Well, the first few days of school have come and gone. My oldest blended in seamlessly. Actually, he asked us to walk him in on the first day, but after we got just inside the building he announced “ok, I got it from here”. Secretly I wonder if my husband bribed him with a pack of Pokemon cards to humor me, because I had a tough time with the little one starting Kindergarten. I’m not sure why it hit me so hard. Maybe it’s because she looked so little and vulnerable, or maybe because she voiced nervousness, and I was worried if she would enjoy school. The first day, I went through the car line, and she hopped out, announced “Bye Mommy! Have a great day! I love you, and try not to cry!” To which I responded by tearing up, trying to catch a glimpse of her in the rearview mirror. I promptly hit the curb. My son announced “Did we just hit the curb? You really need to pull it together.” And so it began.
My last post was about my fear of getting things in order for the new schedule. It’s been…..ok. I tried a few crockpot meals. Once was a success, and the other was an utter failure. I realized I am not a fan of one pot meals with meat and veg and potatoes all together in the crock. Everything looked the same color and it skeeved me out. Oh well, Rome wasn’t built in a day. The kids didn’t care too much, as I had made the strange and unusual decision to go have ice cream before dinner. Why? Because it was as hot as the devil’s asshole outside and sometimes, you have to be a rebel. Ok, I’ll admit it. I think I was also fueled by the happenings of the day, which were fueled by asshats and sanctimommies. You get that, sanctimommies? I gave my kids ice cream. Before dinner! Take that bitches!
Let me explain. Today was, as I mentioned, hot as hell. Especially for the Northeast in September. Schools actually closed at half day because it was so hot and despite us paying ridonkulous amount of taxes, our schools have no AC. Old buildings, building codes, money, safety reasons all contribute to why the schools have no central air or even window units. Most of the schools in the surrounding towns announced a half day last night. Not my stellar town, though. They waited until school was about to start in 5 minutes. Way to give us time to plan! Now, I found this irritating, but not as irritating as some. This was probably due to me assuming that my town would shut down half day but not announce it until the last minute. I expect this sort of thing, and mentally prepare. It was inconvenient. It was piss poor communication. It was frustrating. I get it.
I went on Facebook, which should be the bane of my existence but is really my addiction, and saw numerous posts on the school and town pages by parents. I scrolled through the posts and saw lots of people who were pissed that they were told after school started that it would be an early dismissal. There was one mom, however, who was determined to be the ANGRIEST MOM OF ALL TIME about it, and she demanded that we all bombard the Board of Ed with phone calls. She was saying such thing as “I will not be calm when it comes to my children!” Her anger spiraled until it was clear she simply had to be the biggest, baddest mommy of them all, It made my brain curl. We’ve all seen these moms. The one that has to be the MOSTEST. They have to be the bestest, the mostest, the most on top of it all, the most defensive of their kids, the most of it all. They are mostly annoying. Usually I let it go like water off a duck’s back.
Another mother posted that while it was frustrating, to call the BOE with our frustrations but to keep in mind it’s the first few days of school, and it should improve. The other mother got mad. She will NOT calm down when it comes to her babies!! Calm mom explained she is calm because getting upset on facebook isn’t helping anything, and that if she is calm about the communication flub, her kids will feel calm and that she has control of the situation. I thought about it. She made a lot of sense. That’s when angry mom threw out the gauntlet “I’m glad I don’t have YOUR parenting skills!
Look, I have people in my life that I know deep down find my mothering skills not to their liking. I’ve had comments made to my face, and some behind my back. Some I’ve never heard. The fact is, I have gotten angry about it, but have learned to laugh it off. I do what I need to do to raise my kids the best way I know how. I raise them to live in a real world. I pad that world a little bit, I shield them from the ugliest bits, but they see a lot. I do what millions of other moms on this Earth do…I do my best. Sure, there are times I look on something and go “I probably wouldn’t do that again” or “I can do better”. But I do the best I can with what I’ve got. Today, my kids ate ice cream before dinner. And then they snacked on fruit. Not my best mothering moment, but a happy memory was had by all, they felt like they “got away with something special” and no harm was done. Tomorrow they’ll get extra broccoli or something and the world will be balanced. 🙂 This will make another mother’s head turn in a 360 degree swivel, and that’s ok. Not your kids, not your mommy choices. Sometimes I see other moms doing something that wouldn’t be my style. I shrug, not my kids, not my choice, not my style, but not my business either. Maybe I don’t agree with that one thing for me, but I DO like how they do such and such. As long as the kids are healthy and not harmed, it’s not my place to comment on someone else’s parenting. The fact is, commenting on someone’s parenting is a very, very bad idea for the most part. Even if the comment passes in the blink of an eye, it’s remembered. It’s pretty much in bad taste, and a high risk for getting a swift talking to or worse.
Sanctiangrymommy felt differently. She tossed that comment out there and I, even though it was addressed to someone else, got MAD. It is not ok to shit on someone’s parenting just because it differs from yours. Even if you think “she’s crazy for doing that” you just don’t say it. I’ve caught myself on a couple of occasions, and immediately felt guilty. Who am I to judge? Maybe it’s the fact that I often second guess how well I am doing. I work full time, my house is a wreck for much of it (clean enough to be healthy, messy enough to be lived in, yet never good enough for me to be comfortable.) I am often running kids from one place to another, trying to get it all done, and sometimes only succeeding in some of it. I, like any other parent, sometimes go “Am I doing this ok??” The fact is, I am questioning myself plenty, because I love my kids more than life itself, and don’t want them in a lifetime of therapy or worse. It’s easy to compare yourself to the next parent and say “well at least I am doing that better”. It’s wrong, but it happens. Everyone wants to believe we are doing the right thing, because the thought of failing isn’t just failing ourselves, but our kids too. None of us want to fail our kids. I don’t need other people questioning my parenting, and I surmise you don’t either. Today made that so clear to me. It’s the sense of self righteousness that angry mom had that she could just roll that insult out there. To just lay those shitty words out there in a public forum, to a woman she doesn’t know. Her opinions mean nothing. But those words just sat there. Her judgement. Sitting there.
“That is NOT OK”. I responded.
“Puhleeze” she wrote.
I reiterated…that what she did was NOT ok. I kept saying it. It’s ok to be frustrated, angry, upset, but it is not ok to shit on another parent’s parenting skills that way.
Calm Mom messaged me. She thanked me for being the one person who stood up for her. Nobody else did. I sat…waiting. Where were the parents, banding together to say “It is not ok. We are all doing the best we can!”? I dunno, but not one was to be found. It bothered me, all damned day.
Seeing other parents supporting each other makes me happy. Parents that admit their foibles and struggles should be supported, not torn down. We should be able to laugh good naturedly at our mutual stumbles and strides. Sometimes, I need some emotional support, to know that I am doing a good job, and I’m sure any of you reading this might enjoy the same. If you see a mom getting picked on, do what we tell our kids to do…stand up and say something. Try to be less judgy when it comes to what other parents are doing. Be mindful that what works for one family dynamic may not work for another. We all do this parenting thing a bit differently, with different styles and views, but we all do it with love. With hope. It would be nice to do it with some support.
Be kind, be mindful.