Hi there, how are you all the way up in that ivory tower of yours peering down on us mere mortal mothers who sadly do not know as much as you about parenting. Even though my child is older than yours, I appreciate all of your wonderful advice on raising him and how you instantly know the answers to anything I am trying to trouble-shoot. I think it's great that even though your child is 5 weeks old still nuzzling your bosom, you are able to bestow your wisdom about how to best feed a fussy 11 month old, who will eat nothing but toast and red peppers. It's wonderful that you already know how to do things that you haven't experienced yet with your own baby. And how awesome is it that you know more than the other Mothers who have more than one child? All those books and websites you've read about how to be a parent have really paid off.
Also, thank you for reminding me that you co-sleep and use cloth diapers and only use teething toys made out of bamboo made from sustainable harvesting. It makes me feel special the way you look at me when I said I put my child in a crib at three weeks old, while I change my sons pampers and hand him my car keys to keep him occupied. I would love to see how you would react to how my son plays with tupperware, or eats rogue cheerios off the ground -- surely you would have something to tell me about the dangerous levels of ebola lurking in the lid of my tupperware or how the residue from my swiffer wet jet juices, that I clean my hardwood floors with, is the reason my son isn't sleeping at night.
I admire that you have this 'motherhood' gig all figured out and are able to tell me all the things I do wrong with my child. I didn't realize that there was only one way to raise a child and that I am an unfit mother because I don't do things the same way as you. Here I thought there were multiple philosophies on parenting, thank you for pointing out that the way I'm doing things is all wrong. I'm glad to now know that yours is the only way that works, I can't believe I didn't realize that all babies are exactly the same. Without you pointing out all my faults, I would have never had known how much I'm screwing up my child and turning him into a monster with no soul because I decided to try sleep training and didn't fed him organic carrots. Sadly, I only just realized thanks to you, the irrevocable damage I've caused him by letting him cry for five minutes at a time. You're right, he will now be unable to love anyone, will become illiterate, and need therapy for years to come because I am a terrible mother who needed my child sleep through the night. What was I thinking?
But I have to tell you that my favourite part about your personality is that you really shine when you can hide behind the guise of your computer screen. Your confidence to hand out judgement and advice to anyone at anytime without the use of manners or simple consideration for how it would make another woman feel is really a special character trait of yours. I wish that I could be as perfect as you.
It makes me sad that for the past 11 months I have been doing it all wrong. I have made a bunch of friends during my maternity leave with children around the same age as mine and I haven't thought twice about how they choose to raise their babies.
I thought it was great that one friend co-sleeps with her child still, I miss cuddling with my ever moving little boy. It must be sweet to wake up to a baby nuzzling your neck. I didn't give it a second thought that another friend chose to formula feed her baby after three weeks, I thought it was wonderful that she had such a close bond with her daughter which was clear every time I saw them together. I should have but didn't even think to say anything to a friend that wore her son everywhere she went, and didn't let others hold him because it made the baby upset. I just thought it was great that she respected her little one as an actual little person who has wants and needs of his own. And I can't believe I didn't tell my other friend who uses cloth diapers that because I use disposable diapers she should as well. I just thought it was great that she was more environmentally conscious than me, and loved the way her daughters fluffy butt looked in her nappies. One of my friends even has an illegal walker, but I totally didn't think to tell her it was wrong of her to have it especially because she was planning on using it by her really steep stairs while letting her baby play with rat poison. I hope her son doesn't get hurt, she obviously isn't smart enough to judge the safety of a situation herself. And when another friend of mine went away for the night when her son was seven months old, I thought that it was so great that she was able to reconnect with her husband. But shit, I forgot to remind her that she should feel guilty for being a horrible mother for needing a bit of a break.
The list could go on and on of all the things my friends do that I haven't or won't, and dammit I didn't even think to judge them once. And here I was totally okay with people having different opinions on how to raise their child, because it in no way effects my life or my son. Silly me, what was I thinking. I hope one day I'll have it all figured out and be the greatest mother, ahem, second greatest mother in the world (sorry!).
Maybe I would have as many friends as you if I was more harsh and rigid with my opinions about parenting. Maybe I would be happier and have more play dates if I looked down on everyone who did things differently than me. Maybe my son would learn how to be empathetic and patient by watching me get upset and start a name-calling argument the minute anyone disagreed with my opinion. Maybe my son would be better off if I pushed other mothers down and belittled their choices in front of him. Maybe my son would become a tolerant, kinder person if I constantly judged the actions of everyone around me because they decided something different works for them. Maybe my son would be more confident if I was less secure with myself as a mother, and dealt with it by lashing out at others and making my way the only way to do things.
But then again. Maybe not.
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