Dear Moms: I’m Judging You Based on More Than You Think
I don’t really care how you define motherhood; whether you think it’s a job or a hobby. I do not care what words you choose to describe what you do “for a living.”
I could not care less about how many kids you have, how or why you conceived them, or whether they were planned or a total surprise.
I don’t care if you’re single, married, divorced, separated, or in a domestic partnership. It is none of my concern whether you believe in monogamy, polygamy or polygyny, who or how many people you share your bed with.
I do not care who you love, or how you identify within your relationships.
I’m unattached to the number of children you have, whether you chose (or didn’t choose) to space them apart or had them in rapid succession. You will never hear me make comments like, “Wow! That’s quite a separation, same father?” or “Jesus, Did you get pregnant again in the delivery room?”
My opinion of you is independent of breast or bottle. I do not care if used formula or purchased breast milk on the dark web. You will never need to justify your attempts to nurse, or explain to me why formula was the best option for your child. There is also no need to defend or excuse a complete aversion to having your nipples chewed, or forced time constraints because you had to head back to work right away.
I’m not going to judge you if you work eighty hours a week to keep food on the table or stay home with your children full time to support your family. You do not have to explain your feminist belief system, or the reasons you can’t justify working just to pay for childcare.
I don’t care if you use cloth diapers, disposable diapers, or what brand you use. I really don’t care how naturally savvy or challenged you are, or if you choose organic or fast food for your kids. Whether you’re on a first name basis with the employees of your local drive thru or you grow every single thing your kids consume, I’m not losing any sleep.
I don’t give a shit what religion you most identify with or what your beliefs are. You don’t believe in anything? That’s perfectly fine with me.
I don’t care if you have washboard abs or junk in your trunk. It makes no difference to me if you hit the gym every day or not; if you are a size 2 or 22.
I don’t give a rat’s ass if you wear yoga or stretch pants, or your rationale behind either choice.
I also hold absolutely no emotional attachment to your views regarding my personal life choices. I don’t care how you feel about my parenting style, beliefs, what I’m wearing at the bus stop drop off, or how often I’m looking down at my iPhone.
Not one of these things makes us who we are or any better/worse than other moms. They are merely details of our lives, small parts of the big picture, and personal choices we all have every right to make. I will never use any facet of your life as a weapon against you or challenge you to a motherhood shootout.
If you want to share things with me, I will listen, but never with the intent of judging you for your choices. I understand and appreciate that the decisions you make are none of my business. I respect your right to raise your kids and live your life however you choose; without my input or judgment.
Being a woman and mother is hard enough. I get that. Even though we may be quite different we are still the same.
I care about your thoughts and feelings, and how they impact your choices. I know we can learn from each other,
even especially if we think and feel differently. I can honor your perspective and view points even if I don’t share or agree with them.
I want to learn from you.
I care about whether or not you know how important you are in the lives of your children, and how capable you are of making tough decisions for them; even on the days you question your sanity. I understand there may be aspects of your life, invisible struggles, and many other things you survive every day. My job is not to make those things harder on you. If anything, I want to lesson your burdens and find a way to better support each other.
Because under all the labels, and hats we wear – behind all of the masks and titles – we’re all scared to death. We’re all just doing the best we can to raise decent humans, and hoping we’re not screwing it up.
I know that I’m not better than you, and I don’t care to put on a show and pretend that I am. I’m not interested in comparing your outsides to my insides or tearing your life apart so I can feel better about mine.
Let’s try to care less about all the reasons we’re different, and more about how we relate to each other.
Let’s care more about what matters — and less about what doesn’t.