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Friday, February 26, 2010

Nothing Worse than Perfect

Fact: There is nothing in this world more rewarding than being a mother.

Unless, of course, that is flaunting your skills at mothering by teaching someone else how not to be a mother.  By commenting on and criticizing the skills and practices of others in the mothering community, a supermom can build herself up to the highest level of influence.  That's right, she can have the world!  Imagine, SuperMom enters the grocery store and women of all ages and backgrounds flock to her side to find out if they should buy this or that.  Not only is she raising her own perfect children, she has the ability to influence all the children, every last one.  Just by dictating the motions of their most revered resource for learning, their mothers.

How does SuperMom accomplish such a fantastic feat?  Not surprisingly, she has three very effective tools in her frilly little apron:

     1. Ridicule
     2. Shame
     3. Fear
    Perhaps you know the nature of these aids?  Perhaps you've felt the embarrassment when SuperMom ridicules you in front of your peers at the PTA meeting.  Or, maybe, you've felt the shame when SuperMom blatantly asks how you could ever let your child do that, whatever that may be.  You may even have felt the fear when SuperMom warns you that there are predators out there and the slightest misstep will bring your world to its knees.

    Well, you know what?  Though she may be snotty and self-centered, though she may carry an air of arrogance, though she may be incredibly hostile to anything that goes against her socially-accepted norms, SuperMom is not always right.  Period.  She's not.  She's not a god.  She doesn't know more than you do.  She doesn't control your life.  That's it.  She doesn't, she's not, and she won't ever.  Never, ever, ever.

    So, what do you do?  First off, ignore her wholeheartedly.  Smile, if you must, but don't let her get to you.  Only you (and your husband) know what is right for your family and your kids.  Only you know how to best raise those precious little ones according to your particular situation.   Only you.  That's right, nobody else.
    Mothers intuition guides you to make the best decisions possible.  All moms have it, even if they don't recognize it.  Embrace your personal knowledge and try not to second-guess yourself, lest SuperMom find a crevice in which to embed her crushing, debilitating thoughts and judgments.

    Furthermore, take all the mommy blogs and how to articles and expert websites and books with a grain of salt.  Compare their advice with what you know is right.  Don't feel pressured to behave in a certain manner just because that is what is deemed popular in the moment.  Times change, parenting techniques must adapt, but allow your personal morals to become the stick against which all else is measured.  Now, don't take me wrong-- most of these writers and counselors mean well.  However, you have the final say in how you raise your own family and you can't abandon your convictions for a passing fad.

    Last, but not least, love your children, your husband, and yourself.  In the end, this is all that matters.  You'll do the best you can, as will everyone else, and have loads of stories to look back upon as you grow old with your mate.  Not your SuperMom, your mate.  Now, doesn't that make you feel better?

    If not, just give her a good kick in the ass shins for me.


    1. oh boy, people like that make me want to grab them by the hair and shale them. what is wrong with them. Anybody wielding ridicule shame and fear ought to be taken outside and smack around the face with fish fingers until they stop it.

    2. I agree. And Super Mom often has a pile of troubles of her own - she's just better at hiding them.

      Visiting from Mama Kat's!

    3. Wow - That was great! I kinda wanna go kick something now...

    4. Bravo! I think you singlehandedly kicked supermom's arse (and she needs it)! Now if we could all muster up the courage to say it to her face. . .


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