I am not talking creepy, joining a cult vow. Or marriage vows. Not even hand on the bible, under oath, in front of a jury of your peers vow. I am talking, promise to your self kind of vow. A vow to be on your best behavior, to not judge so quickly, and to remember you never know what internal struggles people deal with.
The shaming. In every aspect, whether it’s body, gender, or whatever else may be out there – needs to stop. Yet, there is one that hits me the worst is parent shaming. Whether it’s direct or not, I have really had a f*cking enough. Being a parent is a hard enough job, you are your own hardest critic;
Does my child watch too much tv?
Do they get enough time outside?
Does my child talk about poop too much?
Are they eating enough?
Are they eating too much?
and of course the all encompassing;
am I dong this right?
So many question that don’t always have a right or wrong answer. Too often we find ourselves questioning our ability to parent and raise our children.
As parents we put ourselves in this place, this place where we question every fucking thing we do and make ourselves too fragile to criticism to the point that any received (direct or indirect) becomes detrimental.
I can barely make it a day without scrolling through my Facebook feed and seeing a comment from another parent putting some other parent’s choices on how to raise their child down. Or a post in a group “my mom says my baby is too fat, should I stop feeding on demand?”.
Let me interrupt myself with a disclaimer
This is not to say that I haven’t had those moments. I am preaching from my high horse. I too have had moments where I look over at the table next to me at a restaurant and see a table full of kids each with a pair of eyes attached to a personal tablet and no real time interaction and can’t help but get furious. I have done it, I have shamed. I have made prejudgments of other parents based off of my parenting style. So I guess I am really no different than the parents that I am tired of in that aspect.
BUT here is the difference. Here, today I am making (or taking, whichever way you look at it) my vow to myself and to my children (who we either intentionally or unintentionally tend to push our judgement onto). I am done.
I vow to…
…no longer pass judgement onto parents who choose to act different in situations than I would. (In situations that are non life threatening).
… remember that in most cases, they are like me and are questioning the majority of what they are doing as a parent and raising their child/ren.
… no longer use social media as an outlet to get others to agree with me on a particular topic of parenting while putting the adverse opinion down. i.e. shaming. [this is KEY]
…no longer feed into any post I see online that does any type of shaming.[also key – especially in the huge mom groups on Facebook]
…own my moments. Those times when I feel most vulnerable, when I know I have the attention of others judging eyes, stand proud and keep momming.
Join me in this vow (or promise if you’re more comfortable with that word).
Post a moment when you felt your most vulnerable as a parent, when you felt like ‘if I share this anywhere, I wont be able to handle the comments’, that moment when you felt the harsh eyes of granny judging you at Target when you handed your child a lollipop at 9 am so you could shop in peace. Tag your post with #ScarletParent. Let’s take back these moments of ‘shame’ and own them.
We are hard enough on our own parenting abilities, we don’t need others playing into them.