Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Holiday From Guilt

Women have a thing for guilt.

They do.  They get on Pinterest (which is basically a forum where women gather to see who gets the award for Most Creative Mom) and then they feel all guilty that they didn't spend St. Patrick's Day playing leprechaun.

The question is why?  Why do we feel like bad moms because of things like this?

Admittedly, I did play leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day, but you know why?  I wanted to.  No one was making me do it.  I just like holidays and excuses to eat dessert (Mmmm.... Pi Day).  Always have.

But, if you don't like holidays or you're the kind of mom who has trouble moonlighting as a toothfairy (never mind putting on wings and leaving actual notes sprinkled with actual fairy dust), let me ease your conscience:  None of these things actually matter.

Why on earth do we feel like bad mothers for not measuring up to what the-mom-down-the-street is doing?  Nowhere is it etched in stone that all good mothers must handcraft party invitations and make perfectly decorated cupcakes from scratch.  There is more than one way to be a good mother.

Good mothers buy pre-made Valentines from the store.  They make sugar cookies from a mix.  Sometimes they don't make sugar cookies or even allow sugar at all.  Sometimes they're crafty and sometimes they're not. Sometimes they feed their kids high-fructose corn syrup and macaroni and cheese from a box and sometimes they slip beet juice and kale into everything.  Good mothers use the television as an occasional babysitter while they work from home and hire an actual babysitter when they work out of the home.  They home school and they send their kids to public school.  They volunteer and they don't.  They formula feed their infants and they breastfeed their toddlers.  They use disposable diapers and they use cloth diapers.  They use Windex and they use all-natural cleaning products.

I'll say it again:  there is more than one way to be a good mother.

We all have certain causes that are important to us, and we all have things we enjoy doing and things that we don't.  So why can't we give ourselves a break when our likes and dislikes don't match up exactly with what Holly Holiday is doing?  Our parenting style is different from that of every other parent on the planet because we are different.  Not wrong, just different.  And totally, perfectly fine.

So if you don't want to play leprechaun, don't play leprechaun.

And ditch the side of guilt.

1 comment:

MyDonkeySix said...

Amen! Every mother is different because everyone IS different! Comparing ourselves to others only causes negative feelings and makes us miss all the joy that is motherhood.