Lately, I haven’t been writing much for this blog. Keeping up with a blog can be time-consuming and problematic when your blog is about parenting and you still have to parent. That statement is false and I only said it as a way to show the sort of passive aggressive attitude that some mothers use on social media as a way to judge each other. The reason why I haven’t had time to write more blog posts has little to do with all of the time I am spending with my children and more about the time I am working on other projects. Currently, I am working on another YA novel and a few essays while also writing freelance for difference websites. I do spend an almost inordinate amount of time with my kids. Since I do spend so much time with my children, make sure they are healthy, happy, constantly learning and feeling loved, you would think that most observers would label me a “Good Mother”. I am confident in that label but I think there is always work to be done and more to strive for when it comes to parenting and making sure we are helping shape good human beings.
Now let’s move on to my main gripe, the social media judgy mothers. I am not an avid social media user and only have a Facebook and Twitter account.I have never had an Instagram and only had Snapchat for about ten minutes before realizing it was a way to pass dirty pictures to the desired sex who are long distance friends and want to get weird but pretend it didn’t happen the next day. I have complained before about hating Facebook. At one point, I even closed my Facebook account but returned to it only to keep in contact with family members because Facebook has become the place to keep in contact with parents, cousins and distant great-aunts who you haven’t seen since you were three.
One particular person on my “Friends” list is not my own family member but a cousin-in-law. I have known her since she was ten and had plenty of spunk. Today, she is going to be twenty-three, married, has two toddlers, and an unending stream of judgemental mother posts. A few of the highlights include; Breastfeeding is the only way, circumcision is basically murder, kids aren’t expensive and people are just wasteful, vaccines are the devil, you aren’t using the car seat properly, and so many more things that I have lost track. I am not talking trash about this person, I know she is a lovely person but I think she has gotten a bit over her head in believing she knows everything. She’s in her 20s, that’s pretty much how it goes. Now let’s see,
- Breastfeeding is the only way- I understand the importance of breast milk and certainly, breast is best but it is not the only way. The very idea that she is naive enough to believe that everyone has the ability for free-flowing breast milk at all times is absurd. Some women just can’t keep up with the supply and demand and no one should tell them that there is anything wrong with that. There is already so much negativity between women, do we really need to add breast milk shaming to the list? I tried to breastfeed with both my children and the one who lasted the longest only managed for two months. After that, I was exhausted and bone dry. I wish there was something I could have changed about my biology but even a lactation specialist told me to stop worrying about it so much.
- Circumcision is basically murder: I am not exactly sure where her obsession with circumcision came from considering she does not have any boys but I will ignore that aspect of it. To say female and male circumcision is the same is a bit off but I understand where she thinks she is coming from. I do believe in circumcision because I have spoken to men who were not circumcised and wished they were. They talk about having infections when they were children because it was more difficult to clean and the fear of being naked around others because it is much more common in the United States to be circumcised. That being said, everyone has to make the choice for their own child when they are too young to make them for themselves. Whether the child will grow up to be angry that their parent had the procedure done before they were old enough to stop it, or if they are furious that their parent didn’t have it done. To make someone feel like a monster, no matter what choice they make, is cruel.
- Kids aren’t expensive and people should stop complaining- Telling other people that what they do and do not buy for their kids is wrong is the real problem here. Besides the fact that kids do get more expensive when they get older (bigger beds, more space in a home, possible braces, potential ridiculous accidents that end up with a kid in the ER, field trip money, birthday party gifts, more food, so much more food…). Kids are expensive to some degree because life is expensive. Everything cost money and to limit every little thing a child needs just to say you are a thrifty person doesn’t really work. Especially once the kids are old enough to question these decisions.
- Vaccines are the devil-Ugh, this is the most annoying argument from the last decade for parents. I am not even talking specifically about what is wrong or right. I was vaccinated as a child, and my children are vaccinated. I believe in science and have not had any issues that would contradict my decision. I don’t care if you don’t want to vaccinate your child. If you go to Disneyland during a Measles outbreak, good luck. Please just stop posting nonstop propaganda on your feed.
- Everyone is putting their kids in car seats wrong. It’s simple, follow the directions on the piece of paper that comes in the box. If you are not confident in how safe the seat is for your child, go to any fire station and they will help you. Using Pinterest or Facebook as a guide, rather than common sense, is what is wrong with the world today.
The last one had me channeling Andy Rooney but I do believe it. I hate to make posts that are basically me ranting about things that people do but there is no way I am the only one who goes through this. Just as this blog gives me the ability to say what I want to a global audience, social media is a way for people to share and sometimes vent to others. To make uninformed statements about the way others choose to parent is shortsighted and even strange. I don’t mind the occasional vent but Facebook should probably be less about constantly re-posting political and social agendas until you alienate every family member and friend that you have, and more about funny things that happened to you in line today or maybe some pictures of you climbing Mount Whitney. Now, those are things that I would like to see.