I think so too!

Sitting at home on my weekend alone I keep checking my google reader... MckMama has a most wonderful blog and man did she turn my boring night a little bit around!  Her post is about home schooling her oldest son.  Whether I agree or disagree is irrelevant, she just had a lot of GREAT things to say along with Jen Klein whom I had not heard of until now.  You can read her CNN article if you click on her name!  Now I will be the first to admit that I judge other moms and I am not even a mom yet.  I hear myself saying or thinking these things about other parents  (not just moms) and this just really made me think, why do I do it?  I am never going to be a "perfect" mom and things I may do could certainly have you talking but I think what this really did was make me STOP and think.  It is not up to me how you parent, it does not matter to me how you parent, I should not care if you do it "this" or "that: way so thats it.  I'm gonna go ahead and opt out of this "mommy mafia" because to be honest, it is your child!!  DO WHAT YOU WANT!!  And with that I will share!!

As Jen Klein writes in her recent article onCNN.com, "When we have any kind of insecurity about our own parenting decisions, pointing fingers at the choices and parenting decisions of others is the easiest thing to do."
"C'mon, you've done it. You judged another mom on her choices, maybe even a close friend. You likely felt a little guilty about it -- but the judgment was still there. The way moms -- well, women in general but especially moms -- judge one another is one of those dirty little secrets of mommy social structure, and it's not so secret.

Being a mom is incredibly hard work, and there's no way to be absolutely sure you are doing it right. Kids don't come with instruction manuals and checklists. There is no annual performance review with incentive awards for successes and improvement plans for less-than-successes.

For many of us, it will be decades before we have a real sense of how we did as a mom.

Amid that incredible level of uncertainty in this oh-so-vital job, it's no wonder we look to other moms for support, reassurance -- and maybe some smug self-satisfaction.

Insecurity about our own efforts combined with the appearance (good or less-than-good) of others' efforts makes conditions ripe for judgment and lashing out. Even among close friends, it's easy to slide into this not-at-all productive dynamic -- whether we want to admit it or not. Best friends or worst enemies -- or both -- the social dynamic among moms is a complicated, two-faced beast. It's the "mommy mafia."

Ah, yes, the mommy mafia. Enforcers of local social structures and norms and judgers of all who dare to do things differently. The mommy mafia can be brutal.

There's a little bit of the mommy mafia in each of us. Throw in one or a dozen of the hot-button issues in parenting today, and it's a potentially combustible situation -- the makings of a mommy mafia turf war!

Working-outside-the-home or stay-at-home, breast or bottle, cloth diapers or disposable, organic or processed, public school or home school, or any one of a myriad of topics from pregnancy to adulthood.

You make your decisions and hope you got them right, but a friend or a "frenemy" makes a comment or gives you the stink-eye and you doubt your decisions all over again -- or you're the one making the comments or giving the eye to a mom who dared to do it differently from you.

When we have any kind of insecurity about our own parenting decisions, pointing fingers at the choices and parenting decisions of others is the easiest thing to do. It deflects attention from issues in our own parenting situation that might rightly need more personal thought and attention. Whether we are convinced that one way is the right way -- or we are still trying to convince ourselves that our decision is the right one -- it's base insecurity that drives this lashing out, this mommy mafia on display.

The mommy mafia, however, is more about perception than anything else. The enforcers are real, but the basis on which we enforce is myth: the myth of the perfect mom, something none of us will attain.

Here's the thing: We're all figuring it out as we go along. Every last one of us. There is no single right way to parent and we all parent differently by necessity -- and none of us are perfect. We all have a different set of circumstances, different strengths and weaknesses, and a different set of lenses through which we make decisions for ourselves and on behalf of our families. From the ones you have judged to the ones who have judged you, we're all doing the best we can, imperfections and all.

And if we all did parent exactly the same way? Sure, the noise around parenting issues would be much quieter, but it would also be a much more boring world. But those differences don't have to slide into mommy mafia turf, either. Learning to accept that we're all different and imperfect as parents is hard, however, especially when we want so much to do a great job.

It starts with accepting ourselves and the choices we have made. We each make a set of choices based on our life, knowledge, resources, and the information before us. No two sets of circumstances are exactly the same either, even within the same family -- and when you are making decisions for your family, the response of the local mommy mafia should be the last thing on your mind.

Once we get to personal acceptance, it's a short hop to real support of one another as moms. Banish the mommy mafia and reject the turf wars. Be the best mom you can be, but accept your imperfections and just keep working at it. You'll likely find you are more resilient and have less need to lash out -- and that's just plain good parenting."

Everything Hi-lighted is taken from MckMama @ www.mycharmingkids.net/

I'm gonna go back to blog stalking now so as some idiot on t.v. said "Do You!"  Don't judge!


  1. It is soooooo easy to look around, point fingers, and say what a crummy parent somebody is! Bottom line, if kids came with a "how-to" manual, we would all be perfect parents and have perfect kids!! Wouldn't that be easy! Ain't happening! ♥U!

  2. Good for you-now you remember that when I come around with Looby and you tell me that I am an over protective marma. :D

  3. I just caught myself doing this the other day when I saw a friend still dressing her little one in Christmas clothes. I thought to myself, "Does she just not care, or is she too cheap to buy new clothing for her kid?" The bottom line is, IT DOESN'T MATTER! It's her kid, not mine, so why am I judging?

    Thanks for sharing this. It's a great eye opener!


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