This is what’s wrong with being a mom today. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone. Even strangers.
The poor (ha!) Duke & Duchess of Cambridge were torn a new one by BabyCenter and its crazy-mom harpies here about their car seat usage for the little prince (George, after my dad, I assume). Because all moms are so great that they know how to use a car seat perfectly the first time they use it, one day after pushing a kid out, looking perfectly put together. Give me a break. We’ve all done “dangerous” stuff with our kids. I have to admit, I did notice the baby looked like he was a little loosey goosey in that seat, but SINCE I WASN’T IN THE CAR, I have no idea if he was driven away that way or not. (I also noticed that his blanket looked like an aden +anais, which Emilia has and loves. Or, rather, I love. So maybe they’ll get married and she’ll be Queen!)
And you know what? Even if he was driven away that way, I don’t care. He’s not my kid. I’m sure someone showed Will and Kate how to use a car seat, or will show them now. I’m sure they’re not idiots and have every intention of keeping their child safe (especially, as the commenting harpies noted, Diana died in a CAR CRASH!).
But I’m adopting my new mentality here: Not my monkeys, not my zoo. As long as what you do with your kid isn’t affecting my kid, I’m good with it. I’ve got my own screaming little monkey to worry about, I don’t need to worry about other people’s monkeys. (I’m trying to adopt this theory at work too, where sometimes I think I am literally working with monkeys, but that’s another issue).
Which leads me to my other rant in the mommy world: mommy bloggers. First of all, why do we need to “mommy” everything? “Mommy friends,” “Mommy runners,” “Working Mommies.” Can’t I just be all those things and a Mommy too? Separately? Because as far as I know, I’m Mommy to one girl (and a fur baby – gag) – not to the rest of the world.
Back to Mommy B … er, bloggers that happen to be Mommies and love to blog about being a mom. I think they fall into two categories: Those who think they are awesome, and therefore imply you’re not good enough, and those who want you know that its okay that you’re not good enough (because you need a stranger to tell you that). The first ones will show you their homemade Valentines and pictures of how they wore their newborn (while nursing!) into their toddler’s classroom to deliver them, along with organic, peanut-free, vegan treats for all the kids who had signed permission slips to eat them. The second will tell you that the Elf on the Shelf will turn your child into a spoiled, entitled brat who will grow up to have daddy issues, but that’s all okay, as long as you teach her the 59 things all girls need to learn before they turn 3.
I started this post a while ago, and originally wondered – why do you have to be one or the other – can’t you use the Ergo for things you need both hands for (i.e. wine tasting and double fisting beer) but not live with a child attached to your body 24/7? Can’t you rock your kid to sleep when she’s having a bad night, but not have to let her sleep in your bed till she’s 18? Can’t you have a big first birthday party and then invite the family over for pizza and beer the next few years? Can’t you make the baby food that’s easy to make and buy the rest? (if you’re wondering, blueberries and apples are big pains to puree) Is my kid really scarred by eating chicken nuggets at 10 months and almost being baby-napped by a dementia patient in a nursing home? (The last one is most likely “yes”).
Since when do we have to commit to a “method” of parenting? When did it become all or nothing? Why can’t we just do what we want with our kids, change it as we go along, and suffer the consequences if we started a bad habit we can’t correct? I mean, that’s how I picture it rolling in my zoo, at least. And my monkey seems happy so far.
When I went back and read what I had written, I realized that committing to one way or another wasn’t really the issue – the issue is what everyone else thinks. And I read this tonight and realized she summed it up better than I could. The “Mommy Wars” work both ways. You may automatically think someone who does something differently than you do is implying you should be doing it that way too. But I think more often than not, they’re just doing what makes their family, and their monkeys, happy. So go pick your monkey up from the day orphanage you leave her at (even when you have the day off!) and do what makes your family happy – whether it involves mason jar crafts or the McDonalds drive thru for the 5th night that week.
So, I’ve been hanging on this post for a while, debating if I should post it, if it sounded right or just came across as ranty and bitter. And then this popped up about five times on my Facebook feed yesterday, and I almost lost my shit, because the last thing I need is someone feeling sorry for me for keeping my baby fed and happy and healthy with formula (which really isn’t that hard to make). Ugh, just ugh. Okay, back to not caring about what people think. I guess its easier said than done.