Written By: Samantha Gencarello Schwartz
I was the most perfect parent on the planet. I would look at parents out with their kids and see what I thought was terrible behavior and think to myself, "oh no, not me!" Tantrums in public? Bad parenting. Screen time before 2? Lazy parenting. Kid is a picky eater? Maybe you're not trying hard enough and give in to macaroni and cheese a little too easy. I seriously should have gotten a medal for World's Best Mother, that's how great my parenting style.
One teensy, weensy problem though. I had no kids of my own.
Fast forward to now where I can laugh at my pre-parent self who had no idea what the actual F she was in for. Hoo-boy were my pre-parent judgments unwarranted. And if I'm honest, they were downright mean.
If there is one thing I've learned since becoming a mother it's that there is judgment on every corner. Before you even give birth to your bouncing bundle of energy-sucking joy, judgment awaits. How much caffeine are you drinking? You know that's bad for the baby, right? Are you getting an epidural? Oh that's fine if you want to be selfish and ease your own pain at the expense of your drugged up baby. Why are you registering for that item? You're never going to need it! Seriously, no matter what you do or how you do it, someone will insert their opinion here.
And then you have your baby and your world is turned upside down in both the best and worst ways possible and you face even more scrutiny. Between relatives, friends, Google, WebMD and Baby Center (and I'm sure I'm forgetting the six billion other websites dedicated to parenting rights and wrongs), no matter what you do there is an opposite opinion with devastating results.
You put your baby in the crib right away? You're a heartless wench of a mother. You co-sleep with your toddler? You're setting them up for codependency and failure to thrive. You gave your baby FORMULA? You should be investigated by child services. It never ends.
But you know what? I'd like for that to end here. I'd like to make the #momlife section of The Hobbyist Life to be a place where the Mommy Wars cease. I'd like to start the No Judgment Zone. I'd like the comments to be a place where you can share your struggles and your joys of being a mom without the vitriol of the Internet breathing down your neck. There is no wrong way to be a mother. We all love our children with a fierceness bordering on obsession, whether or not we breast or bottle feed, we limit TV to 25 seconds a day or 7 hours, or if we're sneaking wine into our coffee cups at noon just to get through the day. Think of what we could accomplish if we stopped bashing each other and instead lifted each other up?
If nothing else we could at least hold back our bitter judgments and instead share what wine pairs best with a toddler melting down over the wrong pair of shoes. Because THAT is information that is always useful.