Opinions. Everyone’s got one, especially me. On everything; politics, sports, fashion, entertainment, weather…you get the idea. The topic of parenting is no different, in fact, sometimes I think it could be worse. It seems that everyone and their brother have opinions on what it means to be a good parent, a bad parent, a crazy parent, a lazy parent. Even folks that don’t have children themselves are certain they know the best way to parent. But other moms… they are the worst critics out there. “What? You stay at home with your kids, you work outside the home, you breastfeed, you don’t breastfeed, you eat organic, you yell…the shame.” No matter what, it seems that moms are just stuck in a sea of judgement. We are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. But what really makes a parent a so-called “bad parent?” In my opinion, you have to do a heck of a lot worse than working outside your home or not eating organic food.
I am sure that all parents have probably felt that they are sub-par at one time or another. Maybe on an exceptionally bad day or in a stressful situation. It is probably fair to say that no one wants to fail their children and do things that others see as bad. The judgement is harsh – by society, other moms, and especially ourselves. The truth is, parents have a tough job no matter what. No matter what your opinion of me is, I’m telling you, it is hard. End of story.
You might be considered a Bad Parent if…
- You feed your kids only organic food.
- You don’t feed your kids only organic food.
- You let your kids watch TV.
- You are too strict and don’t let them use electronics.
- You let the kids stay up too late.
- You put the kids to bed too early and don’t spend enough quality time with them.
- Your house is too messy. You must be lazy.
- Your house is too clean…therefore you don’t spend enough time with the kids.
- You drink alcohol in front of the kids. How dare you.
- You don’t drink in front of the kids…they are too sheltered and you are too uptight.
- You lose it and yell too often. You’re a mean mom.
- You don’t yell – that is why your kids don’t listen.
- You work outside the home and put the kids in child care. Must not love them as much because someone else is raising them.
- You are a stay at home mom and don’t “socialize” your kids. They will be behind for sure.
See what I mean? You just can’t win. For the record, I don’t think any of these things would make anyone a bad parent. We all have our reasons and are entitled to raise our children the best way we see fit. No matter what decisions you make or don’t make, someone will think you are a bad mom. Someone will judge your decisions.
So, here is my idea….
Let’s love our kids unconditionally.
Let’s raise our kids to be respectful and kind human beings.
Let’s do the very best we can. In my opinion, it’s all you can do.