Insecurity can reign hard in the Mommyhood gig, can’t it?
Many of the judgments we think others place on us (or judgments we place on other moms and ourselves) are about insignificant things. A friend of mine who has five children pointed out that when people first meet us, they might ask questions about us and our family and maybe our work, but they don’t usually say something like,
“Hi, my name is ________, nice to meet you. By the way, were you breast-fed or formula-fed as a baby?”
The answer to this question doesn’t add or take away from our worth as human beings, or our children’s worth as human beings. Nor is it significant to what kind of person we are, nor does it help someone get to know us better.
Whether our carpets are or aren’t spotless, whether we have built up a retirement savings or not, whether we drank a Diet Dr. Pepper or orange juice or coffee for breakfast this morning, or what kinds of breakfasts our parents fed us: these aren’t a measuring stick for whether or not we’re good parents.
And these aren’t the measuring stick for how our moms and dads parented us.
What a crazy world it would it be if we asked, or were asked, these questions upon introducing ourselves to someone? What if those comic-strip bubbles representing our thoughts were words we spoke? Out loud.
Do you rent or own your home?
Did your parents plan venue birthday parties for you?
At what age did you start writing your name?
Can your child write his name?
Did you attend preschool?
On the average, how many tantrums did you throw down in a week?
How many cars do you drive? Make and model?
Were you spanked as a child or sent to time out?
Is there dust on your lampshades?
At what age could you ride a bike without training wheels?
Did you ride the bus, walk, or carpool to school?
Did you eat red meat as a child? Do you feed it to your kids?
When did you start walking?
Was your mom a Baby-Wearer or a Stroller-Pusher?
Did your parents co-sleep with you?
Do your parents make your meals from scratch?
Is your house company-ready right now?
At what age could you tie your shoes?
Yeah, an appropriate hashtag for this would be: #awkwardandhorrible
Other people probably wouldn’t (and certainly shouldn’t) ask you these kinds of questions upon introduction. Nor should we ask them, and really, try not to even think them.
I know I’ve felt judged, been judged, and also judged other moms (in my head) at times. Bad behavior, yes. What judgments do you have to dismiss?
and to pixelstar for the handshake.