Everyone Knows Better Than You

I will preface this article by pointing out that I do not have children.  I do not want children.  I am not an affectionate person.  Just because I love someone doesn’t mean I tell them very often or that I hug them all the time.  If you need proof, you can always ask my SO how much it annoys me when he wants to cuddle.  I am also not “baby friendly.”  To this end, I don’t change diapers, wipe noses, or deal well with crying or tantrums.  As such, I believe that I would be a terrible parent.  The only things I am good at is getting a child to sleep and playing the “question game.”  The first is easy, I just start spouting about history, instant coma for the child leading to sleep in a few minutes.  And I actually enjoy the “question game.”  I like inquisitive minds and the “question game” shows a desire to learn and understand. However, while I was never a “mommy,” I did assist in raising two boys and I remember that people were constantly giving me advice about it or telling me that I was preparing for my future (for the record, I was not… raising two boys just reinforced the notion that I would be a terrible parent and that I didn’t want children).  Now, for the real point of this post.

Lately, I have seen a lot of “Mommy Bashing.”  It has become so prolific that I see it on social media as well as mainstream news.  I just have one question:  What makes person A think they are more qualified to give advice about a child that isn’t theirs to the child’s parent?

For example, one of my friends was recently defending herself on Facebook over her decision to tell her children, from a young age that Santa was a fictional character.  The comments were all respectful, but why should she have to defend that decision?  If she wants her children to know that Santa is fictional, then she should be able to tell her children that at any point in the growing up process… It isn’t damaging them now and it won’t damage them later to learn that Santa isn’t real, so what does it matter at what age we tell our kids to stop believing in Santa?  That should be a parental decision without input from others.  I grew up with Santa, but I didn’t believe in him for very long.  I think I had it figured out by four or five.  It didn’t stop me from appreciating the gifts my parents gave me or the gifts that “Santa” left.  Even now, my family still writes “From Santa” on stocking stuffers.  We don’t believe in him, but it removes responsibility from the purchaser of the gift.  I bought two of my own stocking stuffers this year, “To Me” “From Me” would look really stupid on a tag.  However, her decision to not perpetuate the myth of Santa isn’t going to take anything away from the Christmas joy her kids are going to experience.  I’m sure her children are just as grateful as I was at their age to get gifts from their parents, who cares if there are no “From Santa” labels?

Also, as I researched pregnancy stuff for my latest novella, I found all sorts of articles on the evils of not breast feeding, using baby carriers, not using baby carriers, the proper diapers to use, how to feel after giving birth, how to feel when your child is throwing a tantrum, when to use a stroller if your child is capable of walking, when not to use a stroller to encourage your child to walk, and I shook my head and sighed and thought “What the hell?”

Growing up, I don’t remember people pointing out to my mother or father what they were doing wrong as parents.  Even as people knew I was reading cheesy, soft-core porn Harlequin romance novels at the tender age of whatever, they weren’t telling my parents it was wrong.  Most were just impressed that I could read that well and that fast.  When my mother did feel the need to defend herself she would point out that getting me enough books to entertain me during a summer was like trying to harvest corn from the moon, people got it and dropped the subject.  When I cut all the hair off my Barbie doll and colored on her face and left her nude in some dark recess of my room, no one told my mother I did it because she was a bad parent.  I did it because I wasn’t much of a doll person.  Cabbage Patch Kids were cool, but everything else was just a doll (and no, I don’t know why I liked Cabbage Patch, but no other dolls).  I preferred other toys; legos, lincoln logs, coloring books, paper and pens (yep, the writer in me started early), science projects, crafts, and books… I was really into books.

So when did it become okay to start bashing mommies for stupid, unimportant shit?  Who cares if a mom does or does not breast feed?  Studies say kids who breast feed are smarter… I wasn’t breast feed and I’m no slouch in the IQ department.  My lack of affection has nothing to do with not being breast feed and everything to do with having an anxiety disorder that makes it so I’m not a real touch-oriented person… people have cooties.  And my anxiety disorder didn’t stem from not being breast feed, it’s caused by a screw-up in my brain… the damn thing doesn’t work quite right.  You can see it on MRIs and EEGs, hard to link that to not being breast feed.  Besides, it was the 1980’s and breast feeding wasn’t vogue.  Is every genius born in the 1980’s a fluke?  I think not.

Stop bashing mommies.  They have a hard enough job with dirty diapers and sleep deprivation and tantrums and teething and trying to figure out if they have time to wash their hair before their baby wakes up from a nap.  Isn’t it enough that they brought life into the world and are doing the best they can to raise said life into becoming a productive member of society?  Toddlers are nightmares, how anyone turns a toddler into a human being is beyond me… Try giving mommies cookies and spa kits and thank yous instead.

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  1. Maria D.

     /  December 11, 2014

    Very good point! While my sister was able to breast feed, my niece has not been able to and my mother – who had 4 children – was never able to either. My mother is very affectionate but she’s very touchy feely type person – I’m affectionate to a point but not really a touchy feely person…we are all individuals and as long as the child is not being emotionally or physically abused – we should respect each other’s parenting styles…if a person asks me for advice because I have 3 younger sisters and they all have kids and I’ve babysat a lot – i’ll give it non-judgementally


  2. T.Vogt

     /  December 11, 2014

    Look if a kid is Crying you know they ARE BREATHING.. If ANY PARENT tells you I never dropped or let JR roll off something they are lying, kids are like a litter of puppies they can find a way… As long as you don’t hit in anger, then you are above the curve on some that don’t need to procreate.. I know if my son ever goes bald at the back of his head it’s my fault.. when you live the second house from a major roadway and you are sitting on the grass and kid takes off at a dead run for the whizzing cars by the time you are up and after them they are already more then half way across the neighbors yard.. I caught him by the only thing I could grab hold of, yep the top of his head.. My Mother came and took the sobbing kid and I sat there crying my heart out holding his curls.. He looked like a MONK for 6 months till everything grew out and we could get a decent hair cut.. I spanked him, broke a blood vessel in my hand but he was clothed and it really did hurt me more then him.. I worked a job where I had to listen to a police scanner.. imagine when I heard a cop dispatched to my HOUSE to meet a social worker for child removal.. frantic call later.. my son about 4 and his best bud 3 doors up got a hold of a box of band-aids and a red marker and one of the old ladies reported him as abused, cigarette burns cuts etc.. I came home thankfully my son still at home.. they had stripped him to his underwear on the front lawn, I still had to go to court 2 times just to clear my name..!! Kids are tougher to harm unless you try.. he had broken his nose 4 times before age 1.. his trick he figured out how to balance on the rails of the crib, had to pile couch cushions on both sides to give him a landing zone.. The end result is if you don’t attempt to harm the child and shake em like a pillow and when you are mad enough to see red, don’t send the kid into time out send you both.. Tales from a real mom of a kid that survived…

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