“You’re Failing as a Mommy” and other lies we tell ourselves.
Part 3: You need to justify your parenting decisions
While I was pregnant with S I allowed B to watch way to much television. I had really bad morning sickness and I was constantly in the bathroom. She was two and I found trying to entertain her was a nightmare while I was running to and from the bathroom. So on came the television. I also felt extremely guilty for it. I remember texting my mom several times a week telling her I felt like a horrible mother because of the amount of screen time B was consuming. I reasoned with myself and justified my decision to anyone who would listen, many of whom did not even ask nor did they care.
Then I thought “Why am I trying to justify my decisions?”
Does it honestly matter what someone else thinks about my parenting? That’s what it all boils down to. In today’s culture we have become so accustomed to people voicing their opinions in matters that aren’t any of their business. So as a reflex we automatically justify them. That’s where the term “mommy wars” comes into play. People want to tell your their opinion on your decisions when they know nothing about them, most of the time. However, they could care less about the reason behind your decisions, most of the time.
When B was around 2.5 she started wanting to pick out what she was going to wear for the day. I let her because, well it’s to adorable and also I believe children should have opportunities to express themselves. One day she decided she wanted to wear a pair of stripped pink pants with a blue polka-dotted shirt and leopard dress shoes.. We were going shopping that day. However, I honestly didn’t care if she wanted to wear something that didn’t match because who was she hurting? We were walking in JcPenny’s when a younger girl, who looked to be about 16 or 17, and a woman walked past us. The younger girl said loudly “When I have children I am going to make sure they ALWAYS match.” while giving me side eye. I just giggled to myself and thought “yea you have no idea what having children is even like.”
People like to make snap judgements without all the information.
Instead of shrugging off these judgements we as mommy’s take them personally. We want to justify our decisions because we don’t want anyone judging us and our parenting. But who really cares if the stranger on the street judges your parenting? They don’t know you and your children. You know you and your children.
Here is the thing. I do not need to explain to you or the stranger on the street why I had three c-sections. I often find myself offering the explanation anyway.
I do not have to explain to anyone why I stopped breastfeeding my children. Or why I choose to be a stay at home mom and why I am homeschooling my children.
There is no reason for me to offer an explanation to the stranger giving me side eye about why my child is not wearing matching clothes, is extremely vocal in public or why she hasn’t touched a single bite of dinner.
“Well she’s a light eater.”
“She is excited.”
“She dressed herself”
“My milk supply is extremely low”
“I believe home school education is the best option for children and trumps public school education.”
“My children need me at home. I couldn’t imagine sending them to a sitter every day for 8 hours or more a day.”
“I had to have two emergency c-sections and consequently every pregnancy afterwards has to be a c-section.”
I find myself saying. constantly. Justifying to others who show way to much interest in my parenting decisions.
BUT it doesn’t matter. It’s none of their business.
Quit justifying your decisions guys!
Are your children safe? Are they loved? Do your children have their needs met? If you answered yes to all of those questions then every other question doesn’t warrant an answer.
We need to be confident in our decisions that we make for our children. We are their parents. We know them the best. We know what works for our family. We also know what doesn’t work for our family.
So the next time a person asks you a question that you don’t think warrants an answer tell them just that!
As long as your children are loved, safe, and taken care of you don’t have to justify your parenting decisions to anyone.
Until next time,