If I leave her in the car, you will call the police and call me a bad mother. If I take her into the store, you will scoff as she throws a tantrum because she’s tired. If I give her candy bar so she stops making a scene, you will say, “She has no discipline! Look at this mother giving into her tantrum.”
If I breastfeed my child, you will ask me to cover-up or hideaway in the bathroom. Maybe you will say it’s actually for me or disgusting, if my child strikes you as too old for nursing. If I give my baby formula after I failed to breastfeed because I can’t pump enough at work without upsetting my coworkers, you will say how sad it is that my child does not have the benefits of the breast milk.
If I cosleep with my baby, you will say I am risking my baby’s life or uneducated. If I let my baby sleep in a crib, you will say I am a distant and unfeeling, cold mother.
If I let her play with my make-up, you will say that I’m allowing the sexualization of my child. If I don’t let her play with make-up, you will say that I’m sheltering her.
If I teach her my values and share my faith with her, you will say I’m brainwashing her. If I don’t share my values or faith with her, you’ll say I’m failing to instill a moral fabric in her life.
If I follow her around and play with her at the park, you will say I am a hovering, neurotic parent. If I sit on the sidelines and dare to glance at my phone, you will say I’m a disinterested, neglectful mother.
If I have a homebirth, you will say I am a naive and selfish mother. If I have a C-section, you will say that I didn’t try hard enough, that I wasn’t strong enough for my baby.
If I get a job and send my kids to daycare, you will say, “Oh, her poor children being raised by someone else!”
If I stay at home with my children, you will say I am a useless, lazy, financial leech.
If I take care of my appearance, you will say I’m vain. If I sport athletic wear and a ponytail, you will say I’m a slob who has let herself go.
If I have more children then you deem fit, you will say I’m irresponsible and can’t possibly handle it all. If I only have one child, you will say how unlucky it is for my child to have no siblings – you have no idea if I can even have another baby, and yet, you will say this.
If I send my kids to public school you will judge and wonder why I haven’t paid for private. If I homeschool my kids, you will say I’m not letting my children live in the real world.
Here’s, something for you to consider. You cannot see love or sacrifice or struggle. You cannot always see stress or insecurity or sadness. You cannot see isolation. I guarantee you, if she is a mother, she has felt all of these at least once.
What you can do is offer a smile, a compliment, a hand, a prayer. I challenge you to do so, today and everyday, because she’s human. That mother of those monsters sweats and bleeds just like you. I know. She is me. #iamher