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Why do we do this to ourselves?... and eachother?

So I am reading this book, which is telling me what I already know, but more inspiring and well written... Its called Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the age of Anxiety... The insane expectations and judgment (mostly from each other), is unbelievable. We all feel the same way. The constant competing is so sad and only makes those who judge feel worse about themselves. I am so sick of hearing about if you don't breastfeed, or breastfeed long enough, or get this car seat, or enroll your child in this, or do 15 different activities per day etc, then you are a bad mom. We are all (for the most part) doing the best we can. We need to make ourselves happy to be good mothers, and that is NOT being selfish! I recommend that all mothers read this book. Its not going to teach you anything new, but it will make you think.

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Asked by LovinMyMikayla at 8:44 PM on Sep. 19, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 2 (12 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • When I became a mother, I expected that mothers stuck together, encouraged each other, and didn't judge each other. Wrong!! Moms are some of the most catty people in the world. If you don't do it the way another mom does it, then you're a bad mom. Or you're simply just "lazy" (that's another buzzword I hear all the time on cafemom). Why can't we all just support each other and appreciate our differences? Why do I have to do it the way you do? Maybe you could learn from me and I could learn from you.

    Thanks for the book suggestion. I think I'll check it out.

    Answer by Fallaya at 9:06 PM on Sep. 19, 2009

  • Amen...thanks for bringing that up. Oh, and I did read this book, and it was true. Too bad ppl won't take it to heart and apply some encouragment on CM. Everything here is about competition :(

    Answer by Heathercurlz at 9:10 PM on Sep. 19, 2009

  • I need that book. Thank you for this post. I have had some harsh judgements on how I parent and my overall philosophy. I get slammed for not spanking, for sleeping with my child, for not having television, for not enrolling him in music or language or whatever. He is only three for crying out loud. I also get judged for working.....all the way around. People always question if they are not complimenting. I can't win.

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:51 PM on Sep. 19, 2009

  • From what I've seen, people make disagreements more dramatic than they're meant to be. If you don't try your best at mothering, you are a bad mom by my definition. It's a very sensible definition. But around here, every difference, opinion, disagreement, word of advice, and so on is taken as bashing, an insult, judgment, competition, and everything else. I don't think it is. At least it's not meant to be when I'm "bashing". For some reason, motherhood is considered this untouchable subject & parenting flaws aren't allowed to be discussed. Why? Some are better than others. Everyone can improve and what better way than to talk about it? I blame all this "I'm just different attitude." I 100% believe there are just DIFFERENT parenting ways. But some things ARE right and wrong. So many are just too quick to not even think twice or care about it. They just call it different and accuse anyone who questions it of bashing.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:34 PM on Sep. 19, 2009

  • We each do what we feel is best for our families, you will always find someone who thinks you are doing something wrong. They are entitled to their opinion it doesn't mean we have to listen.

    Answer by sammiesmom2000 at 12:09 AM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • The insane expectations and judgment (mostly from each other), is unbelievable.

    Actually, I've found that we THINK other mother's are judging us, so we get defensive. You are your own worst judge.

    Answer by Arisce at 12:29 AM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • That's funny you bring it up. I just bought that book. It's crazy the way we are with this type of stuff. Ok,my oldest just started PreK and last week she had her first snack day. I actually made myself a nervous wreck wanting it to be absolutely perfect. My original idea didn't turn out right so I really panicked. Then I looked around. I had treat bags,marshmallows,m &ms,cheerios,and raisins. Trail mix. Was it the perfect snack that went exactly with what they were studying? No. Did not only they love it,but the teachers did as well as it wasn't messy? Absolutely.


    Answer by mommythree0508 at 1:20 AM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • I personally do not care how someone else raises their child, simply because, its their child, and every parent should be able 2 raise and discipline their child how they see fit as long as its not abuse, and those that think spanking is abuse, its not. And 2 every random person that decides 2 come up 2 u and say how ur doing everything wrong, I say, screw u random person.

    Answer by Red_Mama0723 at 1:49 AM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • I noticed that right away after my oldest daughter was born and I got internet. She was about 4 months old. It took me years, and several more kids, to realize that I was never going to do it the "perfect" way that everyone talks about and that there was nothing wrong with the way I was doing things.
    I actually left my expecting group at another site when I was pregnant with my youngest because I was doing everything "wrong" (mostly I got slammed because I refused to stop drinking caffeine and ate lunch meat and planned to formula feed etc). The more I read posts the more I realized the whole group was the catty, bitchy moms going on and on about how they do it the right way and everyone else, like me, were doing it wrong and they were going to make sure we knew that. So I left and never went back to the site.
    I still contend the internet is the worst possible thing for a new mom to have.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 9:49 AM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • still contend the internet is the worst possible thing for a new mom to have.

    I SO agree with you. I told myself this when my dd was 7 months old. I was deeply depressed for the first 6 months of my dd's life, because women online made me feel like a terrible mom because I could not breastfeed. That I was poisoning her, and I was selfish and didn't want the best for her, yada yada yada. I wish I would have stayed off the internet. It would have saved me a lot of heartache and pain.

    Answer by Fallaya at 12:14 PM on Sep. 20, 2009

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