It is not me. It is a tiny piece of me that I filter and invite the world to see. I do share some transparent stories. But I don’t generally post photos of my dirty laundry or peanut-butter smeared windows. You don’t know me just from reading this constructed mask of me.
So may I be honest for a moment?
I have judged other mamas. I have judged them, found them wanting, and dismissed them. I have not always assigned positive intent. I have made assumptions about parents based on their kid’s behavior. Or what their kids were eating. Or how their kids dressed.
For these actions, I am ashamed.
And I never want to make another mama feel shamed or dismissed.
And there is a very precise hurt that comes when someone judges you by the behavior of your children. Ask me how I know.
I remember being in a group that started attacking formula feeding. As I looked around the room, I saw the non-lactating mamas look uncomfortable. And I was so uncomfortable that I went to the car to feed Cedar her bottle of donated breastmilk. I wonder if any of those mamas ever went back.
Mamas, can we be gentle with each other? Can we give grace? When I see a mom melt down and yell at her kids, can I assign positive intent? I have no idea what her day has been like. Am I any better for waiting to yell at my kids when no one can hear me? Am I any better for blogging mostly about my successes?
The parenting we do in public is only a tiny picture of the huge work done behind the scene.
I’ve worked in difficult careers. Non-profit, ministry, corporate, education, and now birthwork. None of it. None of it compares to the difficult job of parenting. Can we cut each other some slack?
Please note peanut-butter smeared windows and screaming child. And the blurred glimpse of a terribly flawed mama in the glass.