In my humble opinion being a parent these days is tough enough without the judgement of other overbearing and opinionated alpha mommies raining down upon you. You hear it everywhere from toys that are "inappropriate" for your young daughter to play with, to clothing trends that they say are "too young" to be sporting or treats that are "too sugary" for them to consume. It's about moderation...and what is great for one family may not work so well for another. My two cents - if you have gone through the hardship of birthing and raising your child then it's your call what you deem as ok or appropriate for your own child to eat/wear/play with/watch on tv/etc. Now keep in mind I did say in moderation. I'm not advocating letting your 5 year old eat nothing but Cheetos for 3 meals a day or sitting your 3 year old down in front of an R rated movie, so save me your negative commentary....but those things should clearly go without saying. What I am saying is we should perhaps relax a little, take a breathe and let our kids be kids while they have the chance.
You are probably an uptight Mom if you have found yourself saying one of the following things to the Mom of someone elses child -
1. "I would never allow my child to play with a Bratz doll. How absolutely scandalous. The message those things are sending our young children is appalling." Are. You. Serious? First off..it's a DOLL!! So they are sometimes outfitted in a mini skirt...big freaking deal. Do you cover your childs eyes every time you go to the mall?? Probably not. I can tell you this much - playing with a fashionably dressed doll, no matter how it is dressed, is not forging life changing opinions in your daughters eyes that she should suddenly give up her Gymboree and start shopping at Hookers'R'Us. Dolls and the clothes they come dressed up in are simply another TOY. Here's the thing - adults and children see the world very differently. Most 6 year olds do not understand what the word "sexualized" means nor do they view their playthings in that matter. Unless you can stop the stores from selling the things, stop the commercials from airing on television, stop your childs friends from playing with the "offensive" dolls themselves, your child is being exposed to the mini skirt wearing hussie doll either way. Whether your child plays with a Bratz doll or not once she hits her teen years the world of mtv, celebrity mags and the internet will be playing a role in her wardrobe choices whether you like it or not. Perhaps instead of focusing so much energy on taking away or discouraging playing with offensive dolls you could focus on encouraging healthy self confidence and pride in what makes your daughter uniquely beautiful.
2. "Skinny jeans for little girls?? Oh that's disgusting." This one never fails to make me laugh. For you judgmental haters of fashion let me ask you something?? What is the difference between a regular pair of little girls jeans and a pair of skinny jeans?? I'll tell you since you seem to be confused. Skinny jeans are tight around the calf and ankle. What is it about showing a little ankle that has these Moms all worked up?? Pardon me but I thought we were past the 1800's. Dress your kids however it makes you comfortable but leave me to dressing my own - thanks.
3. "Sugar is the worst thing you can feed your kids, just look at the studies!! My child is on a sugar-free, gluten-free, food-coloring free, dairy-free, fun-free diet." Well good for you. Whoopity-do!! Now this may come as a surprise but our family is a vegetarian household where we prepare all of our foods fresh, go organic whenever we can and have substituted all dairy milk for the almond and coconut variety. That's our choice to make. Never will you hear someone in our home push our beliefs onto someone elses family. How you feed your family is your business. While I love to share healthy eating tips and the odd educational article in no way am I trying to say you are doing your family wrong by feeding them whatever comes naturally for you. That being said - we love dessert. I'm the Mom that will let her kids have chocolate cake for breakfast on a special occasion and reward my kids for special behavior with a kinder egg or an ice cream cone. My kids get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Why not let them enjoy the sweet side of life??
4. "My child can't come over and play with your child because we do not allow our kids to watch television, play video games or use the computer." Whaaaaat?? That's just plain crazy talk. This is the year 2012!! 2012!! Our entire modern day society runs on technology. Just sit down for one minute and think of every aspect of our lives and our community that is centered around technology. What are you afraid of?? That your child will be entertained?? That they may learn something?? Listen here - 20 minutes of game play a day can exceptionally increase visual skills, sharpen your mind, improve eyesight, improve decision making skills and multitasking skills. It's true. Just google it. There are also countless games, websites and apps out there that are educational based. A child can learn about music, math, reading, art, history, science...you name it..all through gaming. Ever heard of parental controls?? Those things that allow you to control what your child can and cannot see on your home computer and television?? As a parent you are completely in control of what your child views at home. Concerned about a friends house?? Try speaking to the parent. Tv is not all bad. My kids have learned a great deal from watching television. Channels like Treehouse and Disney Junior keep shows light, educational and fun, captivating kids into learning or using their imagination without even realizing it. Try watching with your child if you're concerned about what they are taking in. And if tv is not really your thing and you can't be convinced...try not to judge those of us who like to tune in once in a while.
5. "You should really try homeschooling your child, it's the only way you really know what they are learning and it's a much more nurturing educational environment." "My child goes to a specialty school that has a really small teacher to student ratio, it costs $600 a month but really it's worth you taking up a second job for your child to have the experience." "I would never put my child in a public school, my goodness, the things that go on there nowadays I would have to be in the school every day pulling meetings with the principal." UGH!! UGH!! UGH!! Please keep your pretentious schooling opinions to yourself. Not all of us can afford to send our kids to a swanky private school. $600 is a LOT of money when you are a large family living off of one income. Homeschooling is wonderful but not an option for everybody. When it comes down to it we are all going to do the best we can for our children. Whether it's montessori, public, catholic, homeschooling, unschooling, private, french immersion, bible school, summer school.....blah, blah blah. You see how this can be overwhelming?? Your kids are not better than anyone elses kids because of the way you have chosen or can afford to school your children. Do you know what really matters?? The time we take to teach our children real values. Compassion. Empathy. Honesty. Commitment. Responsibility. Determination. Self worth. That pajama pants are not acceptable to wear in public. You know...the kinds of things that will help guide them through the rest of their lives.
Been the victim of an uptight Mommy?? No worries, just use the itmom no fail strategy for coping with people that suck. Dust your shoulders off, remember to be grateful that you get to design your own life and opinions, hold your head up high and have a glass of wine. Problem solved!!