If you have paid attention to the news lately there have been multiple stories about horrible mothers. I mean these mothers are just horrible! They let unimaginable things happen to their children. They do not discipline their child, they allow them to run wild, and because these women are such bad people/parents bad things happen to their children.
Well I am calling bull crap on this one! Yes, I said crap (I kept it G-rated). I must be a terrible mother for even saying such a word, shame on me. I mean only a horrible mother would do such a thing. Listen peeps, I have a news flash for you! Good people who are good parents and love their children have bad things happen to them. Also, good parents have children that do not always behave. They have children that have minds of their own. Children who will rebel and test limits. They have children that will do this at home and yes (insert the music dunt dunt duh) in public.
*Please note that I am not talking about the sick parents who hurt their children intentionally or who neglect their children or people that leave their children in hot cars. I am talking out the everyday moms who love their children and are trying very hard, but still bad things happen. Also, about the moms who have children that act out in public even though they try to teach them otherwise.
When I was growing up, I had a very free spirited sister. She said and did what she wanted. I, on the other hand, was calm and shy. I was more of a rule follower by nature and my sister was the opposite. We were raised by the same parents, disciplined the same way, and given equal amounts of love. However, God just made us different. Nothing wrong with us, that is just who we were as kids.
I guess I am doing a lot of rambling just to say that we really need to stop judging parents when bad things happen to children. It is not all their fault or the fault of the child in most cases. Yes there are those scary events that you hear about on TV, but not everything that happens is at fault of the parent. God is in control of this world, not us. We cannot prevent or predict everything that is going to happen at all times.
As the imperfect humans that we are, we tend to forget these things when we hear such stories. Yes, I even tend to forget such things. This is what I call mom shaming. We judge others for what happens to their children or how by a mom chooses to parent their children. I was a victim of mom shaming. The story goes like this:
I was at a blueberry farm on a Saturday morning. It was the middle of July and the sky was a little cloudy when we arrived. My family and I picked blueberries and we were having so much fun. My toddlers were running around the bushes chasing each other and they ate berries off of the trees. All of a sudden, the gray skies decided to drop some raindrops. My girls started playing in the rain and were happy. Then in two seconds, like most toddlers, my 2 year old decided that she was bored and ready to go home. She went from happy to sad in one second. She started to cry that she wanted to go home. I told her that we were almost done and she needed to wait just a little bit longer. Then, she started to cry, “Mommy, I am wet. I do not like it. I want to go home.”
I looked at my toddler and replied, “(Insert Name) you love to play in the water and you were having fun. Just hang in there a few minutes.”
“But mommy…I want to go now!” she cried.
“You are fine. We will leave in a few minutes.” I responded to my upset 2 year old.
Then I hear the woman behind me say, “I just do not understand how some parents cannot understand their kids. Just because they liked something one time does not mean they will like it again. I just do not understand some people.”
Wait…is she talking about me…could she be? I think she is? She has to see me standing here? I know I am not invisible? How dare she? These are the thoughts that were running through my head as I stood there.
I turn around and give her the stink eye. I know she does not see me but I do it anyway to make myself feel better.
“Mommy I have to pee! Can we leave now?” said my very unhappy and bored toddler.
“We will potty as soon as we are done picking berries. We are almost done. Just a little bit longer,” I replied to my toddler.
You see, like every other mom, I know my daughter. I know that when she is in time out and wants to get out that she asks to use the bathroom. I know that when she gets bored at a restaurant that she will ask to go potty multiple times. I know that when we are in the grocery store she will say that she has to go potty when she gets bored. I know this because many times I rushed to the potty and then she says, “Mommy I do not need to go. I am fine. Can I wash my hands? What is this mommy? Where does this door go mommy?”
“Oh my goodness. Did you hear her?” comments the very concerned woman behind us. She defiantly did not see my stink eye or she would not have said anything else.
At this time, my husband comes up to me and asks me a question. It is then that she sees me standing there right smack dab in front of her. I turn around and give her a smile this time. She offers my daughter a blueberry and my daughter replies, “No thank you!” I smile, pick my by daughter and we started to pick berries together.
So, yes I was being judged right there behind by back. I was being judged for not taking my child home and for not taking her to the potty and for making her stand in the rain. I was that horrible mother whose child was acting out in public. I was the horrible mom that neglected her child for her own benefit. Yeah right people! Whatever!
In reality, I am just the mom that knows her child well enough to know her motive. I am the mom who has a daughter who loves blueberries, so I took her to pick some of her own. I am the mom who plays with my children in the water for hours in the summer because they love the water. I am the mother who goes outside with her kids in the rain and slashes in puddles because it is fun. Do not worry about the mud I say, that is why we have a washing machine! I am the mom that would die for her children. I am the mom who loves her children with her whole heart and soul and who prays every night for their safety and health.
I must just be a horrible mother…..