An Open Apology To All The Moms I Judged … Before I Was One

I judged moms.  The childless twenty-something me shot them the stink eye in the grocery store when their kids talked back to them.  I rolled my eyes and made comments under my breath when I pulled up next to a minivan of kids watching DVD players.  But now I am a mom and I totally get why moms do some of the things they do.  So, I am sorry my clueless self judged you.  Guilty as charged, OK? Mea culpa and all that.

I’m Sorry I Judged Moms That Use Bribes

money-163502_640I thought moms that use bribes were creating monsters.  Spoiled, entitled brats that would never function in the real world.  Call bribes what you will: allowance, rewards, treats. Hell, call them compensation.  Which is fitting because I wouldn’t go to work and do half the shit I do if someone wasn’t rewarding me with a paycheck.  But really, what other incentive is there for my kid to eat his peas or change his underwear?  The simple fact is, bribes work. And there’s simply no persuasive argument against them. I’m not saying buy your kid a BMW every time he does what he’s supposed to, but a POPSICLE® for finishing a meal is completely appropriate incentive.

I’m Sorry I Judged Moms That “Use” Television

FullSizeRender (3)Sometimes you just need to accomplish something (e.g., making dinner, folding laundry, peeing) with some semblance of order and speed.  Order and speed go out the window when you add kids to the equation.  I know “good moms” include their kids in housework and the kids get some valuable life lesson out of it.  Well, maybe I’m not a “good mom” but it’s 8.30 PM and I want my kids to eat before 11.  And if I have my 4-year old help cut peppers for dinner, we’ll be eating peppers tomorrow morning. I’m all for including my kids, but there’s a time and a place for that and sometimes tonight ain’t it.  Now, if I put on one Dinotrux episode, I get 22 uninterrupted minutes (yes, I’ve counted) during which I can try to get a meal on the table.  And maybe flip the laundry.  And pee.  Two episodes and I may be able to make something other than Ellio’s in the microwave. No, I don’t “use television as a babysitter.” I simply rely on it to keep my kid’s attention when his Mandarin flashcards are not doing he trick.

I’m Sorry I Judged Moms That Let Their Kids Watch DVDs In The Car

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Photo cred to a very special Bestie and her kids.  

I know you don’t need a DVD player in the car to occupy your kids.  You also don’t need Novocaine to get a root canal, but it sure as hell helps. I get the whole “WE didn’t need movies to get through car trips” argument, but WE also sat in “the way way back” without seat belts. I even remember playing Twister in the back of my parents’ Station Wagon on long trips down the shore.  Watching DVDs is arguably more entertaining and a hell of a lot safer.  Look, there’s no harm in a little Finding Nemo if it gets you through a three-hour drive to the beach.  Or a 5-minute trip to the grocery store.

 

 

I’m Sorry I Judged Moms That Used Daycare When They Didn’t “Need” To

I could never understand the line of yoga-pants-clad stay-at-home moms leaving Daycare drop-off each morning. Now I do. Yes, some of it has to do with socialization, structure, and education, but a big part of it has to do with getting a flipping break.  Devoting an entire day to caring for an infant and/or entertaining a toddler and/or preschooler is exhausting.  And hard.  It’s sometimes best left in the hands of professionals.  Hats off to the women that do it all, but for those that enlist help, I’m with you.  I do believe I am able to be more patient with my son when I am not with him every waking hour.  Plus, I imagine the other 4-year olds at daycare are far better than I at playing the “doctor dinosaur” game.

I’m Sorry I Judged Moms Whose Kids Had Public Meltdowns

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A S’Mores display. Complete with explosives.

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Whoever did this store’s layout TOTALLY knew what they were doing. And clearly doesn’t have small children. 

I used to think kids’ tantrums were a sign of bad parenting and a lack of discipline.  Now I know that even Perfect Parents have Perfect Kids that test boundaries, get tired, act human, etc.  I also know this is 90% more likely to happen in a public place, like the grocery store.  And a grocery store meltdown almost inevitably involves Pirate’s Booty or some other completely unnecessary item with zero nutritional value, that your kid suddenly can’t live without.  I blame the grocery store. I don’t know about yours, but our grocery store puts a “summertime” S’Mores and firecracker display next to the deli counter, and a candy rack at the check-out counter.  So, the only two times I need my kid to behave, he’s face-to-face with a campfire diorama and an all-you-can-eat sugar, Tic-Tac, and chocolate buffet.

I’m Sorry I Judged Moms Who Let Kids Sleep With Them

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At least only one is a cover hog.

I don’t care what side of the whole “co-sleeping” debate you’re on.  If a 3-foot tall ninja wearing Paw Patrol pajamas shows up in your bed at 3 AM, then in the interest of sleep, it makes more sense to let him stay than to spend two hours  getting him water / going to the bathroom / turning on every light in the house to show him there are no monsters waiting to eat him.  This has nothing to do with the psychology of co-sleeping.  It is purely about self-preservation.

I’m Sorry I Judged Moms That Imitate Their Kids’ Voices 

Just kidding.  I’m not sorry about this one.  It annoys the living bejesus out of me even though I am also frequently tempted to do it.  Save it for your spouse or someone else that knows your kid’s voice.  Because if you have to imitate your kid for the story to be funny, then that’s probably what made it funny in the first place and hearing you retell it is the ultimate “I guess you had to be there” story.  If you’re a 34-year-old woman imitating your 22-month-old’s voice, trust me – you’re doing it wrong and it’s not funny.

If it sounds like I’m an incredibly narrow-minded and judgmental person, I’m not.  I just didn’t get it.  And now I do.   So, to all my mom friends that were moms before me (i.e., all my mom friends), I’m sorry.

 

 

 

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