School just started for us here in Flower Mound, Texas, and “yell-y mom” (as my kids like to refer to me this time of year) has returned. It was so nice over the summer when “yell-y mom” was dormant, but now she’s back yelling things like:
- It’s time to wake up!
- Why are you still in bed?!
- Why isn’t your lunch made?!
- Where’s your backpack?!
- Finish your homework!
- Have you showered yet?!
- Time for bed!
- Why aren’t you in bed?!
- GO TO BED!!!
(and so on!)
All because there just never seems to be enough hours in the day this time of year to get everything done that needs to get done.
Can you relate to this?
I thought we were doing pretty well the first week of school, until I looked down at my youngest child’s feet on the morning of day number three, and realized we were already in the car drop off line, and he had yet to put on his shoes and socks! “Yell-y mom” snapped him out of his daze (or was he maybe sleeping again in the car ride over to school?) and propelled him into action. He somehow pulled it off, and was fully dressed and ready for the school day when he exited my car moments later.
As I was waiting our turn and he was quickly putting on his socks and shoes, I remember looking at the teachers who were up early and outside helping with the drop off lane on that hot morning, wondering if they would judge me harshly for my barefoot student, or laugh with understanding because they had been there too?
Then, I looked at the little girl exiting the car in front of us, with her ironed dress, braided hair with a perfectly placed bow and shoes on her feet, and reminded myself that we were just having a bad morning, that tomorrow is another day and it would be much better for us. I’ve had to teach myself this positive internal dialogue over the years. As moms, we so often have very high standards for ourselves as well as our children, and when things don’t go the way we had planned, it can be very easy to fall into negative thinking patterns about our parenting skills.
I realized something about mom shaming here as well. If moms already have these high mothering standards set for themselves, when these standards are not being met, they may be feeling pretty badly about themselves. What mom shaming does is take a section of a mom’s life, a small piece of their parenting skills as a whole, and an outside person judges them for it, often harshly and out loud where other people can hear them. So, the person is ultimately kicking the mom when she is already down and feeling low.
Here’s the thing, as an outsider looking in, we can’t know the other mom’s circumstances and what’s really going on in their lives. When we’re not privy to this inside information, we must trust the choices and decisions they are making for their own kids, as they are theirs to make and not ours (minus any forms of child abuse, of course).