I’m a Good Mom… And So Are You

There I am newly minted mom,
 believing I was wise beyond my 23
years on the planet.
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I started out as Babywise mom, I don’t know if it was Gary Ezzo’s advice on scheduling a baby’s feeding and sleeping that made me feel like I knew 
what I was doing as a first time mom, or my own self inflated ego, but I was a know it all. I could tell you just exactly how to solve your child raising issues, because of course all babies are the same and all toddler behavior is completely manageable. If I wasn’t telling you how to parent to your face… I was probably telling someone else behind your back. I was wrong.

When baby number 2 came along I was still semi clinging to the Ezzo method, but I had also adopted a whatever works attitude. That baby slept in her swing for months, even though the book warned that she would never learn to fall asleep on her own if we did that. She did.

Fast forward five and a half years from the first baby’s arrival. Baby number 3 is born into the Scott family and I have tossed Babywise out the window. I have become a co-sleeping, baby wearing, feeding on demand mama. By the time that child became a two year old I had no certainties about how to navigate this mommy gig and resorted to chocolate and lattes to get me through the day and wine and snacks to unwind once my offspring were tucked in and drifting off to dream land. (Actually who am I kidding? I cracked that bottle as soon as Craig came through the door, home from work to be the responsible adult).

Each of my little ones had a different mama, and even though I wouldn’t go back to or recommend some of those past parenting styles, I would say in every phase I was a good mom. In fact I am pretty sure that any mother practicing these or a number of other of parenting strategies that include love, caring and meeting their children’s needs are good moms.

Brene` Brown in her book Daring Greatly writes “You can’t claim to care about children if you’re shaming other parents for the choices they are making.”

Can I get an amen?!

 As a mom when I feel shamed and judged I am way less likely to be in prime nurturing mode with my children or my husband. Shame makes us more prone to isolation, which leads to feelings of inadequacy, bitterness and anger. Not a great place to be when your job is love and kindness.

Don’t do that to somebody’s kid. Chances are that unless you are witnessing abuse, that thing that other mom is doing, that you of course would never do, is probably not a make or break choice in their child’s life.  You think your friend’s kids watch too much T.V. Get over it. That other mom at the park who is feeding her preschooler a fast food lunch and is making you cringe at the unhealthiness of her choice. Get over it. I homeschool. Get over it. We don’t do team sports. Get over it. We’re all doing something that some other mom doesn’t agree with. Get over it.

In a stage of our lives when we already worry about whether or not we are screwing up our kids we certainly don’t need jack ass opinions about the decisions that go into our child raising efforts. A friendly word of encouragement or a compassionate ear can go a long way in making another parent’s child raising load seem lighter. When we feel like we are doing a good job the little things that can be blown out of proportion are better able to stay in their box of “it’s not a big deal.” and we can focus on the things that actually matter.

There’s no use crying over spilled coffee right?

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This entry was posted in Brene Brown, Community, Loving Myself, Loving Others, Mothering. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to I’m a Good Mom… And So Are You

  1. I have my fair share of opinions but as I get older I am finding my perspective is changing and becoming more pragmatic and less dogmatic about these kinds of issues. That said, I do not think that enlightening others is necessarily the same as shaming, and while a personal judgement rendered on a specific individual is definitely more likely to be an instance of shaming, making assertions based on one's own beliefs and having someone feel judged by those beliefs is not. I have friends whose parenting philosophies are very different than mine, and we can all espouse our various opinions without feeling shame because we are confident in our decisions and therefore not the least bit threatened by another's POV. I would argue that sometimes the shaming is simply a perception held by parents who feel inadequate about their own parenting choices and come across passionate opinions from another camp that make them feel bad about their own decisions. In those cases, the onus rests not with the one who has an opinion but with the one who reacts defensively to it.

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  2. Jessica says:

    Well said! As mom's we all have opinions, but like you said unless we see abuse it is none of our business. I only have one baby but I made sure not to interfere with other's parenting…too much. If I did I would catch myself and try to look at it through their perspective. I personally would hate someone telling me what to do with my kid, unless I asked them. Great post and lovely picture!

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  3. Kim Seghers says:

    Great post and lovely picture. After three children I learned to tune people out. I know sometimes people are trying to be helpful but if its something judgmental they should keep their thoughts and comments to themselves! Kim @ This Ole Mom

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  4. Goat Gal says:

    I agree with most of what you have to say. Honestly I changed my parenting style because I feel strongly about attachment parenting now… I homeschool because I feel strongly about it, for our family. Shaming is not a difference of opinion, it's holding the stance that anyone who is not doing what you are doing is wrong, or an idiot and those attitudes are destructive.

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  5. Goat Gal says:

    Well said! Advice without being asked is interference. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  6. Goat Gal says:

    Yes 3 kids in it does get a little easier to tune out the peanut gallery.

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  7. In some ways, however, don't you think that the very fact that we hold certain positions implies that we believe that other possible positions are not right, or inferior, or somehow less-good? For example, we are pro-vaccination, and the opposite of that is anti-vax. I obviously believe that not vaccinating is wrong, because I believe in vaccinations. Those who believe that vaccinations are toxic to their children would think that I was wrong because I willfully put “poison” in my child's body. Both sides feel strongly that what the other is doing is “wrong,” but I wouldn't call that shaming.

    I don't know, I just feel like people are absolutely entitled to their own opinions, and sometimes the mommies who get so upset about these “wars” are really just creating their own victimization at the hands of another's opinion. I have never felt “shamed” as a mommy, even though I've come across plenty who do not agree with my semi-crunchy parenting choices and have deemed them wrong. I guess maybe it's just that I feel so passionately right about my decisions that I don't care? *shrug*

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  8. Chasing Joy says:

    This is great advice or life in general. Too many people spend too much time judging and not enough time supporting each other.

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  9. Goat Gal says:

    Yes! This is so true! Our journeys are all unique and having people to encourage you along the way makes all the difference.

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  10. Love this post!!! Life is too precious and our babies grow up way too fast for us parents to waste anytime worrying about what we might be judged on. If my kid wants to wear his batman jammies and cape to go grocery shopping, I encourage it. If they're face is dirty but their smile is big then I've succeeded. It's the little moments that are the important ones and I for one have no time to waste thinking about what someone might think. I'd rather focus on my kids. You are amazing.

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  11. Interesting thoughts on vaccines. I actually do not vaccinate my children (for a few reasons) BUT I do not believe that vaccines are poison, and that people who vaccinate are wrong. I do not think that you have to look down on another parents choices just because yours are different. I feel that the choice I made is the right one for my family. But the circumstances and lifestyle of my family is not the same as someone else's. So it while I think my choice is BEST for MY family, it might not be best for another.
    Same with breastfeeding. I think its best for my kids because its biologically the perfect food for an infant. But someone with very bad postpartum depression who is struggling to breastfeed their child, and is very stressed out… breastfeeding might not be best for that person…
    hmmm.. im a rambler sorry ahaha.

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  12. Right there with you! We joke that our first born taught us nothing about parenting. We patted ourselves on the back for his adaptability and peaceful nature. Then our second was the opposite and we were humbled. By number three, like you say, we are different parents all together and look at other parents with the same grace we had to learn to give ourselves.

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  13. People do the best they can with the knowledge they have at a specific time. It's really easy to be judgemental but after five kids I have learned not to lend my ears out to anyone. As long as you are raising happy, well adjusted kids you are doing a fine job as mom. #ManicMondays.

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