Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Friday, March 14, 2014

St. Patrick's Day....To Celebrate or Not To Celebrate

This.  This is something that has been on my mind for the last....oh, year or so. 

It all started with another judgemental blog how many things start these days.  I'm not going to post the link because, frankly, I don't think it deserves the click.  The basic gist of the blog post was bashing all the mom's who choose to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with their kids.  Now, you might be asking why someone would be so irrationally against how total strangers choose to spend their day.  And the answer makes perfect sense.....because it makes her look bad.  Yep.  That's it.  All St. Patrick's Day celebrations should be stopped because she chooses not to celebrate and therefore feels that strangers celebrations make her look bad.

Using this logic I should probably stop feeding my family healthy meals because I'm making the people who don't feed their families healthy meals look bad.  And I should probably have my kids wear dirty clothing so the mom's who are behind on the laundry this week don't feel bad.  And maybe I should park my kids in front of the television so that the mom's who are having a rough week and needed a little assistance from the TV to make it through don't feel bad.

Or maybe I should just do what's best for my family right now and not be so obsessed with what everyone else is doing.  As a matter of fact, my girls are playing on the iPad right now and I don't feel bad about it at all.

Back to the blog post.....  

This is not a small, unknown blog it was posted on but a big, popular blog.  So many people read it and many people shared it on Facebook, sometimes even accompanied with snarky remarks about how "those moms" need to get off Pinterest and get a life.

This made me sad.  It made a lot of mom's sad.  Personally, I started celebrating St. Patrick's Day with my little family long before Pinterest came along and this blog post didn't change my family tradition in any way.  But I know of quite a few mom's who felt really bad.  It stole the joy they felt out of celebrating with their kids.  It stole the joy out of the leprechaun trap making and rainbow cupcake baking and green milk drinking.   It made these women, who were just trying to make fun memories with their kids, feel dumb.  It Stole The Joy!

I can see how, in some negative condescending way, it may have been empowering to the women who don't like celebrating St. Patrick's Day or any other small holiday.  I can understand how Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and all the other social media platforms can make you feel like you are somehow not measuring up as a mother.  It makes all of us feel that way, whether it's holiday celebrations or perfectly clean homes or any of the other things where we feel we don't measure up.  But holiday celebrations are not what makes a good mother.  Crafts and treats and Instagram moments don't make a good mother.  It's the every day moments that don't make it to Facebook that decides our fate of Good Mother or Bad Mother.

BUT.  A very big but....If you make yourself feel better about your parenting choices by putting other women down it does reflect on who you are as a person.  As a woman.  And ultimately, that WILL influence who you are as a mother.

Honestly, I didn't see a single post from a Pro-Holiday mom proclaiming their superiority in motherhood for choosing to celebrate.  Some may argue that it is implied.  My personal theory is that a lot of those feelings (on both sides) come from insecurities.  Approximately 99.9% of mom's feel insecure about their parenting choices at some point in their lives.  It can be about holidays, school, chores, discipline, after school activities, clothes, screen time, hair styles, meals, snacks, pets, ANYTHING.  We've all been there.  But making ourselves feel better by criticizing another moms choices doesn't make us any better.  It just steals the joy.

So to all you moms out there who are celebrating St. Patrick's Day with wild Irish abandon I say, Great!  Have a great time!  You are a good mom! 

And to all you moms out there who are not celebrating St. Patrick's Day I say, Great! Have a great time!  You are a good mom!  

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