Jan 7, 2011

I might be one of those moms... but at least I'm aware.

Part of what got me back on the blog bandwagon is twofold:
1. I have stuff to say.
2. I keep reading your stuff... and it makes me laugh, and I miss the comradeship that blogging offers... you can say anything, and someone understands.

Can't remember where I saw this, but I found a whole youtube "channel" of them. Please take a moment and watch and keep reading...



Okay, so if you didn't watch, it was a satirical take on "mompetition" *there is a blog by the same name, it is linked to the word, she is the creator of this funny stuff. This was a conversation between two women at the park, where one woman spews trite advice and judgment at an alarming speed.

If you did watch and are saying "Wait, I don't get it", there could be one of two things that are true about you: 1. You are the blonde mompetition mom. 2. You are just not aware of the competitive nature of mothers, even if you are competing.

The truth is that women are competitive. We are also judgmental of other moms.

I wish I could say that it is wrong and we should all just support and love one another and stop judging... but I must be honest, I do it too. It's not intentional. I don't set out and think "I like making other moms feel bad about themselves and their parenting", "I want to be a mean mommy and make other moms feel judged and/or self-conscious" or even "I am consciously judging you, I intentionally go out and attempt to find ways that the women around me are failing at parenting to make myself feel better."

Honestly. It just happens. Sometimes I am not judging, I am merely asking questions, but then I get the sense that they feel judged. I feel badly about that.

Recently I came to the conclusion that I really don't care how other women parent, as long as I get the impression that they are doing it on purpose. I can respect intentionality.

You don't care that your kids stay up till 10pm on a regular basis? Great! As long as you don't make fun of me for putting my kids to bed at 8pm. I have reasons for my rules. I'm sure you do too!

You believe that children are more successful creatively when you don't give them structure and routine? Fabulous! I hope you don't mind that my kids are creative within my routine and structure. Or that I am more successful at parenting (and everything else) with a routine to guide me.

I guess that sometimes I am a defensive competitor.  I sense that other moms who do it differently are judging me, so I feel the need to justify my ways and routines, which sounds like judgment.  But it's not.

Sometimes I feel so passionately and confidently that the way that I parent is correct that I get a little carried away and give unwanted advice or say something stupid that sounds like judgment.  Really, it's not.

Finally, sometimes in conversation, I forget that not all moms feel as confident as mothers as I often times do.  In my confidence I stomp all over the other mother's insecurity without intending to do so.  I share what works for me, but they hear me telling them how they suck.  Really, I'm not.  

I'm not bragging, I get my confidence from my relationship with God, the support I get from my husband and the sense that it works.  I don't think I am perfect, I am fairly certain my kids will need therapy later on, but I believe that if you are going to REALLY do something (like be a parent), that you have to decide to do it, and do it to the best of your ability.  Intentionally.

I do admit that I judge one type of mother.  The "accidental" mother.  The one who always seems surprised that her child is misbehaving, and therefore doesn't have a response for the misbehavior.  The one who has no goals for parenting other than "keeping them alive".   In short, a mother who isn't proactively parenting her child, but merely reacting to the things the child says and does.  I really do judge that parent.  But at least I am aware of it.  It doesn't mean I don't like them.  Really.

Just me, AJ

10 comments:

  1. I love that we have so much in common in this area, routines rock! So good to be reading your blog again my dear, I missed you!

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  2. Oh I'm the same kind of mommy, it can be a party - just a structured and rule following good time.
    Thanks for sharing, your blog is a good time!

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  3. This is soooo true! We all have beliefs and surprise, surprise they differ from one another :O)
    I am so working on my judgment of others. With Him we can kick it to the curb!
    So glad to see you back!
    LOVE YOU!

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  4. AJ, I have been having so many thoughts about this very thing...I have been feeling so judged by some of my parenting choices, almost attacked at times. But I feel so confident in my prayerfully-considered choices for my kids. Like you, I just want to do what I do, and everyone else can do whatever they want. Leave me alone! Stop teasing me just because I do things differently! Ugh.

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  5. This is so true! I hate it when people judge me without knowing me. But I also know that we all do it from time to time. I believe in structure, but I don't try and raise anyone else's kids. Mine go to bed at 8:00 because we get up at 5:30 and so we all have structured time together. Life is too short to put too much effort into judging what anyone else does. i have learned that because I still have kids at home, as well as grand-kids that are being raised totally differently by my children. Live is good, and made better by loving each other instead of criticizing.

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  6. Glad you're back my friend...you were missed!

    I agree with what your saying. Routines are important, mompetition not so much.

    Can't wait to catch back up!

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  7. I saw this over on Erin's blog. Or Twitter. such awesomeness! I love it.
    I'm not in the Mom competition thing. The way I see it, we are all in this thing together.

    BUT I do have a neighbor that is a Mom that totally judges me. She HATES it when I go to the pool in the evenings, (I have a community pool that is about 50-100 yards away from my house) and talks to other adults while leaving my very capable 11 year old in charge of the 8 YO and the 3 YO. *sigh*

    (honestly I was gone for about 45 mins until she told me where to go for leaving the kids at home.)
    I even called said neighbor a b#$ch for running her mouth about it. She threatned to call social services on me...
    I even blogged about my shrew neighbor.....*sigh* (It seems most moms agree with me--leaving an 11 YO in charge is just fiiiine)

    Yeah luckily most moms aren't so judgmental...

    So GLAD you are BACK!

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  8. Amen. I think we'd be great mommy friends.

    Glad to 'see' you again. :)

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  9. I think this is wonderful. I agree with your points...and the last one about the accidental mom...they kill me! I thought this was wonderful and am posting it on tickled pink tomorrow...if you don't mind. So glad you are back!

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  10. Mompetition sucks, but in a way it is positive, because at least it shows the moms care. I have seen so many parents that really don't care how thier kids turn out, it is crazy. My kids are 12 & 14, so I guess by the time kids get to these ages, a lot of parents just give up, it is sad.

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