World’s Okayest Mom

I’m envious of my parents who raised kids in the eighties and nineties. The lack of technology was a huge blessing, and being a kid and/or a parent didn’t mean being under a constant microscope of judgment.

Don’t get me wrong, I think raising kids for any generation has unique challenges but the extra layer of technology parents have now, is just one more thing to deal with.

I played outside for hours, and my parents never worried, unless I didn’t show up after the street lights came on. 

Now, a mother myself, I feel guilty for letting my kid play alone in our fenced-in backyard while I go inside for a minute. My parenting style is constantly on display for the World Wide Web to weigh-in on.

Parents post about their kids being sugar-free, while I’m giving my kid a Dum-Dum to get through the grocery store. Parents are choosing all-organic, while I’m feeding my kid Easy Mac. Don’t even get me started on the screen time recommendations. How do people get the house clean, or even load the dishwasher? Daniel Tiger has literally saved my sanity.

 

The “mommy wars” are out of hand. Our parents didn’t have this constant comparison to other kids who were similar in age. It’s exhausting. If you post about your kid saying his first word, you end up getting backhanded compliments like, “That’s awesome! I was surprised when my kid said his/her first word six months earlier than yours.” 

UGH! Can’t we all just love each other and be supportive? Aren’t we all doing the best we can? If I get through the day with my kid in bed within an hour of his bedtime, I want to pour myself a glass of wine and pat myself on the back.  

I told someone recently my kid used the potty, with pride gleaming from my face, but then knew their kid hadn’t hit that milestone. So I back pedaled and said, “Well, my kid isn’t saying many words, so don’t worry.”

Why do I need to put my kid’s accomplishments down? I feel guilty for bragging on my kid because of the constant comparison between kids of a similar age. Our parents didn’t experience this as much. Maybe a play date every so often or a {land-line} phone call, but there wasn’t a live stream of your kid’s life on display. Pictures were taken, but back then, there was a 2-4 week wait until they were developed and sent via snail mail to a friend or family member.

It was simple. As a parent now, wouldn’t that be a nice relief?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m choosing to look/post on social media sites and read online articles, but how can you not? In some cases, these articles and posts can be helpful, but more times than not, I end up feeling defeated. I envy the parents who can step away from it all. You’re {hopefully} less stressed.

I felt a ton of pressure to post my kid’s monthly updates on all social platforms. My mom just got to be a mom, getting out the 35 mm camera if it was a special occasion.  Articles will constantly inform you of a new trend, new parenting style or how you’re basically ruining your kid’s life. I’m so tired of it all. Isn’t the beauty of parenting that everyone’s style is different? I’m more laid back, but if someone is more strict, they are just as good of a parent. I sometimes cuss in front of my kid. If you have a no profanity policy, I’m not going to judge you.

“It takes a village,” couldn’t be truer when it comes to raising kids, but can’t that village be a little more forgiving? I turned my kid’s car seat forward facing (gasp) before he was two and felt like I was basically the worst parent ever. 

I’m tired of feeling guilt and pressure to be the best mom. I may be the world’s okayest mom, and isn’t that good enough? 

About the Author 

Steph is a wife and mama to a nearly two year old boy named Sawyer. She’s a recovering TV journalist and new marketer for a health care company.  In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, drinking craft beer, and creating new designs for her ‘side hustle’ heat press business, Something Moore + Decor.

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