Okay so a little disclaimer before I begin today’s post… I’m not sure how to write an open letter about how much I hate open letters without sounding like the biggest hypocrite in the world.
So I just won’t write “Open Letter”. That works.
So what’s WITH all these open letters lately? Sure if you dig through my archives you’ll see that I wrote one to my daughter a while back… but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the ones from hard working moms to Gwyneth Paltrow, or the one I saw yesterday “To the mother at the park on her cell phone“… the list goes on, and it gets more and more annoying as it does.
This “information age” is more of a “misinformation” age if you ask me. Everyone thinks they know everything, and everyone’s lives are splashed all over the internet for others to see and judge, but that doesn’t make it okay. You “open letter” writers don’t know me any better than I know Gwyneth! I’m so tired of the public shaming, the moms who attack one another instead of supporting each other. Since when did we all have to think the same way about every issue? Should we honestly expect someone like Gwyneth Paltrow to be able to relate to the masses of working moms and blue collar families? Is it HER fault that she can’t?
EVERY MOTHER, with the exception of a rare few – is trying her best. Every mother, whether rich or poor, is trying her best to provide a loving, stable, safe home for her children. And who are we – me, you, anyone – to judge that? I just don’t understand the competition that exists… the snottiness, the whispering and the judging. I find that I’m afraid to share my child’s successes – someone will surely post immediately afterwards something bigger/better/more brilliant that their child has done, but I’m also afraid to post their less than stellar moments too. Or worse – mine.
I guess it’s the price we pay for sharing everything that we do these days. I suppose if we’re going to lay all the details out there for the world to see, we should expect some fallout. But I think we’re getting it all wrong! I think that the world of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter gives us moms such a wonderful opportunity to share how IMPERFECT we are. To reassure each other that it’s OKAY to mess up… it’s OKAY to not share the same point of view, or live the same style of life.
It’s okay, Gwyneth – I don’t hate you. And I don’t judge you. Sure, you ARE mildly annoying at times, but it’s only because I’m jealous of you. You live a life that most of us only dream of, so we are all just bitter than you can’t relate to ours. But I’m sorry for the backlash you’ve gotten from my peers. I don’t think that just because you live in a world far removed from ours means you deserve this:
Come on, people. Quit it with the judging! Quit it with the stupid open letters and the holier-than-thou attitude! You are not better than I am because you don’t play on your phone in the park while your kids play. You’re not better than I am because you only eat organic, and you’re not better than I am because your kids aren’t allowed to watch tv.
And so what if I’m on my phone while my kids play at the park? Maybe I’m making a grocery list, or replying to a question about one of my online ads that I post to make extra money, or hell – maybe I’m just looking at Facebook for a minute because I CAN. I am a stay-at-home mom, and my phone is pretty much my only link to the outside world. It’s how I share photos of my kids, talk to my friends and catch up on the news the exists outside my little bubble. So if my kids are happy and safe and playing in the sand – I will look at my phone if I want to!
Hell – why else would I have had kids 20 months apart if I wasn’t hoping they’d entertain each other sometimes?! SHEESH! I’m not a masochist.
So please. PLEASE. Can we PLEASE stop with the judging and the open letters and the shaming? We all work hard, we all make mistakes, and we all learn from them. I don’t need fellow moms to passive-aggressively suggest that I’m not doing a good job. I don’t need their condescension or their know-it-all diatribes.
(Sorry, but that goes for you too, Gwyneth. I’ve read GOOP… you’re part of this problem.)
I want to be the kind of woman, mother and friend who stands up for what she believes in while standing in sisterhood with others. Having gone through postpartum depression I can tell you first hand that what the internet (heck, the WORLD) really needs is women and mothers who support one another, not bring each other down.
With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, I hope that sitting in the park, or behind a screen, and finding fault with others is a trend that quickly loses steam. And I hope all you amazing moms out there will join me in making a conscious choice to stop competing, and start enjoying this amazing journey that we are all on together!!
I will end my rant here, before it starts to sound any more “Chris Harrison”…
Have a BEAUTIFUL day, and try to do something nice for a fellow mom in your travels!