Last year, when we were living in NYC, I was one of two class moms for my little man’s preschool class. In other words, I was one of the “from” addresses in your inbox nagging you to volunteer or bring in money for the latest school event or class gift.
This year, I’m one of the moms that sometimes needs to be nagged. And let me say on behalf of all parents who sometimes need an extra reminder, thank you for nagging me. And please stop apologizing for it.
While some involved moms apologize for nagging, others complain about parents’ lack of participation, lack of presence at the school, lack of interest in getting involved in school events. To those, I say, that, too, has got to stop.
As moms, most of us are feeling judged pretty much all the time, mostly by other women, and particularly by other moms. If we’re working out of the house, we’re feeling judged for not spending enough time with our kids. If we’re full-time at home with the kids, we’re feeling judged for not having a job/career of our own – or for giving up the one we had before.
We’re feeling judged about whether we breastfeed our babies, whether we allow our littles ones to watch videos, whether we only feed them organic, or allow them to have sugar. And now, when our children are in school, we are feeling judged about our level of involvement and participation in our child’s school events.
You name it, we’re probably feeling judged about it.
And who are these non-empathic mean girls that are being so harsh? They would be us. We are the ones doing the judging! And mostly of ourselves. Each time we criticize another mom for her apparent inability to balance everything – her relative incompetence at being a good mom – we are actually looking at a reflection of our own feelings about ourselves as mothers. And if we find ourselves snickering about some other mom maybe having too much time on her hands because she throws an elaborate birthday party or bakes all the Elmo cupcakes herself, maybe what we’re really feeling is guilt that we didn’t do enough for our own kid’s birthday bash.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I implore you to tell that inner critical mean girl to buzz off – that you’re perfectly ok with a sink full of dirty dishes because you took that time to play a full game of UNO with your kid – and that +4 Wild Card that he smacked down on you right as you thought you were about to win led to one of the most exuberant victory dances and wide-eyed smiles on that gorgeous little face.
You work tirelessly to be the best mom, wife, daughter, friend, sister, employee, boss, entrepreneur, playmate, chef, and housekeeper you can imagine. Your standards are high. Because you care. Even if you do have to be nagged sometimes to volunteer at school. Cut yourself a little slack, look in the mirror, and say out loud, “I’m a great mom.” Because you are.