Welcome to Educated, Common Sense Parenting! This is my parenting education/commentary blog. Start here and read About This Blog.

I believe too many parents today have let their children rule their households. Their children dictate their daily lives, demand every ounce of their attention and do not show any respect for their parents. This needs to change. The only way to do this is if parents start letting good old common sense start dictating their parenting practices and stop letting their children run the show. You're the parent. Act like one.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Judgement Day

Let me preface this by saying, I never watch Oprah or any other daytime talk show. They're either too depressing or too cheesy. I seriously don't need to know the latest way to lose weight or about how my brother slept with my ex-sister in-law's fiance. However, my mom called me the other day and told me to turn on Oprah. She said it was a bunch of moms talking about "mom issues" and she thought I might be interested. Ok, fine...too bad I didn't have anything better to do right then.

I turned it on and Oprah was hosting a "Truth About Motherhood" show. She introduced the show saying, "Today we're creating a judgment-free zone, a sisterhood of motherhood where anything goes." What a crock. Judgement day has arrived. The moment you announce your pregnancy, you have officially thrown yourself to the wolves. You WILL be judged. By friends, friends of friends, co-workers, in laws, parents, cats, dogs, zebras, you name it. The sooner you realize that and are able to get over it, the better of a mom, wife, friend and coworker you will be. The bright side is, motherhood also gives you the license to sit at the judges table as well. Which I will do right now to all of these morons on the Oprah show.

As I watched this show, I found it absolutely painful. Basically it was a mom bitch session. Can we all just agree on one thing before I start? YES-I KNOW. Being a mom is a tough job. It's THE toughest job. Like the woman said in my post "Moms: What do you do all day?" said, it's the constant scrutiny while concurrently teaching everything from manners to language to empathy to how to pee in the toilet. It's a tough job physically and emotionally. But doesn't everyone know that? Didn't you kind of have an inkling that it would be tough BEFORE you decided to get pregnant? Of course nothing can truly prepare you for the job. After all, there's no job description posted. But why do some women feel the need to constantly, constantly bitch about their kids? Here is what the women were saying on Oprah during her "open forum-don't-judge-me" segment. Let me preface this by saying these women were ALL upper-middle class suburban women (or seemingly so). Oprah didn't send her camera to the back roads of West Virginia.

Mom 1: I once made my kid's entire lunch from scraps I found in my car.
Judge: It's called a hot lunch, you idiot. It's $1.50. I bet you could have found that amount of money in change your car.

Mom 2: I hate bodily fluids. I could do away with the liquids. The snot and the poo. I'm not fond of those things.
Judge: Well, I happen to LOVE poo and snot! LOVE THEM!!! Are you serious?? This is supposed to be news to us...you don't like poo and snot??? Those things come out of your body, too. You didn't realize they would come out of your baby as well? Get OVER yourself!

Mom 3: If I can get out of bed and get breakfast on the table, I'll be happy. If I can get them to school, I'll be happy.
Judge: You need to 1) Raise your standards of happiness--ASAP 2) Get up earlier 3) Pop your Prozac

Mom 4: I don't feel I had permission to talk about how hard motherhood really was.
Judge: You DO have permission to talk about it, you just don't have the permission to constantly WHINE about trivial things...i don't like poop, I'm tired, my kids drive me nuts. GET OVER IT. We all feel this way at some time or another. That is what motherhood IS. And guess what? You are stuck with it. So you can either suck it up and truly start ENJOYING your kids (that IS the reason you had kids, isn't it?) or continue to whine and be miserable for the next 18 years at the same time, driving away your husband and making everyone else in your life miserable as well.

What puts this all into perspective for me is those two weeks Will spent in the NICU. I met an extremely nice couple whose daughter was born at 25 weeks. 25 weeks. Most women haven't even had their baby shower at this point. I talked to her quite a bit since she was always there. She asked about Will and when he was going to go home. I told her "in a few days." I asked her about her baby and when she was coming home. She said "hopefully July." That was in March. Never once did that woman complain about changing her daughter's diapers through all of the wires, feeding tubes and machines she had to navigate through. She never complained she was too busy or too tired to spend practically all day in the NICU with her baby. Instead, I am positive she thanked God every time she walked into the room and found her daughter still breathing. SHE has a license to complain and be frustrated and tired and emotionally spent. When people like that feel this way, it's genuine. When we do--assuming our kids are healthy and doing well--it's whining.

Sure, we all have our mommy moments and urge to complain. But if you find yourself complaining about your kids more than you are enjoying them, there is something that needs to be fixed. Maybe it's getting control of your child's behavior, maybe it's tweaking your lifestyle to make it less stressful, or maybe it's just stopping for a moment and being thankful for everything you have.


  1. I would complain that Kate was my alarm clock every morning...momma, momma, mooommmmmyyyyyy! Well, you know what Trish, set the freaking alarm an hour earlier, make some coffee, read a book, take a shower, whatever makes you happy. It is so wonderful to get that one hour of quiet time and it has made such a difference in my day! Great post Casey!

  2. Hahaha! I had the exact same thoughts when I saw that show, and the whole thing just made me cringe! They made moms out to be desperate, poor women we should all pity and hope we never become. I'm a mom and I couldn't relate to a single thing those women said, besides maybe the issue with making new friends, but that happens with any life change (college, marriage, or moving) so it's not fair to blame it on motherhood in particular.

    What really bugged me was the ignorance being openly admitted, it's like those women went through 9 months of pregnancy without ever picking up a baby book or holding anyone else's baby and expected some innate mommy wisdom to magically enter their bodies upon giving birth. I researched so much while pregnant and prepared myself mentally, physically, etc. My husband and I talked a lot about how we'd handle different situations. And our hard work paid off. Yes some days are hard, but overall I love motherhood and I enjoy my kid, he's a blast to be with!

    The fact is, those women have bought into the fact that they deserve happiness, not the pursuit of happiness but happiness itself. They also think they are personally responsible for pursuing happiness for their kids, and run themselves ragged trying to do it. And since motherhood doesn't make them happy and they can't seem to keep their kids happy 24/7 they are complaining.

    And you make a good point about it being just upper middle class suburban moms. Where were the women with 5 or 6 kids whose husbands are fighting in Iraq? Where were the moms from rural Idaho who live and work a farm with their family? Where was Michelle Duggar? Oh yeah, they were too busy actually being moms :p

  3. I'm so happy I wasn't the only mom who watched the show and was disgusted by it! It's so refreshing to hear about moms who actually ENJOY being moms. Sure, not every day is bliss but overall I like to hear about families who aren't constantly in chaos! :-) Maybe I should email Oprah....

  4. I love it! Written in typical Casey fashion. You crack me up girl! I saw part of the Oprah episode and just had to roll my eyes and turn the channel. WHO ARE these women?!? And WHY would they go on national television to complain about their kids and admit the stupid things they do. dumb. Anyways, love your writing and am enjoying your blog. Can't wait to read more! :)

  5. I know, girl. It is really a testament to what awful PARENTS they are, not how awful their kids are! I bet they didn't think of that before they went on national television! I think Oprah should do a show on happy moms!!! All of us could be guests! Sure, we have rough times, but c'mon! Our kids rock! :-)

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  7. Yes, my baby ROCKS! I think the other thing that is not mentioned is the fact that there's so many couples out there who DESPERATELY want a baby and can't -- for whatever reason. During my darkest days of motherhood I always stop and remind myself that my daughter is a blessing and I have what so many other women want; but can't.