With the weekend news about the infant Tylenol recall, I went looking for more homeopathic remedies. I did so on Facebook fan pages and with my old friend, Dr. Google. Big mistake. Now, I guess some people would consider me a crunchy hippie mom. Others would probably think of me as mainstream. I don’t know. I never thought about it long enough to give myself a label. I’m just trying to do my best. But some of the comments, some of the attitudes I see in my research, it’s just so upsetting. So hurtful and judgmental; so angry at “mainstream moms.”
Reading some of the comments, I was really beating myself up for using a commercial painkiller to help Maggie’s teething. I actually was tearing up, I was so upset. I don’t know what I don’t know until I look, and some of these women would make you feel terrible for even asking why they think some action is wrong. I got good tips from a very sweet, non-judgmental friend, but it bugged me terribly.
I’m just exhausted. Truly, bone exhausted. I’m tired in my soul. It was too much to read; thinking that so many would hate me for using commercial products without questioning them. Like I said, I don’t know what I don’t know and it’s just me here until Tom gets home. Was I wrong for wanting something to be simple right now when right now is so hard?
It was breaking me up, these mothers and their opinions, until (if I may paraphrase Good Will Hunting) something occurred to me, I fell into a deep sleep, and I didn’t think about it again until I sat down to write this.
They don’t want us to change.
Now, for all the high-minded talk about changing attitudes–wishing more moms would wear their babies, serve organic food, question authority, whatever–it isn’t true. Take babywearing, for example. If everyone wore their babies, it would be awesome for the kids. But who would ask these mothers for their opinions? Who would ask them for advice? No one. They wouldn’t be able to look upon mothers with strollers and say “My choice is better.” Not all mothers do this. Not even most. But enough do.
It seems to me that these women have no identity outside of their motherhood. Their kids are all-encompassing. They consider themselves superior, and their superiority is their shield. They are in love with “being right,” “doing right,” and if everyone did what they did, how could they be superior to other moms? They couldn’t. They love their elitism as much as they love to tear down others. The worst thing in the world for them would be if we all acted as they would like, because then they could no longer believe that they weren’t just like everyone else. They would become the mainstream. And to them, that’s worse than seeing a “mainstream mom” in action.
I’m doing my best. Most moms are. But my best isn’t someone else’s best. That’s okay. I only have to answer to Maggie.
And she’s awesome.