Monday, June 29, 2009

Hold the Criticism

Without having any personal experience, I'm going to have to say that it's pretty tough being a mother. Of course, it's probably rewarding most of the time, but it's got to be difficult. Judith Warner, a best-selling author, has a weekly blog for the New York Times called Domestic Disturbances, and her most recent piece was about the criticism mothers recieve.

In this candid piece, Warner recounts numerous stories of stressed mothers trying to deal with stubborn children and balancing their lives. Everyone seems critical of mothers without knowing what is going on in their lives, and almost everyone seems to have an opinion about childrearing.

As Warner mentions, mothers are concerned with being the best role-model and parent possible, and have a lot of pressure put on them by society to fufill that role. Society tells women that they can "have it all" and chides parents who struggle with their kids with shows like Nanny 911 and other "parental emergency" shows that capitalize on the horrors of poor parenting skills. Mothers are real women who have a variety of roles, stresses, and emotions. So, the next time you see a woman struggling with her kid, don't judge, don't scold her, and don't patronize.

1 comment:

Emily Miller said...

Ellen, I totally agree with your post. The other morning, the escalator broke leading out of one of the metro stations, and I saw this kid sitting in the middle of the stopped escalator (see: stairs) bawling her eyes out. The kid, clearly old enough to walk herself up the stairs, did not want to walk anymore, and the mother had her hands full with another kid. I considered offering to carry the sobbing child, and then I decided that I might find myself in a heap of trouble if I picked-up this woman's daughter. What most upset me were the dirty looks that people were giving this woman because it took them a little longer to get around her kid and up the stairs. It clearly was not her fault that her kid did not want to walk anymore... or that the escalator broke. I felt terrible for her, and looking back, I really wish I would have offered to help.. Great post!