09 February 2015

6 Decisions You Don't Have to Justify to Anyone as a Parent


Allow me to get straight to the point on this one. Parenting circles are rough. We can be the biggest bunch of know-it-all, opinionated ass hats that ever walked the face of the Earth, and the outsiders looking in? They can be even worse at times by casting judgments on things they know nothing about.

As much as I like to think that I’ve grown comfortable in my own skin as a parent over these last 3.5 years, and have found a certain amount of peace with my parenting decisions, the truth is I still fall prey to the feeling of having to justify myself and my parenting choices to others. It doesn’t matter if I know and accept what my limitations, weaknesses and struggles are as a mom – I will at some point question myself and feel the need to justify said choices to others because let’s be honest – whether we like it or not, the sad reality is that we are indeed judged on our abilities as mothers.


Why do I feel the need to do this? My logic tells me that all children are different, so it stands to reason that how parents raise them will be different as well so what is the point in ever comparing or justifying my version of parenting to anyone else’s? The problem is, when I get around a group of mothers who love to talk, I start doing exactly that which is complete and utter bullshit because…

What parent actually really knows what in the hell they are doing anyway? The very existence of the “Mommy Wars” proves the point that most parents feel the need to justify and explain their choices as “the best” or “the right ones.”

I present to you this list of 6 ridiculous decisions that I, and you, should refuse to justify to anyone anymore:

ONE: Whether or Not You Breastfeed. In an age of social media and oversharing, we’ve become numb to the fact that some choices should simply remain private, be left alone and respected. It’s really no one’s business how a mother chooses to feed her child and is a decision that should be made between the parents and the doctor. Furthermore, here’s a tip: My daughter is amazing. She’s smart, funny, healthy and she was formula fed. She is a normal four year old and she is simply amazing and none of that has anything to do with what may or may not have been squeezed from my boobs. Isn’t it time we give this tired debate a rest?

TWO: Whether you’re a SAHM or a Working Mom. Again, a decision that should be private and made between the parents in the best interest of the family, somehow manages to get put on public display for observation and ridicule. All moms are working moms. Each choice has its pros and cons. One is not better or superior than the other. If being a working mom is the worst “mistake” I ever make during this whole parenting gig, I think I’ll be okay.

THREE: Whether or Not You Will Have More Kids. Unless you are going to pay for them, raise them and get up in the middle of the night with them, stop bugging me to have more. I’m a life-long, card carrying member of the one and done club and we are just fine with this decision. The status of my womb’s occupancy is not up for debate.

FOUR: The Fact That Your Kid Eats Fast Food. Dare I even admit that occasionally, we feed our daughter – GASP! - Wendy’s, McDonalds and Chick-fil-a? Call child services. World’s worst parents here, folks.


FIVE: How Much TV Your Child Watches. The simple truth and reality is that sometimes I have to get things done, need a parenting break or heaven forbid! There is something on TV that I actually want to watch! I feel parents can be the biggest hypocrites on this one because I have a theory that we all do this. All of us. At one time or another, the TV has played babysitter in most people’s homes.

SIX: When, Where and How Your Child Sleeps. We’ve all been there. In conversation, we let it slip that our baby took a nap on their belly and then we immediately feel the need to follow it up with a justification or an explanation. Or if we’re letting our kids sleep in the bed with us, then we’re ignoring every study known to man as to why this is bad. Shit, you know what? Sometimes it just boils down to the simple fact that I need to sleep and if this means that Chickie is tucked in bed beside me and we’re all happily in dreamland, then so be it.


I guess at the end of the day, what I’m trying to say is that I {and you too!} should feel completely justified in writing this list {you see what I did there?} What items would you put on your list of things you don’t have to justify to anyone?





Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

28 comments:

  1. Loved this post (per usual). I vote we all do whatever helps us survive and create "productive members of society". Don't care how it gets done! So spot on my friend. I hope you reach a few crazies with this post ;)

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  2. Oh man you took the words right outta my mouth! I hate when people ask the dreaded are you nursing only to reply with a stank look on their face when you say no. I never could go longer than the first month, I always dried up on my own never on purpose. It's so hard to convince people it does happen.

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  3. Right on!!!! I hate all the judgement in the mommy-world.

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  4. Desiree @ Macke MonologuesFebruary 9, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    A-freaking-men (per the usual).
    The TV one gets me. As a domestic engineer there are times when I need Babysitter PBS to take the reign for a bit while I a)cook b)clean c)do laundry d) the 8 million other household chores.
    Oy. Being a parent is tough enough. Criticism from others? I can do without all that, please and thank you.

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  5. Yes, yes, yes! Preach on, sister! And finding the wonderful mommy friends who don't judge makes life that much easier.

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  6. So good I love that you included the food issues on this one. Sure there are times that I'd love to buy organic ultra healthy garbage to eat but maybe I can't afford the price tag that it comes with. Can you cut me some freakin slack please?!.... sorry just needed to vent a bit :D!

    P.S. Kraft is my favorite.

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  7. I don't even have kids & I absolutely love this post!! You wrote it perfectly!!

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  8. This is my new favorite post... possibly ever. I truly truly believe that the Internet has made parenting harder in so many ways. We now "see" all of the decisions every other parent is making and either judge harshly or feel like failures. For many of us, I think the perception of constant scrutiny (real or imagined) makes every day parenting decisions far more difficult and anxiety-ridden.

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  9. It's like we were thinking the same thing. I just wrote a post on all of the choices we make as a parent, and all of the advice we get. I too fall into the trap of feeling like I need to justify, but I'm getting better. Great post!

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  10. Love this.. I don't know why so many people care about the decisions of others! If it doesnt directly affect me or my children.. then I dont care what you do! ha!

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  11. More than anything, I think it's rude for folks to judge what I do with our child. Plain and simple, every child has their own personality and their own issues so as a parent, pleas know I am doing whatever I can to facilitate a healthy, happy lifestyle.

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  12. I definitely agree with these! I struggle with the mom guilt though when it comes to some of these. I often think I wouldn't so much if I didn't feel like I was judged by others because of these things... like the whole tv always being on.

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  13. great post! Parenting is hard enough without others being judgy judgy on top of it. Let's just assume that people are doing their best and work from there. And the TV... i'm so sick of the TV and ipads getting a pad wrap. I've got a post written in my head on all the great things about technology that i'll post someday :) Preach on friend!
    ps how do you like disquis? I've debated on switching bc email gets to be too much to manage!

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  14. Thanks, friend! So far, I'm really loving Disqus. It was so easy to install and as far as keeping up with comments, it's a gem. It also gives you a few other insights as well to your readers so all in all, I'm very happy with it. Have a great week!

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  15. Thanks, Kassie. At the end of the day, you have to do what's right for you and your family. Never feel bad about those choices! Have a great week.

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  16. PREACH. I couldn't agree with this sentiment more.

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  17. Thanks, Lauren. I feel the same way! To each their own. I may not be doing the same things as you, but it doesn't matter. The end result is what we all want: happy, healthy and kind kids. Have a good week!

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  18. Your post was awesome, Kerry. I shared it with my readers, too. Have a great week!

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  19. You are too kind, Lou and thanks so much for reading and sharing. Have a wonderful week!

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  20. Thanks, Kara! I appreciate you reading!!

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  21. Yes! Organic is SO expensive. We try to buy as much organic as we can but it just doesn't always happen and that's OKAY. We're all doing our best so back off! ;-) Have a great week.

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  22. Bingo! Definitely having the right people around us makes all the difference. Thanks, Becky!

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  23. You are an amazing mommy. If anyone ever tells you otherwise, let me know. I'll fix that real damn quick. ;-) Hope you're having a good week.

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  24. Thanks, Christine! I appreciate you reading. Have a good week!

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  25. Thanks, Kylie. I feel you on breastfeeding. My milk dried up quickly and my daughter wasn't into it at all so it was just not doable. I felt bad about it for a while and I don't think people realize how words can hurt so much. You are a great mom - keep your head high!

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  26. Thanks, friend! You know me - I'm always going after the crazies. ;-) Hope you and the new little are settling in and adjusting to the new normal. Thinking of you!

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  27. Love this, I could have written it myself! I have been a parent for 8 years and still feel embarrassed or judged by some of these things. I am way past the nursing (I only did it for a few weeks with both, GASP!) and sleeping (my babies slept on their bellies and sometimes on my chest...again, GASP). But now I have to feel self conscious when I pull out of McDonalds or when I buy Kraft mac n cheese rather than Annie's (It really isn't as good :) My kids watch TV and are not always well behaved, my house can be a big mess, my car needs a biohazard suit to clean, but we are doing the best we can! I feel for new moms especially lately, because there are so many "rules" to follow and so much judgement on everything you do for a newborn. It is a tough world our there and us mom's shouldn't be making each others job harder we should be building each other up! Great post!

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  28. While I can relate to most of these, I have to disagree with the ones related to a child's health. Feeding and discipline, for example, can become genuine concerns in some instances. (I trust that this isn't the case for you haha but just giving an example.) I think it's a great thing for parents to share their knowledge (and support). Of course, I think it should be respectful and welcomed. I don't think shaming has any place in this world, especially something as fragile as parenting. I do believe in speaking up when there is a genuine safety concern, with kindness and respect.

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