September 21, 2012
Maybe if your mom had told you when you were acting like an a-hole, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
As most of you know, I have a Facebook page that accompanies my blog. Like my blog, it’s usually a light-hearted, goofy world of unicorns, finger monkeys, and other silly things that make me happy. People come to me for laughter and fun, which is great, because that is how I try to live my life. I have lots of people on my Facebook page and most of them them rock. But occasionally there is someone who feels the need to tell me how much I suck.
And sometimes what they think I suck at is being a mom.
What I find disturbing is that most of the people who have felt the need to tell me what they think of my parenting skills (although they don’t even know me) are fellow moms.
And it’s not just me that this is happening to. It’s happening to many other moms who are sharing their lives with people on the internet. “Mommy Bloggers” are a HUGE target for the holier than thou moms who get their rocks off by telling other moms that they’re doing it wrong.
Case in point, I posted this e-card this week:
This is a quote from Louis C.K. who happens to be my favorite comedian. He writes about parenthood in an amazingly honest, no-holds-barred way. It’s this brutal honesty that makes him so funny. Although some of the things he says might initially be startling, they’re all true. They’re all HIS truth and he is sharing it with us in his own honestly and hilariously off-kilter way. If people get offended (and they do) they don’t have to listen to him. That’s their right. But, personally, I applaud him for doing what he does, knowing full well that some people are gonna be pissed.
Every parent should feel that it’s okay to talk about their real life stuff without feeling like they have to pretend to be the perfect freaking parent with the perfect freaking kid.
Newsflash: Nobody is perfect.
Don’t we, as mothers, have enough worries about whether we are doing it right without self-righteous know-it-alls judging us when they don’t even know us? And I’m not saying that nobody’s life is Leave it to Beaver-ish. I’m just saying that I haven’t met any yet. If I did I’d question whether they were actually human and totally do the robot test on them, i.e. kick them in the underballs or ovarnads and see if it hurts.
There’s a reason that Louis C.K. has such a huge following, and that sitcoms that follow in the awesome footsteps of “Roseanne” have been so popular over the past 20 years: Most people know what’s what. They are living real lives and have real families with real drama and real fun, and they want to see families that are a reflection of their own. They want to know that they aren’t alone.
It ain’t the 1950’s and that June Cleaver crap is soooo not gonna fly.
We all have our own style of parenting. Most of us are doing the best that we can and the last thing we need is for strangers (who know nothing about us) to tell us that we’re doing it wrong.
When The Boy was a baby and people would ask me how he was doing, I would sometimes say that he was being an a-hole and people would look at me like I had just murdered 27 puppies in front of them with my bare hands then made them eat their eyeballs (I like to be visually dramatic). The truth is, the first day we brought him home from the hospital I decided he was a mega-a-hole because he wouldn’t shut up with the freaking crying. I wondered what I had done to deserve getting stuck with a turd baby. Eventually we realized that he was crying non-stop because in all the exhaustion and nervous newness of having a strange, tiny, person in our home, we had kinda sorta forgotten that babies need to be fed. After that little whoopsie, I decided that maybe he wasn’t totally an a-hole, and perhaps we were just idiots.
From then on out we remembered to feed him, but he still spent an insane amount of time with his diaper in a wad, acting like an a-hole. He would cry like a maniac for no reason, making me question my lifelong belief that all babies were adorable and sweet. I even started to question whether or not I was a good mother. What if it’s me? What if I’m just super shitty at this and I’m totally fucking it up? Most of us moms, at one time or another, go through that, and it totally sucks. Hopefully we have non-judgmental people around us to let us know that sometimes even babies are a-holes and it’s totally normal.
Eventually The Boy grew out of it. Mostly. I mean, sometimes he still acts like an a-hole, but those episodes are rare. And when I tell him he’s acting like an a-hole, he usually realizes that I’m right. Same thing when I am acting like one and he tells me.
Listen, everybody at some point acts like an a-hole. Even babies. Even nuns. And nuns are married to God, you guys. Didn’t you see The Sound of Music? Some of those nuns were the definition of a-holes.
To judge a person for saying that their spawn is acting like an a-hole is ridiculous.
Sometimes people act like a-holes. Just because some of those people came out of your vagina doesn’t mean that you can’t call them out on it.
It’s a real thing, and as a parent I consider it my job to tell The Boy when he’s acting like one. How else will he know? My way is to get to the nitty gritty and say “Dude, you’re acting like a total jerk today.” That may not be your way, and that’s okay, but it’s my way. I’m not beating him. I’m not calling him names. I’m calling his behavior a name. I’m letting him know when he’s acting like an a-hole so that some kid at school doesn’t have to let him know with a sucker punch to the face. I’m actually saving his face from getting disfigured, you guys. And that’s pretty amazing of me.
Every mom (and dad) has different parenting styles, and unless someone’s style is to abuse or neglect their children, I don’t think that any of us have a right to judge. We certainly don’t have a right to judge someone as a parent when we know absolutely nothing about that person or their child.
After posting the infamous e-card, a woman said this in the comments:
“It’s pathetic that people treat their children like this. This “mom-brain” bitch needs her kids taken from her. Unliking this stupid fucking page”
This is an example of what sometimes happens on Facebook and the internet in general.
The worst thing you can say to a parent is that their child should be taken away from them, and to say it because of a funny card that they posted on Facebook and with no knowledge of that person’s real life, is not only irresponsible behavior for ANY person, but especially a fellow mother.
And the thing is, those people came to my FB page of their own free will, and if they see something that makes them so mad that they want to spew hatred everywhere, that should be a sign to them that it’s time to go. They have that choice. There is no reason to post hatred like that. Do these people go around in their real day to day lives telling people to their faces what they hate about them? I’d bet all the Modelo in the world that they don’t. They save that for when they are behind a computer and can act like they are a bad-ass without actually facing their victims and having to take responsibility for their obnoxious behavior.
It’s all pretty sad. And it’s even sadder when moms are doing it to other moms.
Women are supposed to support women. Moms are supposed to support moms. Human beings are supposed to support human beings. Don’t we have enough problems without turning on each other for no reason other than the fact that someone finds something funny that you don’t? Or someone parents in a way that you don’t? Most of us are doing the best we can to raise kids that turn into people that don’t act like a-holes. We are trying to raise people that will support other people and do everything they can not to hurt anyone, yet have the courage and self-worth to stand up for themselves when they need to. People that won’t grow up to be bullies who get their self-esteem by trying to take away someone else’s.
We are all in the same boat here. If you think someone else isn’t steering their boat the right way but they aren’t putting you or anyone else in danger, let them keep on steering their boat and stay the frick out of it.
And just for the record, The Boy is the love of my life and he is a pretty awesome kid. I cooked him up and popped him out and taught him 11 years worth of stuff, and he is one of the smartest, sweetest, most well-adjusted kids on the planet. Partly because he is infinitely loved yet treated like a normal person who makes normal mistakes, and partly because we tell him if he’s acting like an a-hole.
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