A friend of mine has an online facebook group for moms. She was running a contest in which she asked people to submit their favorite Fall/Winter pictures of their children. I looked quickly through my phone and found one that I adore of Charlotte that was taken last Winter. Here it is:
I see nothing wrong with this picture. Just an adorable baby sitting in a shopping cart at Target. I didn’t think anything of it when I posted it and went about my business for the rest of the evening. As I was getting ready for bed, I noticed some notifications on my phone. I checked to see what the fuss was all about and I saw some comments under my picture that read:
“This picture makes me very sad because if this baby were in an accident, they would be seriously injured at best.”
“Hopefully they took her coat off before they put her in the car “
Comments like this are exactly why I refuse to post pictures of my daughter in a car seat on Facebook. Thanks, sanctimommies.
First of all, I want to explain that 1) my daughter was in a shopping cart. 2) I am aware she was buckled incorrectly; however, she was indoors and I would never place her in a car like that. 3) Yes, she was wearing a coat because she was freezing. She was lifted out of her car seat, her coat was put on and then she was placed back in the car seat and loosely buckled while sitting in the cart. I really shouldn’t even have to be explaining the situation, but when ‘perfect parents’ make those types of comments, I feel defensive and the need and desire to explain the situation becomes increasingly important.
What infuriates me about the comments is that the people who wrote them had no idea what was going on. Instead of looking at the picture and saying my daughter was cute, they (for some reason) felt the need to judge my parenting. What is even more frustrating; is that they didn’t know the situation or circumstances. They decided to highlight the flaws and essentially ruin what is one of my most favorite pictures of my daughter. All because they felt the need to point out my parenting mistakes to make themselves look superior as moms. One even claimed that she was a serious car seat safety advocate. That’s wonderful and good for her but if she was as concerned as she claimed to be, the appropriate thing to do would be to send me a private message with her concerns, instead of publicly shaming me for a picture that I posted of MY CHILD.
Here’s the thing about other people’s children and parenting styles: It’s none of your business. At all. You don’t need to worry about how anyone else is parenting their children. And you especially can’t judge parenting based on a picture because YOU DON’T KNOW.
You don’t know from looking at a picture if a child is drinking breastmilk or formula. You don’t know from looking at a picture if a child is a poor eater because they are having candy. You don’t know from looking at a picture if a child is a healthy eater because they are munching on a carrot. And you don’t know from looking at a picture if a parent is uninvolved because they were ‘caught’ on their iPhone during picture time.
YOU. DON’T. KNOW.
So here’s a thought. Appreciate the picture for what it is. A child having a snack, a parent having a moment to themselves. A picture of an adorable baby in a shopping cart at Target.
You know what would be awesome? If we all just supported each other. If we worried less about how someone else was parenting and worried more about ourselves and our children. Maybe then these mommy wars would stop.
But let’s be realistic, they won’t. At least it makes for a blog post on a week where I’m having writers block, which also gave me an excuse to have a glass of wine.