her have whole grapes.
My kid has had soda. More than once.
We take our kid to nice restaurants. Frequently.
I’ve tore into a box of cookies in a grocery store to stop a fit. Before paying for them. I’d do it again.
My daughter has Barbies. Lots and lots of Barbies. Some in short pink dresses and insanely high heels.
I’ve yelled at my kid. Not proud of it but it’s the truth.
I tell my little girl she’s beautiful. Every single day.
We don’t have a kid leash but I’d totally use one if we did.
We never used the “crying it out” technique or really any technique.
Every year my daughter (and us) gets the flu shot.
She has a lot of stuff.
I send my daughter to daycare.
I don’t make her eat everything on her plate.
I’m not against using bribes when necessary.
As you can see I’m not going to win any parent of the year awards. Or am I? My daughter might think I’m qualified, even deserving. The reality is that I, like you, am just doing the best I can with what I have and what I know. And despite my obvious, or not so obvious, faults I think it’s working out nicely.
So, I’m going to keep on doing what I’m doing and unless I actually fear for your kid’s safety I’m going to be quite content with what you are doing too. I don’t find validation in my own parenting skills by questioning yours. We might be doing completely opposite things but you know what? We’re both doing a bang up job. Keep up the good work!
Disclaimer: This post was inspired by my dear friend Sarah from Journeys of the Zoo. So, if you don’t like it you can blame her.