There is a very serious epidemic sweeping the nation, and you too could be a victim. In fact, you could have spread this very disease today without giving it a second thought. It’s called the “Critical Mommies Epidemic.”
Symptoms are as follows:
– Feeling the uncontrollable need to comment about how everyone else is raising their children
In all seriousness, I’ve found that the older my child gets, the less tolerance I have for the childish nitpicking that seems to go on between Moms. It seems that everywhere I turn, I hear criticism by someone about someone else’s kids: “Did you see how her kids acted? My child will never act like that” or “I can’t believe she lets her daughter eat that – do you know what high fructose corn syrup can do to you?” or “I can’t believe Megan* is really going back to work That’s so selfish.” (*All comments taken from real conversations, although names have been changed.)
It’s starting right here and now. I won’t listen to it. I am refusing to spread this silly epidemic.
Being a parent is tough, and if ever there was an occupation where a solid support group is needed, this is it. So why, instead, are constantly at each other’s throats when it comes to parenting? Why can’t we just accept that every Mom is doing the best she can and give a compassionate shoulder?
I understand; we all have insecurities. There really isn’t an owner’s manual that tells you exactly what to do when your kid is having a temper tantrum in the grocery store or wakes up crying ten times in a night. It’s so easy to compare yourself to other Moms but it’s also useless because no two children are the same. What worked for one Mom isn’t always going to work for another and it doesn’t make her a bad Mom if her kid is different.
Here’s the real trick to parenting: love your kids. Love them unconditionally, unfailingly, and don’t be afraid to tell them 100 times a day. Even if you don’t get it perfect, if you love them and try your best, you are on the right track.
So for this epidemic, I propose that we work on an emergency treatment plan, starting immediately.
– Accept that every Mama is doing the best she can.
– If someone asks for your advice, give it but otherwise, keep your comments to yourself.
– Be a positive influence. Instead of gossiping about what someone is doing wrong, spend time with them and lead by example.
– If a Mommy is struggling, offer help – not criticism. Offer to take her kids for a few hours so she can take some “me” time. Offer to bring her dinner so that’s one less that she has to make. If the need is financial, anonymously drop a gift certificate in the mail to the local grocery store. In other words, give rather than condemn.
– Hug a Mommy. Give another Mommy encouragement today. We all need it now and then.
Stopping the epidemic starts with you.
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