Today I read an article saying that #fitmoms need to stop prioritizing working out over caring for their kids. A few weeks ago, someone wrote a snarky article about how they didn’t understand the new culture of wine drinking moms. Moms are told breastmilk is best and in the same breath shunned for breastfeeding in public. I have heard older generations who don’t understand ‘today’s mom’s’ need for self-care. Can we please create an absolutely judgment-free zone for our war buddies, AKA, other parents? I’ve only been a mom for a short period of time, but here’s what I know:
There is no rule book. The first time you leave the hospital with your baby you begin looking for a ‘real adult’ to come with you. Figuring out your child’s wants and needs takes a lot of trial and error. Even as we begin to figure out what makes our children tick and how to handle it a new challenge presents itself. We all are learning as we go.
For that reason, I have decided that we are all winging it. There are no right answers and what works for one child may not work for another. Honestly, what worked for your child yesterday may not work today. Your babysitter may call out sick two days in a row without telling you, forcing you to scramble for a last minute caregiver while being late to work. No, just me? We are all adapting and overcoming.
Some days we get it right and some days we fail miserably. There are times when all my reactions to my children are perfect and the day runs so smooth I swear I dreamed it. Then there are those days when my three-year old’s ability to argue his point logically beats mine. Nothing shakes your self-confidence more than losing an argument to a toddler. We are all just doing the best we can.
“Being a parent is all consuming. There is no clocking out, no breaks, no days off and no sick time.”
You are completely responsible for not screwing up another human being. Somehow, in our own fallibility, we have to find ways to say ‘the right things’ and give ‘the right advice’ to another person. This person’s worldview, morals, and values are wholly shaped by our interactions and conversations. We are all terrified of messing up.
Being a parent is all consuming. There is no clocking out, no breaks, no days off and no sick time. If you have young kids, like I do, you are lucky if you get a restroom break to yourself. As our kids get older there are sporting events, dance recitals, and loads of other extracurricular activities. Your day begins and ends on someone else’s schedule. We are all exhausted.
There is nothing we can do to prepare for how hard it can be to be a parent. I truly believe these little people are actively trying to kill us. No, just me? Nonetheless, with so much in common, how do we feel any sense of entitlement to judge each other? At a minimum, we can support each other, sympathize with each other and remind each other to give ourselves grace. As hard as the parenting path is, we owe it to each other to create a judgment-free zone.
Yolanda Jenkins is a wife, mother of 2, and an introverted leader. She can sometimes be found sharing the good, the bad and the ugly on IG @thislibralife.