Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mother Judger?

I was reading an essay on motherhood by a cute-as-can-be 22 year old mother of twin boys that are close in age to my little guys. The essay is about the love a mother feels for her children, and also about judging other mothers. Perhaps I have been exceptionally blessed, or at the very least exceptionally naive and/or blind to the thoughts and/or words and/or actions of others, but I have yet to feel judged for my choices as a mother.

Here are some facts that might garner some negative feedback:
  • Fact: I waited until age 30 to have kids
  • Fact: I gave birth via c-section without even TRYING for a vaginal delivery
  • Fact: I only breastfed my kids for 6 weeks
  • Fact: I work full time to support my family
  • Fact: I only took 6 weeks of maternity leave (when I could have taken 14 weeks)
  • Fact: I don't always lock my door
  • Fact: I let my kids lick rocks
  • Fact: I pay someone to clean my house rather than do it myself
  • Fact: Baby bedtime is often my favorite time of the day
  • Fact: My kids are probably cuter than your kids
  • Fact: Even though I can't love my kids with all of my time, I still manage to love them with all of my heart.
I worry that I haven't faced the working mom prejudice here in California that I might face in Utah. The author of the essay I mentioned above lives in Provo, the city that we hope to inhabit in just a few short months. But here's the thing; I don't want to live in a city of judgy mcjudgersons. Is everyone really all up in each other's grills about various life choices? Or is that young mom just making judgements based on a shorter journey in this big crazy world? I think I might have made similar judgements with a decade less experience.

So tell me, is Provo Judgement City, USA? Or can this remarried old working mom of twins catch a judgement-free break?


Piper said...

I think the world-view of a 22-year old in Provo will probably prove to be very different from the more mature citizens of the same area. You are working to support your family, B. Though there are others who do not take the same path (in the church, more common than not), that does not mean they are not the right choices for your family!

Given the opportunity, I would pay someone to clean my house. They can start ten years ago! Heaven knows it has not been in the greatest shape since my early child-bearing years. Baby bedtime is a sweet and loving ritual that leads to a quiet house where you can contemplate or otherwise zone out. Not always possible in the middle of chaos. My kids lick rocks every day of the week. Sometimes they also throw them after I turn my back from telling them not to.

Also: your last line: Fact: Even though I can't love my kids with all of my time, I still manage to love them with all of my heart. NOBODY can love their kids with all of their time. You still have to take time to be you. You still have to have time to "fill your bucket" so you can fill theirs. That does not mean you love them any less than Heavenly Father expects of you. Seriously.

Love you. Did not know you were contemplating another move. I wish these sick bugs would move out of our house so I could be healthy long enough to arrange a visit with you to meet your whirlwinds of joy! Maybe I should stop letting my kids lick rocks and that would be possible...

jennifer casady said...

Amen to what Piper said! Gosh, I even let my kids pick up food they've dropped on the floor & eat it...in fact sometimes I'll pick it up for them. Ideals are nice, but sometimes they come to pass, and other times, not. I have had the privilege of being your friend for over 20 years (whoa!) and I have always been impressed by your strength of character. I love that you don't feel judged or criticized by your less-than-perfect life...can I drink some of that Kool-aid? I may have the opportunity to be a stay at home mom, but I am obsessively critical of myself for not being a better one. Maybe feeling judged by others is a matter of perspective & personality. I feel judged all the time, but mostly because I'm insecure & I make stuff up in my head. Anyways, if anyone were to be critical of you, they would only have their own pride to blame, and they would potentially miss out on all the wonderful-ness that is Betsy. I'm sure you know that :) I can't believe you are contemplating a move to Provo! Ahh, the memories...but Provo lost some awesome points when Leatherby's went out of business :(