I had an unfortunate incident happen to me today. One of those things that I suppose happens to people every day, although rarely to me. One of those things that at first seems like a practical joke, but then you realize that it isn't. One of those things that makes you laugh, makes you mad, makes you confused, and above all else, makes you wonder what on earth is going on.
I had a post up today that tried to come up with a clever way to talk about the miracle properties of Diaper Goop (that I received from the ever fabulous Parent Bloggers Network). In this post (which no doubt is still in your Google Reader if you haven't read it yet), I talked about how Jules cries in her crib, even with a messy diaper. While this is true, I haven't ever knowingly allowed her to cry in her crib with a messy diaper. My story was meant to illustrate how Diaper Goop keeps Jules rash-free even when I sleep through her cries. (BTW: It's a great product, and the whole family has loved using it.) Also, the story was meant to be humorously self-deprecating--me, the lazy mom. Ha ha. Of course, as anyone who knows me will tell you, it couldn't be farther from the truth. I do everything in my power to keep my kids healthy, safe, and happy. My friends know that. People who regularly read this blog know that. And yet, one story, taken out of context gave someone the right to call me a bad mom.
Today a stranger judged me. Not just one stranger, although the first one I suspect encouraged the rest of the group to follow along, leaving a string of mean comments in their wake. Today people who don't know me judged me on the basis of one half-factual story. These are people who have never met me, never been to my blog before, never read my posts before, never seen my pictures of my girls or been witness to my love for my children. These are people who tried to shame me into thinking I was a bad mom, although there are no words that will make me feel that way.
If it made them feel better to get their scolding words off their chest and say it to me, well, all right then. If they felt like they were making the world a better place--teaching one more bad mommy a lesson and hoping she changes her meth smoking, whip cracking, martini-before-noon drinking ways--okay. There is a place for outrage, this I know. Unfortunately, it was completely misguided being directed at me. Who, I guess it needs to be noted, does not smoke meth, crack whips, or drink martinis.
Clearly they don't know me otherwise they would have known that I am the mom you want on your side, in your corner, fighting for justice and safety. I am the mom you want teaching your children in the classroom. I am the mom who is raising children to be compassionate and loving, not, as you too quickly surmised, someone else. If there's anything you can learn from this mistake it's this: it's very difficult for a stranger to adequately judge someone else. Especially if you're judging through the printed word. Especially if your directive to judge came at the prodding of an annoyed friend. There is no happy ending to that story.
I have my failings as much as anyone, but when it comes down to it I know I'm a great mom. I don't need to list everything I do for and with my children because who the heck cares about that? My kids, that's who, and they aren't reading yet. But when they get old enough to read this post, they'll be the first to rise up and call me blessed. Of that I am convinced.
My story does have a happy ending, however. And it is this:
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