Updated: Jul 24, 2020
The post for this week was suppose to be a lot different but something kept popping up on my Facebook news feed, that frankly, just pissed me off. Ladies, PLEASE, let's stop with the mom shaming.
Here in the great state of North Carolina, the plan for reopening schools this fall was just announced by the governor. Whether you agree or disagree, it really doesn't matter. It is what it is and we all have to make it work. I'm not trying to get political with this post but some of the posts and responses that I have seen on Facebook have been amazingly sad.
If one mom posts that she's going to homeschool her children for the year, apparently, for some, that is a horrible idea A few of the comments were just mean. Who the hell are we to comment or judge her for it? Apparently, she thinks that's the best decisions for her kids and it is the choice she is making. On the opposite side of that, I've seen a mom post that hers will be at school as much as they are allowed. This mother got even more negative feedback. I'm talking downright nasty. Apparently, sending her kids back to school made her a terrible mother who didn't care about their health. Who knew?
This posts kind of links to last weeks post, "Mom Guilt....it's Bulls#%!." Ladies, we have to leave each other alone. What good does it do for us to criticize each other? Absolutely NONE! One family may choose to homeschool because one of their kids has a compromised immune system that you don't know about. Or maybe their kid has a learning disability and doing the online portion of the curriculum just isn't going to work for them. Or maybe.....they just freaking want to! All of these reasons are valid and honestly none of our business.
On the flip side of the coin, maybe the mother sending her kids back to school is a single mother, or both her and her husband work full-time. Maybe, her kid has social issues and actually NEEDS the interaction with their peers to develop. Again, whatever their reason for sending their kids back to school is not your business and you should keep your opinions to yourself.
We, as mothers, are putting enough pressure on ourselves to make the right decision for our families in this ridiculous time of pandemic and hysteria. Information changes almost weekly and the information we do get is more political in nature than actually informational. Doctors are arguing, politicians are arguing and social media has become a freaking landmine.
If this pandemic has taught me anything, it is that the respect that I already had for stay-at-home moms and homeschooling moms has doubled. I'll say it ladies and I'll say it without shame. I AM NOT MEANT TO BE A STAY AT HOME MOM. I can't do it. Two months of being quarantined with four kids taught me that while I love them, being their only caretaker is not in my wheelhouse of gifts. I'm a creator, I'm a leader and I need alone time to center myself. Eating a 3 Musketeer bar in the bathroom while hiding from your kids and crying doesn't count as alone time. Before you try to come at me with the whole "Well you shouldn't have had kids" thing, let me tell you right now that I am a damn good mother. The fact that I can't be happy and a stay-at-home mom doesn't make me any less of a great mom and shame on you for even thinking to imply it.
There lies the problem. At the base of everything, we are all just mothers who are doing our best. Why are we talking crap about each other whenever the chance arises? Are we trying to make ourselves feel better? Is it that by denouncing someone else's decision, we are validating our own? I honestly have no idea and I've given up trying.
My goal is to make sure that my family is safe and happy during the course of this pandemic. What does that mean for us?
My small children will continue to go to daycare everyday. Yes, they ARE at daycare. I started taking them back in May. The daycare had more than proven that they had the procedures and sanitation under control I felt it was a safe option.
My daughter will go to school. She needs social interaction with her peers. She already has issues making friends and I refuse to stunt her social growth more than I have to. With the kids programs at church cancelled too, what are my other options to continue her social growth?
I will continue to keep up the sanitation efforts at home. We tend to do the following: no shoes past the entry, washing hands first thing after we get home, sanitizing frequently touched things often and wearing masks in crowded places with unknown people.
While we are taking precautions, I refuse to let my kids live in fear. It's bad enough that half the places that we usually take them in the summer are closed to the public. We can't get frozen yogurt at Dilishi as a reward. Afternoons at the park playground are gone and walking the greenway doesn't have the same appeal. The movies are out and while we may could take them to Chuck e Cheese, I'd rather cut off my right arm than deal with the cesspool of germs we would probably find there. After almost 5 months of this, I'm starting to worry about my kids mental health, which is something that I think some are overlooking.
I've, with the help of my husband, have made the decision for our household and while I am sharing it with you, I'm not asking your opinion or permission. You can have your opinion but I'm of the mindset that your opinion is none of my business, therefore, you can keep it to yourself. If we can't stop the naysayers from saying it ladies, we need to learn to ignore it. No one has the ability to shame us unless we let them.
So back to the title of this post, "How to Mom Shame Successfully,"... the answer is don't. There is no successful way to do it. You make them feel bad and you look like a horrible person. With that in mind, go forth ladies, make those decisions with your families best interests at heart and own those decisions. They were yours to make and to those who don't like them...well as Rhett Butler said...