Since becoming a stay at home mom (sorta) I’ve found myself taking part in lots of stay at home mom activities. Carson joined the summer reading program (I know, I know). I’ve been crafting and doing some household projects. We’ve been on playdates. And I joined a mom’s group.
Just soaking it up.
But about the mom’s group. These mamas have been so welcoming to me! I’m the youngest, and newest, mom there but it’s so fun to learn from the experiences of others.
At one of our groups, one member beautifully captured a funny quirk of motherhood. I call it “parenthetical mothering.”
Parenthetical mothering, adj. – 1) the need moms have to explain away their decisions for fear of being judged. 2) completely unnecessary. We had pizza for dinner last night (but every other night this week the children ate kale chips and wheat grass).
Think about it. We moms truly do feel the need to excuse the shots that we call. Have you ever heard of a Dad apologetically explaining his decisions? I haven’t. Dads are more likely to say something along these lines, “We went out for ice cream. The kids made a mess and ate so much they got sick. It was awesome. We had a great time.”
What are we moms so afraid of?
If I had to guess, I’d say judgement.
Judgement from other moms and, let’s face it, judgement from ourselves for not living up to our own standards.
Moms, this is just ridiculous (and I know you probably already know that but bear with me). Parenting is difficult. It’s crazy difficult. And the parenting options are endless. Breast or bottle feed? Cry it out or pick ’em up? Co-sleep or crib? To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? To spank or not to spank? Homeschool or public school or X-Men School for Gifted Youngsters? See my point?
In my whopping 6 months of experience, I humbly suggest we make decisions and stick to our guns.
“Just speak very loudly and quickly, and state your position with utter conviction, as the French do, and you’ll have a marvelous time!”
“The main thing is to have a gutsy approach and use your head.”
Well said, Julia.
Let me speak to Christian mamas for just a moment. Especially for those of us mothering in Christ, we need to remember the Gospel in the moments we’re tempted to whip out the parenthesis. We’ve already been judged, found guilty, but acquitted through the perfect life and sacrificial death of Jesus. Mom, you don’t have to worry about what the other mommy down the street is doing. Serve God and love your family well. Period.
To all, I hope you find this post freeing (because I’m trying to do the same!)