21.3.10

I Bet You Hate Me Right Now

So, here's the deal: I've been planning this column on parents judging other parents. I've done some research; talked to parents; read some blogs; you know, did my background and all. I could write it completely from my perspective, but because I think parenting is a collective experience I really try to get input from other parents on my column ideas (and hey, if you want to provide some input than head on over to my facebook page).

The plan was to write this "we're all in it together, let's just be nice to each other" column. But then I do my background and damn us parents are a judgmental bunch. Really. We are pathetically, ridiculously insecure to the point of being dismissive of anything that challenges our views, opinions, or ideas.

Is it the media's fault for trying to report on wars that don't exist like that between working moms and stay-at-home moms? Is it the parenting experts' fault for presenting their ideas as true fact and dismissing all others so that we're forced to join camps?

Or is it maybe our fault? Are we so worried that we're doing things wrong that we feel we have to proclaim to the world that WE ARE RIGHT and everyone else is wrong?

Who knows. It's probably everything tied up together into a neat little bundle of judgement making.

But I figure, you know, someone out there is going to judge me on everything I say or do. I've seen it already in responses to my columns and amongst other bloggers in the hate mail they've received. I`ve heard it at playgroups, church, the school yard - anywhere parents gather.

So if you`re going to judge, get your facts straight:
  1. I am currently still nursing my 19 month old. It doesn't turn me on. He bites.
  2. I force-weaned my daughter (2nd child) when she was 21 months. She'd probably still be nursing now if I hadn't. I was pregnant with number 3 and everytime I nursed I had to throw up.
  3. My first child didn't talk until he was three. My second child was almost two before she walked. My third child has been behind in everything.
  4. Sometimes I put my children to bed without a bedtime story. Sometimes it's because I let them watch a movie and stay up late. Sometimes it's because I'm too damned tired to read a story. Sometimes it's because if they don`t go to bed and leave me alone I will probably beat them.
  5. I think about beating my children. I joke about beating my children. I have actually caught myself making a fist at my side while "talking" to my children. However, I do not beat my children.
  6. I have, however spanked them, rarely and when the occasion called for it. I have also threatened to spank them. I'm not happy about it, but I have. It has worked, but is not a tool I want in my parenting arsenal.
  7. I let them cry-it-out - or I tried. It's not for us, though.
  8. I let them sleep in my bed.
  9. My 5 yo wets his bed.
  10. My 18 month old is not now and will not soon be potty-trained.
  11. I let them feed themselves from about age 8 months. Messy? Yes. But way less boring for me than standing over them with a spoon.
  12. I sometimes let them climb up the slide at the playground.
  13. I have occasionally let them throw rocks on the slide and watch them tumble down even though I know it makes the slide dirty and your child will get dirty pants from sliding after they've done it.
  14. I don't let them watch violent tv shows or movies.
  15. My son's call their penis a penis - not a bird, a dick, a wiener, or anything else equally cute.
  16. My daughter calls her vulva a vagina. It seems to be the more accepted term and is almost anatomically correct. She does not call it her front-bottom or her bum or her tushie. If you call it that she would loudly -and with attitude - correct you.
  17. Sometimes I let them go out with no underwear on. Pure laziness.
  18. Sometimes I let them go out with no socks on. See above.
  19. I don't make beds. I don't make my kids make their beds.
  20. I have not enrolled them in music, dance or sports lessons and we don't engage in as many family activites as we should - anyone who judges me on this one must have at least three children and only one income.
  21. I found tummy-time boring.
  22. I find dinkies, barbies (yes, my daughter has barbies), and the majority of their games boring - but I do it because they love it.
  23. I took them on long, cold, windy hikes when they were babies and they only wore two layers of clothing and no hat.
  24. I have been known to buy their Christmas presents at the thrift store.
  25. I don't always remember sunscreen.
  26. I never have bandages in the house
  27. Oh yeah, I blog. I blog about parenting and whatever else striked my fancy and sometimes I ignore the kids and/or housework to do so. I also write about my kids in my parenting column.
So I think that's enough. Pick one to judge me on and tell me how wrong I am okay?

In the meanwhile, here's why I may judge you:
  • If you never even attempted nursing because you thought it was gross or would ruin your boobs than I think you're an idiot. If you tried it and it didn't work out for you than kudos for trying.
  • If your child under the age of ten regularly watches violent TV and movies - or plays violent and sexualised video games than you're a clueless nit whose child's bad behaviour as a result of those influences will affect my child.
  • If you think it's cute to dress your three year old daughter in gold lame mini-skirts and belly tops and have her wiggle her bottom and gyrate to Beyonce than you should have your children taken from you before they are molested as a result of your actions.
  • If you believe any advice you are given or ideas you overhear without actually looking into them and thinking about them wrt your family and your children than you're not putting enough thought into parenting and will probably end up blaming "the system" for your failures.
I think that's it.

So, do review and let me know if we can still be friends, okay? Cause I really hate talking about people behind their backs.

Please do direct all hate mail to my gmail account: idon'tf_*kingcare@gmail.com

8 comments:

  1. Shame on you, you are truly a despicable woman, a terrible mother, an absolutely awful human being. How very dare you do even half of those things. I would never do any of them.... blah blah blah...


    Great Post! I hate the way that everyone sits in judgement on each other. There is no one way to parent, so long as your children are fed, loved and nutured then who cares how you do it. Although maybe with underwear.;-)

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  2. I know eh? That underwear thing is horrible, but after wrestling them into underwear 3 times I give up.
    So . . . can we still be friends? If I make them wear underwear?

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  3. I am sorry but now I can no longer be your friend.....

    Just kidding-am guilty of a few too many of those....

    Good for you for having the guts to be honest.

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  4. Any Mother that judges another Mother should be slapped HARD on their tushie! :D xx

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  5. Yup - I still want to be your friend. Can I be in your gang?

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  6. Well now that depends. When you talk about me behind my back will you be wearing those super-cool boots? If so, then yes!
    Awww I'm glad we can all be friends.

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  7. I like your style! What is wrong with some people? Those who believe their way is THE way are seriously missing out and those that revert to nastiness when faced with new or different ideas just have a screw loose

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  8. I'm probably guilty of all of the above except for a) spanking and b) breastfeeding, the latter because I'm male and men who breastfeed (forgive my prejudice here) are a bit weird in my book. Though I believe it's theoretically possible.

    You'd probably judge me pretty ruthlessly over StarWars and our six year old but the leader of the gang of bullies who terrorises dudelet occasionally isn't allowed ANY telly by his utterly right-on parents. So I think the impact of violent TV is very much more mediated by parenting and context than by viewing it in isolation. Though if you let your child play Grand Theft Auto, I'm right with you...

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