Posted by on Apr 26, 2011 in finding supportive moms, judgmental moms, new mom, not a perfect parent | 16 comments

When you’re a parent, no matter what you do, someone thinks you’re doing it wrong. Or, at the very least, they think they’re doing it better.

The best illustration of this for me was my brilliant idea to cloth diaper and then my epiphany on Day Three that I wasn’t cut out for it.

I got judgments and snarky comments for both decisions.

I would love to say that I simply don’t care what others think. But I’m posting this. So clearly, I somewhat care. Maybe I’m insecure about my own ability to parent. I want to be a good mom, and yet even I can see the glaring ways in which I’m imperfect:

1. My kid has seen several episodes of Sponge Bob but zero episodes of anything involving Baby Einstein or Sesame Street or any other program focused on actual learning.

(Enjoying some great American literature.)

2. I fall into the decidedly “non-crunchy” camp (and if I’m being honest, I think the term “crunchy” is gross anyway). I use disposables and I pump my kid full of formula. I moved him into his own crib in his own room when he was just six weeks old. I own two strollers and zero baby-toting wraps.

3. I don’t worry much about germs, so I took my kid to his first restaurant when he was six days old and I rarely bother to clean toys unless he’s massively spit-up all over something.

4. He doesn’t have a bedtime “schedule.” I suppose every night is sort of the same, in that he always gets clean, gets fed and goes to sleep. But the order of things changes from day to day.

5. I do not have a “method” for introducing solid foods beyond steering clear of the stuff that is a choking hazard or the stuff that the experts say to avoid until he’s a certain age. We puree stuff, he eats it, he likes it (unless it’s green beans). We might buy some “puffs” this week so he can feed himself and work on his motor skills. That’s the extent of our plan.

Even as I wrote that stuff, I was tempted to explain my reasons. I am fighting that urge. Because it shouldn’t matter what my reasons are. What should matter is that no one knows my kid better than my husband and I do. No one loves him more than we do. No one is more interested in his health, safety and happiness. Therefore, I like to think that we are doing a better job of parenting him than anyone else could. If nothing else, we’re doing the very best we can.

Moms should be supportive of each other. We should get together, prop our kids in front of the TV, bust out some wine and vent our parenting frustrations. Just kidding. (No I’m not.)

We shouldn’t be preaching to each other about the best method for this and the leading research for that. We all have pediatricians. We all have Google.

What we don’t all have, what we really need, is strong support from other moms. Non-judgmental, no-strings-attached support. Cuz in my opinion, every new day you greet with a happy, healthy, well-adjusted kid is a miracle and an accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated. Whether you carry your kid to the celebration in a wrap or I push mine in a stroller is sort of beside the point.