I don't drink gin

16:11

This week's backlash from that Daily Mail article made my Instagram feed turn into a cacophony of outpourings of rage, support, love, repulsion and unity for mothers around the country. Granted, it created a media storm and a lot of entertainment, but I took one clear conclusion from all the drama: the majority of parents judge.

Teddy bear's picnic (+ one schnoodle)
When I became a mother 16 months ago, I was determined to never judge another parent for their choice of parenting. I strongly believed that all parents do what is right for their children, and for their family, and so I followed a select few 'celebrity' mothers on my social media accounts for daily doses of real parenting life and baby/child activity inspiration. I'm not going to argue, 16 months on I've been privy to some eyebrow raising parenting choices, but whilst it doesn't affect how I bring up more daughter, then I've always maintained a "good for you but it's not my taste" attitude. Unfortunately though, it's meant that at times, I'm not part of this modern parenting crowd. Firstly, I don't drink gin.

When Little R was born my mother said something to me that seemed so alien at the time that I thought I'd end up dying my hair blue before this happens. She said: You will end up losing friends because of how they choose to bring up their children. It's a fact of life, be prepared.

Never in a million years did I think this was true, but already I see that my mother was right. As you'll know from my previous post, I had terrible separation anxiety being away from my daughter. I now have good management strategies in place so that for the two days I do go to work, I'm no longer a quivering wreck and function relatively humanly. But this soon became a wedge between a few relationship where my friends would rant about their desire to get back to work, to be away from the children, to not have to parent for a few hours a day. I listened, attempting to sympathise as best I can, but inevitably with nothing in return for my situation, these supposedly 'fun' get-togethers left me feeling sad and low. I expected support not judgement in return.

I didn't want to go on nights out, I didn't want to go on elaborate trips away. I'd rather spend my time with my husband and my daughter, and if that means I'm no longer in the 'cool Mum clan' then so be it: it was time to make that awful choice: if a friend makes you feel wrong for your choices, are they really a friend you want to spend time with?

We all judge, it's human nature, I suppose a mechanism for figuring out the best way to survive. For me, that article yesterday made me evaluate whose posts I really want to spend my spare time reading, so I did hit that unfollow button a few times but that doesn't mean I judge those people as bad parents, they're just different so provide no value to my life. And as for a frozen fish finger, well, that's your prerogative, just don't judge me for turning the oven on.

Laura
x

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