Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sanctimommies' Worst Nightmare

Most people reading this might not be familiar with the term "sanctimommy".  It is a word used in the world of parenting articles, blogs, etc. to refer to parents, generally mothers, who are really judgmental and high and mighty about other people's parenting choices.  When I think about it, I don't personally have anyone like this in my life.  Not that everyone does everything the same way I do but most people are too busy worrying about managing their own kids to worry about the decisions of other people.  For example,  know three people off the top of my head who are currently using cloth diapers.  They might be doing it to save money or because of the environment.  I don't know because they don't impose their beliefs about it on me or make comments about how they disapprove of people using disposable diapers because I don't think they care.  They are just doing what they want.  I don't impose my beliefs about how disposable diapers are better (and I don't know anyway since I have never tried cloth!) because I don't care what they do either 

I saw good example of this sort of snide commentary on the November birth club on babycenter this morning.  A woman who had her baby last week was annoyed because her daughter was born at 37 weeks and weighs in the 5 lb. range and she is annoyed and hurt because people keep making comments about how tiny the baby is, is she feeding her properly, didn't she eat when she was pregnant, etc.  She wanted advice on how to handle comments like this.  Most people who replied said reassuring things about ignoring them since she knew the baby was healthy, only worrying about the doctor's opinion, etc.  Then there was this gem...

Well I don't take my small newborn out. And we only allow limited visitors in the first 30 days for his safety. So that's how.

Oh, well excuse me Ms. Internet Stranger...good for you for living in a quarantine for a month with your baby!  Did this person ever consider that maybe the original poster has other kids that have to go to pre-school, elementary school, activities, etc?  Or maybe she doesn't have help around the house and might have to run to the store by herself during the day?  Geez chill out.  The tone of that reply just makes me cringe. 

The main things really judgmental moms seem to get worked up over is TV and dietary choices.  There is a recommendation that children under two should not see any screens (TV, ipad, ect.).  Also, eating junky food is a big problem.

This tray might as well be poison.  I cannot believe how much flack McDonalds gets.  Yes, it is crap.  But McDonalds should not be blamed for parents who cannot resist going there on a weekly basis or more to buy their kids food.  I counted and Ben has had probably five fast food kids meals in his life.  And I hope I have that option forever.
Also, juice is a loathed dietary aspect.  A few years ago, before  had a kid, a person I didn't know at a picnic told me "we don't drink juice at our house" when I pointed her elementary school age kid toward a cooler with some juice boxes.  I don't worry about this with Ben because whenever anyone tries to give him juice he doesn't really want it anyway so I guess "we don't drink juice" in this house either.  Oh wait, I do.  I love orange juice and always have.  The problem for little kids and juice is, I guess, the sugar content and the fact that it fills them up leaving less room for nutritious food.  Which really is a concern but would little cup a day be that harmful?  Some people also see it as a...this is terrifying...gateway to drinking soda!!!! NOOOO!!!  I don't believe this actually because I apparently drank juice constantly as a toddler (no one cared about this in the 80s I guess) and I didn't really start drinking pop regularly until college when I realized I needed it as a chaser and mixer with the liquor my roommate and I kept in our dorm room.  Then when I was hanging out in the hot, non-air conditioned room I realized how good it tasted on its own.  Also, it was readily available at every meal from my beloved dining center!  Blame the juice, that gateway beverage! 
This all relates to me because I have been disappointing myself these last few exhausted, pregnant weeks by falling into some quite slackerish ways that would have a sanctimommy on my case in no time.  For a long time I never played any kids shows on TV and just watched what I wanted.  I tried Sesame Street out of desperation back before Ben turned one when I had a lot to do and really needed to pack for a weekend away without him under foot but he had no interest so I didn't try again for a long time.  Since we moved here I have been letting him watch Sesame Street most mornings.  He is more focused but still usually doesn't watch the whole episode.  Well, now I have added "Bob the Builder" and "Thomas the Tank Engine" to the approved list.  I feel bad but I just don't feel like playing all the time.  By the end of the day there is a mountain of books and toys surrounding the couch where I sit most of the time.  At least I show him this...
From what I have heard, sanctimommies haaaaaate SpongeBob.  I think it is funny and my brother and I used to watch it we were teenagers.  I don't think it does much of anything for a one year old though.  Although I think I would show him this before that dullard dinosaur Barney.  I have been making sure we get to the Y whenever I don't have morning appointments so he can spend time with fun people who can actually play with him and don't have to be hauled off the couch with a car jack.  And as far as the dietary issues, there is a lot of hot dog and frozen pizza eating going on.  However, Ben has started eating fruit!  After going weeks without eating more than a bite here and there of any fruit or vegetable he now eats two good servings a day.  Maybe it should be more but I will take what I get.  He likes peas, peaches, grapes, oranges and pineapple.  So I tell myself that this counteracts the regular consumption of chicken nuggets.  And...prepare yourself...this weekend I took him out on Saturday morning to get a haircut and he behave so well that I decided to get us both a McDonalds meal for lunch.  And of course he devoured the fries but hardly touched the apples that they started including to get everyone off their case about not having healthy food.  I don't like this lifestyle either.  I am more bothered by the lack of activity on my part than the food.  I miss being able to run around outside and pay ball and that sort of thing.  Soon enough I will be back to normal. 
I kind of miss the glory days of Happy Meals...it was pretty fun when the toy corresponded with the latest Disney movie or was a miniature of a favorite toy like Barbie and you never knew what you would get.  We didn't have Happy Meals all the time...maybe once a month.  Then in first grade we moved to a country without McDonalds (yes they do exist, or at least they did in 1990) and then to a town with 800 people where the nearest was 35 miles away so it definitely was never a go-to meal.  It was an indulgence and a fun one at that! 

Here Ben is with his beloved fries.  I don't blame you buddy, they are delicious!


Anonymous said...

RM, I'm glad you don't think I'm a sanctimommy! Because I am judging you constantly. Also, did you know my kids have never had high fructose corn syrup? Or Red or yellow dyes? Mostly because I'm the world's best mother. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I appreciate your use of the plural possessive. Nicely done.

Maren said...

No, I'm the world's best mother!