enough

Okay, it’s time for me to say something that has been on my mind for a while. And it hit me so hard last night while I was taking a shower, I had to leave my husband snoring in the bed and my two kids snuggled in their beds to come downstairs and type it at 12:13am 1:08am.

ENOUGH.

Enough with the mommy wars.

Enough with the mom guilt.

Enough with the passive-aggressive crap that is spouted all over twitter and facebook and blogs.

Enough with the holier-than-thou attitudes and the one-right-way parenting diatribes.

ENOUGH.

We are all mothers, for goodness’ sake. We all love our children. Our soul desire is to take care of our children.

So, guess what?

WE ARE ON THE SAME SIDE!

I know the world isn’t in black and white, but there are really no “shades of gray” when it comes to being a good parent. There are parents who love their kids and take care of their kids and there are parents who don’t. I’m hesitant to even call those people “parents,” but that’s beside the point.

Yes, there are varying ways to love your child and take care of your child, but if your goal is to have a child who is healthy, educated, clothed, fed and loved, then you are doing it right. If you want what is best for your child, then you are a good parent.

For the sake of argument, I realize there are abusers out there who are abusing their children because they think that is the way to love their child. I’m clearly not talking about them here.

There are children out there who don’t have homes. There are children out there being abused as you are reading this. There are children out there who are bouncing from one shelter to another, scared for their lives. There are children out there who don’t have clean drinking water. I could go on for days.

And you want to spout off at a mom who is supplementing with formula after her baby hasn’t gained weight for MONTHS? [That mom is feeding her baby. There are plenty of “moms” out there who don’t.]

You’re worried about whether or not someone is feeding their kid store bought baby food or letting their kid eat organic spinach grown on a special worm-free farm in Boise? [Again, baby is being fed. Period.]

You’re going to get all huffy because someone turned their baby forward-facing before they turned 7 years old? [That mom is putting her baby in a car seat. There are plenty of “moms” out there who don’t. Or who intentionally leave their babies in hot cars so they can go drink in a bar. Or who leave their babies at home alone so that they can go to the gas station and get a pack of cigarettes. Or who smoke in the car with their baby. There are also moms who need their babies to be forward-facing so that they can watch to make sure their babies aren’t having seizures. I know one of those moms, and she is awesome.]

You’re going to roll your eyes because that baby is in a disposable diaper? [There are babies out there who are sitting in their own filth for days because their parents don’t care enough about them to change their diapers.]

Don’t get me wrong.

I have been that mom. The one who has rolled her eyes and tsk-tsk’d. I have judged. I have made passive-aggressive statements. I have felt like I was a “better mom” than so-and-so, because I did such-and-such.

But in almost every situation, that mom wasn’t doing anything wrong. She was just doing things differently than I do things. And you know what? I know moms have rolled their eyes at me. Yes! Really!! Because I am not perfect. I have done things that are not included in the Holy Grail of Motherhood.

But I’m still a GREAT mother.

I practiced baby-led eating with Emma, but Lucy needed food in her tummy at 6.5 months to help with her reflux, so she gets baby food from a spoon. I’m still a GREAT mother.

I turned Emma forward facing in her car seat at 20 months because she hated riding backwards. I’m still a GREAT mother.

I quit using cloth diapers with Lucy because she started to fuss whenever she wore them. I don’t understand why she hates them so much, but I’m still a GREAT mother.

I babywear my child not out of close’ness or attachment, but out of necessity to be able to get things done. I’m not afraid to admit that. I’m still a GREAT mother.

I formula fed Emma because she refused to breastfeed and pumping made me into a mom that I didn’t want to be. I’m still a GREAT mother.

We don’t co-sleep, because I need to have my own space at night in order to be a GREAT mother.

We are on a delayed vaccination schedule, but my kids get all vaccinations recommended by their pediatrician. I’m still a GREAT mother.

We don’t always eat at the table. Emma eats candy. I give her a little soda here and there. I let her watch too much tv. I buy her way too many toys.

But I am a GREAT mother.

Because I love my children. And throughout our day, I do what is best for them. I make decisions based on their needs and well-being, not my selfish desires.

And so do most of you.

So instead of having your bio read something like this …

babywearing, cloth diapering, extended rear-facing, delayed/selective/non-vaccinating, breastfeeding, non-chemical using, only healthy food feeding, co-sleeping, ec’ing, breastfeeding, non-yelling, perfect mother

… how about we all have something more like this?

loving, caring, taxi driving, homework helping, boo-boo kissing, tear wiping, bottom cleaning, swing pushing, shoe tying, pants buttoning, lunch making, hair brushing, soccer shorts washing, hand holding, back patting, lap snuggling, teeth flossing, burden bearing, worrying, life dropping, crazy awesome mother

We are all women (or men) who have given up a part of ourselves to be mothers (or fathers). We do our best to take care of our children and meet all of their needs. And at the end of the day, we tuck our kids into their beds … or our bed [heh] … and we tell them that we love them. And we mean it.

And that is really all that matters.

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169 Comment

  1. Bo says:

    Very well said and lovely. You are a GREAT mom and I am so proud of you as a daughter, mother, wife and my friend. NOW GO TO BED AND GET SOME SLEEP! Love you.

    1. keli says:

      I love you, too, mom. You did an amazing job.

  2. Tristina says:

    Yes. This.

    Good god I love you so hard. I was thinking of writing about this, too. It’s so frustrating to see all the needless lashing out when what we really need is support, love, commiseration and high fives.

    Parenting is hard enough without people sniffing snottily at you all the time.

    1. keli says:

      Love you, too. [guess what brought this on? lol]

  3. Ash says:

    Yes. To all of that :)

    Hope you feel as good about getting that off your chest as I feel about reading it. I’m with you. I often wonder how some moms would deal with real problems – like deciding which child gets to eat today, not whether or not it will be organic.

    1. keli says:

      it did feel good. very very good. i love the genuine mothers and friends i have found on twitter … it’s the judgmental moms that make me want to crawl into a hole. i just wish we could all support each other for our decisions.

  4. Melissa says:

    Amen Sister!

    You, We, are GREAT mothers!

    1. keli says:

      yes WE are!!! XO

  5. Megan says:

    Holla. Amen. Boom.

    1. keli says:

      xo

  6. Biscuit says:

    AMEN!

    1. keli says:

      thank you, xo

  7. Rebekah C says:

    *applause* Well said and thank you.

    1. keli says:

      thank you for your comment, rebekah.

  8. tehamy says:

    Wonderfully stated! As a mom I have a hard enough time not putting too much pressure on myself or feeling guilty about things (stoping bf’ing at 3 months with X, staying home with X longer than I did with J). I don’t need (or want) others second guessing my choices. And I refuse to do that to other moms. Let’s applaud mom’s for all the hard work they do every day raising their babies and not try to cut someone down just because they aren’t doing something the way you would do it.

    1. keli says:

      no guilt, mama … NO GUILT! love ya. xo

  9. There are a LOT of people in this world who feel the need to put other people down. I used to be one, and then I started focusing on myself and leading the life I wanted to live….
    and suddenly… what they were doing over there in that house no longer concerned me.
    I have a hard time understanding people who don’t seem to be able to draw parallels between how they’re treating others and how they want to be treated. It’s not rocket science, and yet….

    There will be no shortage of these people in your life, regardless of how many posts you do like this one. The only thing that you can do is lead by example, surround yourself with a loving and supportive group of people (online) and opt out of the drama llama stuff. Which, really, is not so difficult to do when you think about how much (or little) these opinions and words truly matter.

    1. keli says:

      so very true, Lindsay. but if this post changes the way one person thinks and treats others, then it will be enough.

  10. for all the above listed reasons, I have come to dislike blogging and social media, more and more.
    It used to not be that way.
    So, well said.

    1. keli says:

      yes, THIS. when did it all turn into a competition full of passive-aggressive mud slinging?

  11. Whitney says:

    I have also been guilty at one point, I’m sure. I have also been judged about my parenting decisions, and it hurts. Thanks for this amazing post. I’ll be sure to share with others!

    1. keli says:

      I KNOW i have been guilty of doing it, and this was post was just as much FOR me as written BY me.

  12. Oh, but… I do have to say that I will never drop my one, most important judgment, and that is how people are feeding their children. Because we’re so far from our food now, so many people (PARENTS) consider food and nutrition as just “something we aren’t really aware of”. I don’t see that as an option. Nutrition is a right. And I don’t mean Kraft Dinner. ;)

    1. keli says:

      that is awesome. really. and while feeding kids junk food isn’t the “nutritionally best” way to feed them, at least kids are being fed. i read news stories about kids who are locked in cages and rarely fed. 13-year old boys who weigh 30 lbs. those kids would do anything for a Kraft Dinner. i try to look at the bigger picture rather than judge another mom for feeding her kid mac and cheese from a box.

  13. Mellisa says:

    Well put and thoughtful look at motherhood today.

    1. keli says:

      thank you, Mellisa. i think the anonymity of computer screens makes moms feel like they can put down other moms who are doing the best for their kids, and i am over it.

  14. Alyssa says:

    You. Are. Awesome.

    I beat myself up over little things, like letting H watch SpongeBob or considering putting B in his own bed. And I have questioned other moms about forward-facing too early or letting their baby cio. But you’re so right… It doesn’t matter exactly how kids are raised as long as they are loved and cared for. Your girls are so blessed.

    Every time I read your blog posts, I think ‘I really needed to read that today’.

    1. keli says:

      oh Alyssa, you are such a great mom. you have practically worn a hole in your yoga ball bouncing B to sleep because that is what YOU feel best doing. it’s not easy … i know. you rock. don’t ever beat yourself up over anything you have chosen.

  15. Amanda says:

    Beautifully written by one awesome mommy!

    1. keli says:

      thanks Amanda … right back at you, awesome mommy! xo

  16. Bravo! You basically said everything that has been floating in my mind for weeks if not months now. Love this post.

    1. keli says:

      thank you for commenting, Allison. i’ve been thinking about this ever since i started feeding my oldest formula … i started seeing … REALLY SEEING … the things that were being said out there, and it confused me. we are all mothers! support and love is what we need … not verbal berating.

  17. Sarah W. says:

    I read your blog quite a lot, but don’t think I have ever commented.
    This post just said exactly what I’ve been thinking a lot about for quite some time.
    I’ve been on the end of judgement too many times and sadly, I’ve judged at times.
    And its not fair. We’re all just trying to take care of and love our children the best way we know how.
    All we want is the best for them.
    Thank you for feeling you needed to write this before getting to sleep. It’s something all moms need to hear/read.

    1. keli says:

      thank you for de-lurking, Sarah!!! HI! :)

      i think that judging comes naturally to women. i know i judge random people for what they are wearing or driving :( but mothers making snide comments about other mothers who are just trying to take care of their kids has got to stop.

  18. Lauren says:

    Love this.

    Being a good parent is the sum of many decisions we make in the best interest of our children. It’s not about being dogmatic…it’s not about being perfect. It’s about doing our best to give them a good life while also balancing the many other needs in our worlds (including the need to be sane ourselves!)

  19. Erika says:

    Amen, Sister! I don’t even have kids yet and the back and forth slander and snide comments between moms, especially on blogs and twitter, makes me want to barf.

  20. heidi says:

    I liked the siggy part…so true. :)

  21. Heather says:

    Well said!!

    And well timed for me as I stopped reading a persons blog a few weeks back for just that reason. I greatly respected that woman as a mom, but her attitude of “my way is the only right way” was so very off putting. I did (do) a lot of the things this mom advocated- bf’ing, baby wearing, etc- but I know a lot of moms who don’t. A lot of mom’s who can’t even if they wanted to. That doesn’t make them bad mothers- it makes them moms who did exactly what was right for them and their kids. Period. These moms love their kids just as fiercely as I love mine- there is no right or wrong as long as you have a happy, healthy family.

  22. Having raised my babies years ago (the youngest turns 18 on Saturday!) it saddens and amazes me at the competitiveness in women these days! And the sad thing is, instead of bickering about who is doing the *best* job of mothering, inside we all just want someone to affirm that we *are* good mothers. I just finihsed reading a book written by a friend of mine (did a review, I’ll link below) and even though it is more about finding what works for you as a working mother (however that ends up being defined) it really does address alot of these same issues. We have to do what is right for OUR family, for OUR children, and for OURSELVES.
    I write about living a balanced life, about taking care of yourself so you don’t burn out so you can be the best parent, wife, employee, etc. that YOU can be.
    This is an awesome post! Absolutely a thumbs up!
    Bernice

  23. AMEN!!! Well said.

  24. Erica says:

    Thanks for this post. Wish it would help. I keep finding that the most educated mamas tend to be the worst at this. And have the least patience for anyone that does it differently. And seems to equate that difference with someone being less informed.

    And where you say things like: ‘she eats off a spoon because of such and such reason…’ you should feel ok saying ‘she eats off a spoon BECAUSE THAT’S THE DECISION I MADE’

  25. Julie says:

    As a non-mom who finds the mommy wars so off putting I wonder if I even want kids, I thank you for this!

  26. Amazing post. Thank you so much for sharing! This needs to be put on a billboard for all moms to read!

  27. charmaine says:

    Beautifully put!!!!

  28. Keli, wow, where do I begin?! I LOVE ALL OF THIS, especially the bio part….that is kind of off-putting to me when people throw in your face what they are doing “right” and what you’re doing “wrong.” Botton line: we’re all doing the best we can for our very different children who need very different things. Thank you thank you thank you.

  29. Justine says:

    Indeed! And well said. I wrote a post akin to this on Monday (http://www.herewhereihavelanded.com/2011/04/label-belongs-on-can-not-parent.html) and I feel strongly, just as you do, about the whole “certain way” of parenting our child. It’s ridiculous. And we have to stop because if we can’t support each other as mothers, our kids will never know the kind of love and faith that comes from being raised in a community of mutual respect and harmony.

  30. Excellent post – you ARE a great mother!

  31. giozi says:

    Yes. you right, sometime I ask to my self if I’m doing well. But I’m here to my children and everyday I tell them that I love them.

  32. giozi says:

    Yes. you right, sometime I ask to my self if I’m doing well. But I’m here to my children and everyday I tell them that I love them.

  33. Deb says:

    Yes, Keli! Yes, yes, yes! I’ve had these same thoughts for years. It’s not the food or the clothes or the free-range organic-toasted natural-wood toys that make a parent great. Loving your children and doing the best you know how to do.

    I stopped reading parenting boards, magazines, and most blogs because I’d had enough of the “my way is beter than your way” crap.

    As long as our kids are happy and they know we love them (yes, even when we *gasp* spank them), no other opinion matters.

    You ARE a great mom, Keli. So am I.
    We’re awesome like that.

  34. You. Are. Awesome. Last night’s commenting frenzy in defense of Sarah was so… upsetting? I loved how everyone came to her defense, but I hated that it was even needed. And on her own blog. Geesh.

    I have really appreciated wisdom and encouragement from moms like you (and the other real housewives of Twitter :) ) – you have made being a first-time mom so much less daunting. I feel supported rather than judged. Thank you for that.

    1. keli says:

      I agree. I felt like I needed to defend Sarah, because I am a mama bear when it comes to people attacking my friends. but at the same time, it was hard. I don’t like attacking back, but … well, I just couldn’t sit there and say nothing.

      i would say that the friends that I have made on Twitter have helped me more than anyone outside of my family. i probably wouldn’t have powered on to continue breastfeeding my reflux’y dairy allergy baby. but it was the people who said, “we support you no matter what you decide,” that helped me make the decision I made. the support.

      you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

  35. I did (and still DO) every single thing you can possibly do wrong…
    and I am a GREAT mother.
    This was great!

    1. Casey says:

      Oh me too! Great post, Keli!

      1. keli says:

        you rock, too. NO WRONGS!! only good loving. xo

    2. keli says:

      pfffft, you ROCK. no “wrong” things when you love your kiddo as much as you love Kaish.

  36. There cheers for moms everywhere who love their kids and are doing their best to provide a good life for them! More understanding and less judging. Supplementing…you should see the looks people gave me when they heard that one of my twins was breastfed and the other had formula, I know their were people thinking that I loved the breastfed child more. In reality I was trying to provide the best possible health for both of them (one of them wouldn’t gain any weight bf). Like you I had to give up dairy for my refluxy, bf boy….longest 8 months ever.

    1. keli says:

      hip, hip, hooray!!!! you did it, momma!!

  37. Kaycee says:

    A.M.E.N. Absolutely.

    1. keli says:

      thank you :)

  38. Cameron says:

    I love every dang little thing about this. All of this has been brewing and percolating in my head for some time now, and it makes me worry… what am I getting myself into? How sad and pathetic is it that instead of worrying about labor, the health of my baby, the sleeplessness of having a newborn, etc, I’m worried about MOMMY WARS? I’m worried about (and already sick and tired of) everyone publicly judging me (I mean, maybe they judged me before but for some reason being pregnant or having kids makes people feel they can publicly call you out? why?) . YES, dammit, I’m eating corn-dogs and Eggo waffles while I’m pregnant, even though I would never eat them in normal life. I’m TIRED, I couldn’t whip up from-scratch waffles like I normally would even if I wanted to, which I don’t. And cravings? Someone mentioned corn dogs and there I am in the grocery store freezer aisle at 8 pm, trying to find corn dogs amongst the frozen processed foods which I NEVER look at or buy normally. I’m not killing my baby by eating a damn corn dog. And I’m not “taking on too much” because I’m planning to try cloth diapering, and I’m not “wishy-washy and unable to make a decision” for keeping my mind open about the zillions of possibilities of things that could happen during my pregnancy and after the baby arrives. OY VEY.

    Thank you so much for posting this and for being EXACTLY the kind of friend I want and will need so desperately come October. :) xoxoxo

    1. keli says:

      oh Cameron, you are going to be such a great mother. i mean, you already are a mother, but you are going to shine when your sweet baby arrives. i cannot WAIT to be there with you in October.

      although, Emma LOVES corn dogs, so i hope you will still be my friend! ;)

  39. Christine says:

    How much more could we accomplish if we worked together instead of attacking one another?
    You stated it all so beautifully, while still pointing out that Mommy Wars are RIDICULOUS!

    1. keli says:

      so very very true. maybe we should all take a step back and spend more time with our kids rather than argue about what is right or wrong or perfect. they are SO ridiculous!

  40. Elly says:

    Love this post hey. Good on you for reminding us all that what works best for us may not work best for someone else, and thats actually fine. It doesn’t make you a bad mother at all :)

    1. keli says:

      thank you, Elly :)

  41. Katie P says:

    *stands up and applauds*
    :-)

    1. keli says:

      love you, miss you. thank you, sweet friend. XO

  42. Stacey says:

    THANK YOU.

    Can I print this out and hand it out to everyone who criticized every.little.thing I did with/for my daughter?

    1. keli says:

      sure … if you really want to! ;)

  43. Anna says:

    This is my first time ever posting. I’ve been a long time lurker but this post has made me want to comment!

    I LOVE this post. I feel like so many moms are attacked mostly by other moms. We need to support each other and our decisions. Every family is different, what works for you might not work for me. I really appreciate you standing up for those who are being attacked.

    Thank you so much for this post.

    1. keli says:

      oh, thank you for de-lurking and posting, Anna. I’m looking forward to hearing more from you! :)

      I don’t know why the attacking has become so prevalent … anonymity? not having to meet the person face to face? I just wish people would think before they type … think about the person on the other side of the computer screen.

  44. ekwetzel says:

    Amen!!! ;) I COMPLETELY agree! And I wish mothers from all “disciplines” would be less judgmental & more supportive. ;D I judge them for being cliquish & narrow-minded.

    1. keli says:

      LOL, you are so funny, Erin!

  45. Kirsten says:

    I’m just going to say “Amen, sister!”

    1. keli says:

      right on! ;)

  46. Linda says:

    Right on! Very well said, Keli. I’m a mother & grandmother that has heard it all.

    1. keli says:

      thank you so much!

  47. erika says:

    Well said. I wish more bloggers would come to this realization or at least share. I came to it after I had my second. When I realized that my parenting had little to do with C’s outcome, because the same things weren’t working on B. I parent the best way I know how & it works for my kids, my family, & myself.

    1. keli says:

      oh, E … you are one of those moms that I truly admire. you are such a relaxed, caring, fun mom, and it is so obvious that you do what is best for your boys 100% of the time. you love SO hard, and i absolutely adore that about you.

  48. Melissa says:

    thanks kelli. you said it for a millions of us.

    1. keli says:

      thank you, Melissa :)

  49. Tanya says:

    Amen sister! :) thank you for writing this!

    1. keli says:

      thank you for the support, Tanya :)

  50. Melissa says:

    well said Keli, thank you for your insight – this issue seems to be getting out of hand these days ((sigh))

    1. keli says:

      I agree … I don’t know when it became acceptable to attack other mothers, but it definitely need to stop.

  51. Young Mom says:

    Yes! I could not agree more. I have felt guilty over the stupidest stuff, and still struggle with it today. I will never be a perfect mom (no one is) but I love and care for my kids, and I’m not afraid to change when I realize that I’m wrong. What’s right for me doesn’t have to be right for everyone else. Like you said, not feeding or clothing or nurturing your kids is wrong. A lot of the rest is just preference.
    http://ayoungmomsmusings.blogspot.com/2011/03/not-perfect-but-i-hope-beautiful-anyway.html

    1. keli says:

      “what’s right for me doesn’t have to be right for everyone else” – so very true.

  52. Natalie says:

    Thanks for writing this! :) You are a great mom! :)

    1. keli says:

      thank you for commenting, Natalie :)

  53. Hillary says:

    What? Have you been hanging out on DS lately?! I had to quit that nasty place because no one can seem to understand that no one is setting out to HARM their children. We are all making the best choices we know how to make as mothers. OUT OF LOVE.
    thanks Kelli!

    1. keli says:

      oh my goodness, I haven’t been on DS in YEARS for that very reason.

  54. alexandra says:

    tell me about “delayed vaccinations”. i’m not a mother but i’m an educator. i’m curious.

    1. keli says:

      we just spread them out so that they don’t get 4 at a time. she still gets all of her vaccinations – just not all at once.

  55. AngieK says:

    Amen, sister. Well said!

    1. keli says:

      thanks, Angie!

  56. Keep your head up mama! oxox

    1. keli says:

      oh, my head is UP! very very up. I am fully out of the clouds of “perfect mother land.” :)

  57. Mendie says:

    Thank you for sharing this, it makes this soon to be first time mother feel better. With all of the choices out there in regards to parenting: love, respect and compassion for our little ones are the most important. It’s trial and error for what works best for each Mom and baby…I am glad to have so many options from which to choose.

    I’m glad you shared your heart on this one.

    1. keli says:

      thank you for the comment, Mendie. there ARE so many choices out there, and being told that you picked the wrong one is just not healthy. or supportive.

  58. Jenn says:

    Thank you for writing this. You have said everything that I have felt over the last few months. No matter how hard we try to be the perfect mother it isn’t possible. If our parenting styles were meant to all be identical there wouldn’t be so many variations in the personalities of our children.

    I supplemented my breastfeeding with formula to give my preemie the extra nutrition she needed, and I used disposable diapers definitely more than even I had intended because I admit it was easier. I gave her non organic baby food in a jar, and table fed her when she showed interest, not by some “experts” opinion. We co-sleep because both my husband and I love having her close at night. She has screamed for hours on end in her crib since 3 months old, and it was MY choice to co-sleep, not something to be decided by every other mom out there. I don’t care what others think because very healthy and happy child.

    Her car seat is forward facing, not because I wanted to turn her around at a year, but because my 260lb husband couldn’t physically crawl in the tiny backseat of our 2 door Blazer to buckle her into a rear facing. Boy have I taken flack for that from the many of the mom communities. I had mothers rant that I should buy a new car because my child’s safety was more important than the fact that my husband was laid off work in September and we can’t afford another car payment.

    The mommy wars, the attitudes, and the accusations…it’s all why I’ve chosen to leave most of the mommy communities I was so happy to join when my daughter was born. As a new mom I so looked forward to bonding with other new moms, receiving POSITIVE feedback, and having a community where I could vent about joys, my fears and frustrations with motherhood. It didn’t take long to realize most of the communities were full of women who were too quick to judge others, looked down upon those who didn’t share the exact same parenting style, and who called too many others bad moms for those reasons.

    My daughter is healthy, happy, well fed, snuggles with me at night, plays in the mud, eats candy occasionally, has had her fair share of sweet tea, has so many toys she’s taken over the house, and I’m definitely a great mom!

    1. keli says:

      thank you for your honesty, Jenn :) I have bonded with so many amazing mothers who have NOT been judgmental. they are out there. :)

  59. Becca says:

    I love this post my friend! :-) and you are a GREAT mother :-)

    1. keli says:

      as are YOU, becca. XO

  60. Shell says:

    LOVE this. We’re all just doing the best we can. As long as we are taking care of our kids, it really isn’t anyone else’s place to judge!

    1. keli says:

      AMEN!

  61. I totally get this. And sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we feel guilt for the “choices” we makes as moms. And sometimes, they aren’t so much choices as they are just doing what we need to do in whatever situation we are in. And we can feel this guilt all by ourselves, without anyone elses’ help. Supporting each other in all of our situations would be so much better than judgement.

    I am at the point in my parenting, with a teenager, an almost teen, and a kindergartener, that a lot of this mommy-way crapola has gotten easy to ignore because I have already done it. And I did my best. And I continue to feel my way through this parenting thing the best I can. And sometimes I mess up. And sometimes “good-enough” has to do. And sometimes I feel guilty because I work and can’t be at every school event or volunteer in my child’s classroom. And sometimes my evenings are a whirlwind of driving from here to there and dinner is lucky if is a non-organic, nitrate full, hot dog and nachos from the concession stand at the baseball field. And, it is good enough. Because I am doing my best. As are almost every single parent that is out there, in whatever situation they are in.

    Thank you for this.

    1. keli says:

      it is definitely all about perspective … the older I get and the more children I have, the more willing I am to let go of the guilt and be happy with the choices that I’ve made. doing our best is all that really matters!

  62. Elaine says:

    Keli. You nailed it. I too am SO WORN OUT by all the judging and ridicule and “you should really be doing it my way”s… I’m SO over it. I loved your comment on the post that inspired you to write this.

    Something that is interesting in my life right now is that I’ve become friends with a group of ladies in town (2 who I consider GOOD friends) that are all “au naturale” people. I do not judge the way they do things while raising their kids but I feel like they are judging me ALL THE TIME and it makes me sad. Just like you said, as long as we have our children’s well being in mind we ARE GOOD parents/mothers. I just SO wish all the judging would just STOP. Ugh.

    1. keli says:

      Agree times a thousand, Elaine.

  63. vanessa says:

    I love you for this Keli.
    you are awesome and you are soooo right on here.
    I feel guilty enough on my own, I don’t need anyone to help me with that.
    I have stopeed following the blogs that make me feel guilty as a mom, added those that make me inspired to be a mom and adjusted as needed.

    1. keli says:

      i love you, too, Vanessa! xo

  64. Courtney says:

    oh you are that kind of mom, i just cant read your blog anymore

    KIDDING!!!! I love you for this because even though I love you already this made me feel like I was normal for my little rants on my blog. We are all too judgemental over stupid stupid things. We worry about too many thing instead of just enjoying the moment right here right now!

    1. keli says:

      enoying the moment right here right now … yes!! I love that!

  65. Amen. And a big high five!

    1. keli says:

      *mwah!*

  66. Lillian says:

    A-MEN! Especially love, “There are parents who love their kids and take care of their kids and there are parents who don’t.” I couldn’t agree more. There are too many important things to do in a day and in the world(like loving our kids!) to waste time judging other people doing their best to take care of their kids!

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I SO wish I lived closer to you so that we could hang out for realz;)

    1. keli says:

      too busy loving our kids to waste time judging … yes!! that is so good!

      and I wish that so so much, too. XO

  67. Amy Hemmer says:

    Love you, GREAT mama

    1. keli says:

      right back at ya – XOXO

  68. Angela W. says:

    You’re amazing and your posts are inspiring. You’re girls are so lucky to have you as their “crazy awesome mother.” :)

  69. Myla says:

    Fantastically stated by a wonderful mama ?

  70. Melissa says:

    well. said. it’s crazy how judgmental moms can become!! and oh my gosh the pic at the end… LOVE.

  71. Love how you pointed out those ANNOYING twitter bios.

  72. Erin says:

    I love you.

    Also, I hope my Twitter bio isn’t obnoxious because I totally brag about having my baby on the stairs.;)

  73. AMEN!!! Well said!

  74. Von says:

    The best advice someone ever gave me when I was a new Mommy, and struggling about doing everything the “right” way…”No one has ever had your child, and no one ever will. You do what is best for her, and everything will be okay!”

    It has been almost 7 years since I got that advice, and it still is something I think of daily.

    We are all doing our very best!!

    Loved this post. Thank you!!!!

  75. Erica says:

    You seriously rock my socks Keli <3

  76. Tina says:

    :clap clap clap:

    Thank you for posting this. Yes you are a great mom Kel, and so many of us are just pushing forward every day doing our best! I so wish woman were so much more supportive of one another rather than bringing each other down. Well said.

    Love you hon!

    1. Tina says:

      should be “women.” lol!

  77. Donna Mac says:

    I don’t know you but I love you!!!!! I am so tired of reading comments from mom’s that make me feel bad about myself. I know it is not there intention, at least that is what they believe, but it feels like they are there to personally attack all mom’s who do it “wrong”. I know that if I had known more at the time I would have absolutely done things different but I also know that as a mother of twins that it is even more difficult to accomplish the goals of breastfeeding and baby wearing. And I did try breastfeeding my older daughter, and failed, which is a very sore subject for me so it is even that much more difficult when people criticize those who don’t do it…
    Anyway, enough of my rambling but one of my favorite personal thoughts is, I don’t need anyone else to make me feel bad, I can do that just fine on my own! Mommy-guilt is terrible!
    I praise all those moms out there who are doing their best….I do believe that people do the best they can with what they have…..

  78. Jill says:

    Oh my . . . if I could kiss you right now, I would. As a mom of 20-year-olds (in a week, that is), I’ve seen all the trends come and go. I got the poo-poos from people who found out I was breast-feeding my daughters because they wouldn’t thrive. I got the same poo-poos from people who found out that I was beginning to introduce solids at four months. The same goes for: letting the cry themselves to sleep at six weeks, not using a baby gate, allowing them to snack on Cheerios right before dinner. The judging and the commenting doesn’t cease when they are older, but then people choose to weigh in on: being frank and open with them about sex, being equally frank and open about drugs and alcohol, not really caring what words came out of my mouth or theirs, keeping a Net Nanny on the computer well past the age when it should have been, and being totally and 100% prepared to not be the most important person in their lives for pretty much the rest of their lives. And you know what? They are successful, they are lovely, they are gracious, they are proud, they are intelligent, they are beautiful. And one day . . . they will make pretty f-ing awesome mothers because they had one to show them the ropes. Thank you for pointing out that we are all – every single mother – on the same side: our children’s.

  79. Melissa says:

    You know how they give you a hundred things to read and sign when you have a baby at the hospital? They need to include THIS on that list! Required reading for all moms, no matter if it’s a first baby or a tenth baby. Then sign a “I Will Love My Fellow Moms” pledge. lol

    There are no awards for setting yourself up so high that you’re looking down on others. Most of us are trying to be a great mom for our own kids in whatever ways they need us to be. And sometimes we’re just trying to get through a not-so-great day.

    Thanks for standing up and saying what needed to be said. :) You rock.

  80. Angie says:

    You are a GREAT mother! I believe most of us are, it’s a shame not everyone sees it that way.

  81. Jess says:

    We are all great mothers because we all want what’s best for our children. :) That’s why all those silly wars start anyway! Debating about what is “the best”.

  82. Allison says:

    You ROCK! Thank you for writing this. I’d like to say I didn’t need the reminder.. but sometimes I get caught in the whole weird critical things that us moms seem to have going on. You ARE a great mom!

  83. kelly says:

    amen keli!!! what a fantastic post…you rock!

  84. Hear hear!
    P.S. You’re awesome. I love that you got up specifically to write such an impassioned post! Also – my hubby and I are talking about trying to get pregnant sometime this year. So I totally appreciate the fair warning of what I’m in for and the encouragement for doing things in the way that works best for us! Because yeah, no baby in the belly but the advice is already coming. :)

  85. Debra says:

    So true. Well said.

  86. Oh my freakin’ goodness I loved this post.
    PREACH.IT.

    (and thanks.)

  87. Great post! You are a GREAT MOM. And so am I because I’m doing my very best and my children are happy and healthy. I’m tired of that subtle “not good enough” feeling spread by “those moms” who appear perfect. But I’m betting that even the cloth-diapering, breastfeeding, rear-facing carseat, organic baby food making (with ingredients from their own garden), knitting (with organic cotton from the organically fed sheep in their own backyard), baby massaging, co-sleeping, craft-making moms out there are feeling insecure about some aspect of their parenting as well. Otherwise they woudn’t feel the need to make the rest of us feel bad!

  88. kristin says:

    Yay Keli!
    I hope you were able to sleep well after getting all that out and down in type!
    Very well said. I especially love the bio suggestion!

  89. Sandra says:

    Amen.
    And Amen!

    Thank you Keli for posting this one…so many mothers need this. You are such a wonderful mom! xoxo

  90. Donna Mac says:

    I just wanted you to know that I posted a link to your blog on my last post. I thought what you wrote was wonderful and wanted to share it with my readers. I do believe that your words will inspire other moms to feel better about their choices and decisions on how to best raise their own children.
    Thank you again,
    Donna Mac

  91. Olivia says:

    Brava! I have been judgmental towards other parents in the past, but when I catch myself doing it now I stop myself and remember we all want the same goal of happy and healthy children, we just go about it differently.

  92. Monique says:

    Thank you for this. It made me laugh and cry in the same paragraph! Long before I became a mother I would judge others and the way they cared for their children but now a mother of two I have made a vow to never judge another parent ever again.

  93. Sarah says:

    Thanks for this. And for rising to my defense. Love you loooooong time.

  94. […] Tons of mamas rallied to my support -notably Jamie and Keli (go read both of these well penned posts). What can I say about these two? I love them. […]

  95. Shit, Keli. This is awesome. YOU are awesome.

  96. Catherine says:

    Amen to that! Thank you for sharing your feelings. They are so honest and true and that’s why I love your blog!

  97. Kristen says:

    I love your blog so much Keli, preach on sista!!

    I was actually super judge-y before I became a mother. . .it took actually taking care of my baby that I realized how freaking hard it is to be a parent and you just need to do what you have to do to take care of them and be a good mommy.

  98. Erin Tierney says:

    Keli. I loved this blog so much! This is everything I am feeling. I have three children (4,2, and 11 mo)and it is so hard sometimes to even just make it through the day much less worry about this crap that goes on. SOmetimes I feel like I am back in high school. Blogs like yours make me feel assured again and make me renew the vow not to care what these judgemental women think because I know the way I am doing things is comfortable for my family!
    Thanks again for a wonderfully written post!

  99. Leigh says:

    *high five*

  100. Regina says:

    This was wonderful! Thanks so much! As a mom of 2 adopted boys, many of those things are not possible yet we were still judged! It was even worse before we had kids! All the judgements of why we weren’t parents yet!
    Keep up the good work and I will close with a phrase from my 90 year old grandma …
    “Sweep off your own porch first” Ruby Valentine Saunders Musgrave

  101. meg says:

    My intention is to make decisions for my children and for my family that make us happy, healthy and strong. And that is that :) And I try not to judge. Everyone is different which means everyone’s decisions will be different than mine, though some will overlap.

    Sometimes I forget this, and sometimes it brings me down. So thanks for reminding me that I’m a great mother too :) xox

  102. Pam says:

    AMEN!!!! Beautifully written Mama!!

  103. I LOVE THIS!!! Playgroupie sent me and I’m SO GLAD I came over. You are so right on every.single.point. This totally got you added to my reader, and I’m sharing with everyone I know. I’m your newest, biggest fan.

  104. Steph says:

    OMG, I needed this….you have no idea. Headless Mom (above) sent this to me…I read whatever she sends me when it comes to blogs because she KNOWS great info when she sees it. YOU ROCK! Thank you so much…I am your newest, biggest fan TWO. LOL

    My sweet daughter (19, lives with us, works full time and goes to college) who I had (before reading this article) decided I completely failed as her mother…informed me last night that she and a friend would be driving to Vegas in a couple months for a weekend “convention”….um ya. Now I’m sure I’ll be fine. I am a great mother. I did the very best I could. And I’m proud of what we (as parents) and she (as a young lady) have accomplished.

    Thanks so so so much!
    Steph
    http://www.spbystephtaylor.com

  105. Christie says:

    AMEN!

    I loved every word you wrote. Good mothers don’t get enough credit.

    I think that’s why I signed off twitter for a while.

    Oh, and thank you for reminding me that I’m a great mother. Because having a divorced family is another thing that can be so greatly used against a mom. And I refuse to believe any of it.

  106. Erin says:

    DUDE! look what i missed!

  107. Jessica says:

    Great post. This is my first time visiting and your blog is beautiful. Look forward to reading around…

  108. Rachael says:

    YES, YES, YES. Amen.

  109. Megan Elzey says:

    Keli, yes to this a million times. My heart skipped a beat when you gave the arbitrary profile of, “babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping yada yada…” because that used to be me. I used to think it allowed me to wear some sort of badge that said, “I am doing it right, and you, well, I don’t know about that.” It is so easy to get caught up in doing things the “natural” way and to become so judgmental of others who are not. I hurt the feelings of a few people who really mean a lot to me, without even realizing it, truly without meaning to. Then, a year ago my husband left me and the kids. I was forced to take a long, hard look at myself and realize that I really didn’t like what I saw. I lightened up a LOT, partly because I saw how ugly some of the parts were, partly because as a newly single mother of a newborn, a 2 year old and a 3 year old there were just some things that I had to let go of. I am much happier now that I don’t feel like I have to control everything around me. So freeing to just do things the way that is the best for my family, and to realize that for the most part that is what most others are doing as well. Of course, I should mention that my husband did come back home after being gone for two months. SO much growing and healing and GRACE has happened in the time since then, on both of our parts. Love this! And you put it perfectly.

  110. Suzy S :) says:

    As a new mama I needed to “hear” this. I believe it but certainly needed the reminder. I am a great mama because everyday I love my child. I am not perfect but I do try and do the best I can. Thank you for sharing from the heart.

  111. Julie says:

    LOVE this!!! What a wonderful post….. BIG HUGS :)

  112. Heather says:

    Well said! I am the mother of two kids (12 yo girl and 2 yo boy). I believe that every person parents in their own way. Outside of what is actually harmful to a child, there is no right or wrong way. I have friends who are “natural” fans and I have friends who have never seen a fresh fruit or vegetable. It is what it is. Parenthood is stressful enough at times. There are bigger things to worry about than whether someone is feeding their kids organic food or not. I do the best I can with what I have. Both my kids were bottle fed (with formula), they ate commercial baby food, and wore/wear disposable diapers. They’re both healhty and thriving and intelligent.

    It’s love and care that nurture and raise kids. If you’re doing that then you’re doing it right.

  113. Sarah says:

    Every parent needs to have this printed and on their fridge or bathroom mirror or anywhere that they can look at daily and feel affirmation for the choices they make or humbled when they feel like judging another’s choices.

  114. […] I’ve also found really good bloggers from reading one random post they’ve written, like Kelli. After reading that, I kept going back. Read it yourself and you’ll understand why. So the […]

  115. Shannon says:

    I am a mom of a child with a disability and a child without. I have struggled for years on ‘what did I do’ and ‘am I a bad mom’. This post put into words everything that I have wanted to say for years, but never quite sure how. Thank you do much! I am a GREAT mom!

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