Grace is the new black.

I’ve never aligned myself with any school of parenting. It’s just too tedious – to try and cram yourself into every tiny, open orifice, like that guy on Spring Break.

I’m not organic enough to qualify for much more than the frequent flyer club at Burger King. I turn the crowns into crafty shit though…so, I’ll pass on your sincere yet ill-timed childhood diabetes lecture to the next patron in line.

I admit, I’ve placed my child in car seats with the puffy coat on, but, I’ve also taken it off before rolling toward our next late appointment. All of us miserable either way – throwing granola and tantrums as we pull into the parking lot 20 minutes late to a local class we’ve undoubtedly overpaid for. But, don’t worry about my dedication to timeliness. Next week, I’ll roll to a near stop by the door 15 minutes early. It all works out in the end.

And, I promise, I’m not angry because you have something important to say or because you know something that could be of sincere use to me or because you’re a safety girl for car seats instead of condoms.

It’s not what you say, but, how you say it. And just like content of the soul equals the content of your character, the content of your assumptions equal the rate at which my eyes move into the slanted, death stare of my people – gently willing you to please, please stop. Please stop.

There is no one who loves my children more than I do. Not you. Not you. No, not you either. I will kill and steal and knock over your Lego tower. And, I’d be happy to hear your opinion on the subject, but, no one asked you. These are not your children. Lady Justice is kind and knowing because she makes sure I know nothing about your children either. It’s best this way – the general observance of humility. How we choose to turn our focus in instead of pushing out knowledge in the name of love dressed as sanctimony.

I know that hurts to hear because best intentions are the bridges we burn ourselves on.

And it’s not so much that I have a cross to bear, but, that you want to bear one for me; picking up my slack, while you instruct me and while your children watch television…hey, what do you know, just like mine.

We’re really not that different and, it’s not that we can’t learn from each other because we can and we do when it’s said with love and prefaced with a soft shoulder – if someone lost comes crying. But, remember, not all those who wander are lost – J.R.R. Tolkien wrote that. He was the shit. I think that’s something we can all agree on.

It wouldn’t hurt to extend some grace. Because brother; because sister…trust me, it all works out in the end.





Comments

  1. Amen! Moms need to stop judging one another.

  2. Hear, hear!

  3. I love your posts! Keep, keeping it real for all of us moms who are trying to make it through this journey for which there is no manual. For we know we are not alone… thanks

  4. Amazing! Now, can you write one about judgy mother-in-laws? 🙂

  5. I hope you know how much comfort you bring to the vast majority of your readers, and how angry we get on your behalf, and on our own behalf, when you are attacked by people who have never even met you! I love you, don’t stop xxx

  6. So well said. I admire your ability to have grown a thick skin,enough to even have this blob and manage the nasty,rude of ignorant comments that crop up. Even the “well intentioned” ones can have barbs. It’s the anonymity of the internet that gives complete strangers that little boost to run their mouth, or provide an opinion, that had they just been strangers in a public place, say Target buying deodorant and dryer sheets, would never,ever think to say out loud. I myself have considered doing a blog, but I know I couldn’t achieve a thick enough skin to protect myself from the slings arrows of the “well intentioned” or the words of those who just like to flap thief yap. Thank you for doing what you do. Keep up the good fight sister.

  7. Hear, hear! Esp loved the Tolkien shout-out since I’m a nerd!

  8. I totally agree. Just because something works for your family doesnt mean it works for mine or yours or yours. As a loving mom we are all doing the best we can do. How about you look at my strengths n not my weaknesses. BTW the road to hell is paved with good intentions!

  9. Hmmmmm….as a self proclaimed member of the Car Seat Police, I have been known to poi t out a poorly installed or used car seat or two. But it’s usually when a parent posts a picture of their child in a car seat or they are taking my child somewhere….no way in HELL am i ever going to let someone put my kid at risk just so they can do me a favor. Car seats are designed to save or children’s lives. If we can’t be bothered to use them correctly, why not just chuck your kid I the back seat with nothing? Im willing to bet you take the time to put yours on right. Do your kid the dame favor. It’s better to be late now than to have a dead or seriously injured child (imagine how long it takes to load a wheelchair in and out of the car.) So yeah, its not so much judgement as it is giving a shit about other people. And I would say the same thing to anyone whether they were standing in front of me or on an anonymous blog comment section. Seriously. It only takes a minute.

    • And you, darling, are kicked out of the club. That was way too drama-y for the rest of our little club that is inspired and kept sane by Bethany. Please leave your “Chill Mom Tribe” membership card at the door on your way out-we don’t need anymore preachers!

    • See, the thing is … send that car seat comment via email or personal message. Don’t post it on a person’s wall or FB page to shame them. It’s just the kind thing to do if you’re truly concerned.

  10. And yes, I know there are a ton of typos in there. Release the Grammar Police!

  11. Here! Here! Or is it Hear! Hear! ? Either way, I’m cheering. Well said. So well said. Can this be mandatory reading? Like a Terms of Service agreement that people have to click off to prove they’ve read before they enter the Internet?

  12. There is nothing more agregious than someone telling you how to parent. We get this alot because we are strict parents. We have to be, our boys have different needs than other children. So when the lady gives me a dirty look in line as I tell one of my sons that I will never take accept the Luke warm apology he is dishing out I just offer her the opportunity to raise him.

  13. Thank you! I’m a new mom and, while I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of this gig and I know my baby better than anybody on the planet, I still have that new mom feeling of “I have no clue what I’m doing!!” just beneath the surface. Other moms sometimes have a way of making me second-guess myself over the STUPIDEST details that are usually just a personal preference issue. “Where did his little socks go? His feet are going to get cold! Burrr!”
    “They went in his mouth, then on the floor, then back on his feet and back in his mouth again. Now they’re in my pocket. He’s not going to get frostbite at the children’s museum. Just relax.” We all believe that what we’re doing is right, and that’s probably true, but it’s only right for OUR kids. So back off, controlling moms. You’re freaking me out.

  14. Yes just so much yes.

  15. Tolkein IS the shit!

  16. Hell to the yes, my friend.

  17. Slow clapping because I don’t want to spill my tasty wine. Brava lady.

  18. Some people don’t get irony, eh?
    Great post!

  19. Yeah, well said! Is something happening on the Internet this week? My favorite bloggers (you included) are standing up to Internet hysteria in very calm and well reasoned posts. Love it. Xx

  20. Yes, yes and yes. Just like urine on a bath towel, it all washes out, right? The same could be said for any other human issue – we’re all a lot more alike than we realize.

  21. Your writing style and hilarity are so appreciated!

  22. What is this place? Love it! I’m glad I clicked on your comment link on Something Clever 2.0 and found you all.

  23. Love it! Everyone has an area where they are not perfect, including the mothers who scream about car seats, fast food, and TV time just to name a few. I wonder how a mom who judges another mom about the way she feeds her children would feel if the mom snapped back about her kids TV habit. I’d like to see that throw down, I bet it would keep me laughing for weeks.

  24. Damn straight – and eloquently spoken, as usual.

  25. YES. The other day I posted a pic of my happy kids ice skating for the first time. I was thrilled to share it – I don’t share many pictures on my personal FB page. The first two comments I got criticized me for not putting helmets on my kids. I was so angry. And disappointed. And I took the picture down.

    Let grace rain all over Facebook. Until it does, I’m not sharing personal pictures again.

  26. I am so weary of the worry and self-doubt that is manifested outwardly in the form of misguided or mean-spirited advice. I do love, however, that Cat up there went ahead and showed us an example of the exact thing you wrote about. Truly, Cat. Thank you for the laugh.

  27. Aaaah, I love this so much. Your brain is filled with the most perfect words, do you know that? I hope you do.

  28. You took the words right out of my mouth—but you said them so much better than I ever could.

  29. I find your use of the word, “black” to be racist.

  30. This blog entry comes off as though someone has attacked you – did that happen? I’m one of those perfectionist parents who try to do everything right and I still fall short of my own goals, but I have a scary expression on my face most of the time so people don’t usually dare give me advice on my parenting. Nobody is perfect, even parents, and people can’t and shouldn’t do everything just alike. It is time that parents stop criticizing each other, and also quit taking others bragging themselves up as putting you down. 😀

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