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We recently celebrated a milestone at BadAssMama Central. My baby boy turned 4! This was a particularly awesome birthday because for the first time, Victor seemed to grasp the fact that the day was all about him. When we got to school that morning, he greeted each classmate, faculty and staff member with the announcement; “You know it’s my birthday today. I’m FOUR!”
We have a birthday tradition in our home. After our boys opened their presents (usually the next morning, since most birthday party days ended with a sugar-and-over-stimulation-fueled meltdown), we would place them on the family room table surrounded by their presents. Invariably, they would be wearing some variation of super hero pajamas and an ear-to-ear grin at the thought of the great fun they’d have with their new stuff. We then took that photo and used it as the cover of a personalized thank you card sent to everyone who attended the party or sent a gift. I save a copy of each card in their memory boxes and enjoy looking back at how they’ve changed – both how they’ve grown and what flavor-of-the-month cartoon character was their favorite each year.
Here’s the shot we took after Victor’s big day this year:
After I ordered the thank you cards, I took the shot and posted it on my various social media sites. Later in the day, as I was checking in on the responses (So cute! Happy Birthday, Victor! He’s getting so big!), one stood out from the pack. It read, “A little excessive on the gifts…. shouldn’t we be teaching kids to be appreciative nowadays? Kids are going to bed hungry ya know?”
Cue scratched record.
This comment stopped me in my tracks. Not only did this woman rain on my look-how-happy-my-baby-boy-is-I’m-such-a-great-mom moment, she basically questioned my entire parenting philosophy. She suggested that I was imparting a flawed sense of priorities to my kids. Bottom line, she questioned my worth as a mother.
And I was pissed.
Typically, I don’t respond to negative comments, but this one was SO far off the mark that I just had to. I won’t bore you with the details, but I am proud to say that I refrained from cursing (a MAJOR accomplishment for The BadAssMama), didn’t question her upbringing (although a few of my fans and family members took a crack in their comments), or personally attack her in any way. I did, however, make clear that she did NOT know me and had no right to question my parenting skills or philosophy based on one photo of a birthday boy in his PJs with his birthday party gifts.
After I let a few responses rip, I proceeded to the 11am church service (since clearly I needed Jesus) and tried to go about the business of my day. The sting of her words lingered for a bit, but was assuaged by the supportive comments of friends and complete strangers who have come to know me through my blog. But I couldn’t help but wonder, why do we as women continue to feel comfortable publicly questioning the choices of other mothers based on so little information? Now, if I’d posted a picture of my son gripping hand grenades and an assault rifle at his Rambo-themed birthday party I could understand. But it was just a happy little boy surrounded by a good but not excessively sized pile of loot from the 15-some-odd guests at his birthday party. How on earth can anyone judge my parenting philosophy based on something as simple as that?
So, The BadAssMama would like to issue a challenge to all my sisters out there. Let’s make 2013 the year that we STOP JUDGING OTHER MOTHERS. We’re all doing our best to raise our kids into the best version of themselves that they can be. None of us are perfect, but we each love our children perfectly.
Stop the hate. Stop the judgment.
Let’s lift each other up, mamas. Motherhood is tough enough. Let’s stop attacking each other over petty sh*t…