Imagine this scenario, if you will. You’re a work at home mom. You have 5- and 3-year-old boys who are 100% dirty, messy, stinky boys. Your 5-year-old, a kindergartner, is out of school for parent teacher conferences so you have extra time with him that day. And your husband is working late for an important business meeting, is unavailable by phone and won’t be home until after the kids’ normal bed time.
If you’re me, then that would be the perfect time for your children to misbehave. We had spent the afternoon finishing my kindergartner’s science project, and I told him and his brother to clean up the mess they had made with all the art supplies used for the project. Then I went downstairs. I guess I should have known they wouldn’t have cleaned up the mess, but little ol’ me trying to be optimistic for once, was hoping they would.
So when they didn’t clean up the mess which I didn’t discover until after I had gone back upstairs for bath time, I told them to clean it up. Granted, as soon as anyone in our house mentions “bath time” our boys instantly disrobe wherever they are then run upstairs naked. So there they were, upstairs, in their birthday suits pretending to clean up the mess. And I posted a funny quip on Facebook about how my boys were running around the house naked (no pictures accompanied the post). And then they ran around the downstairs of the house, naked, with their Easter baskets on their heads. I must have threatened them two or three times that if they didn’t get upstairs and clean their mess, they’d be going straight to bed without their dinner. And finally, I had to stand firm and not give away empty threats. So I sent them straight to bed, exactly as they were.
They both threw EPIC temper tantrums. And they were driving me crazy. Actually, it was kind of insane the way they were kicking and screaming behind their bedroom doors. So being silly ol’ me, and truthfully, hoping I could reach someone who would give me a word of encouragement, posted a Facebook Live video of them throwing EPIC temper tantrums behind their bedroom doors. Again, all you saw in the video was their bedroom doors and their mess – no naked images of them.
Most of my friends who watched the video were supportive. I got “Hang in there, Karen” messages and “I’ve been there, too. It’ll be okay.” But then there was that one person who saw it and then decided to judge me. Did they text me to see if I was okay? No. Did they private message me on Facebook to see if I needed help? No. Instead, they texted my friend and said they were “concerned for the health and welfare of my children.”
Are you kidding me? I had posted in my Facebook Live video, you know, the one where you hear huge tantrums being thrown, that they had been acting up all afternoon. In fact, I mentioned they were misbehaving twice in the video, and showed footage of the huge mess they had refused to clean up. And last I checked, 37lbs is perfectly healthy for a 5-year-old, and 34lbs is probably too much for a 3-year- old, so missing one meal – a meal they barely even touch, by the way — wasn’t going to hurt them any. Especially when 20% of Louisiana children go to bed hungry every night, my kids skipping a reheated frozen pizza meal wasn’t going to kill them. And for the record, they both put their PJs on themselves before they went to bed. Just like they do every other night.
But no, I was Facebook-judged and text-judged, by someone who was too cowardly to even admit who they were.
Moms, why do we do this to each other? Why do we judge, when we should really support? Why do we automatically assume the worst, when really we should be giving each other a break? Why do we think the worst of someone, when really we need to understand that they are just having a bad moment or day? And if we do have a genuine concern, why don’t we reach out in love and care, instead of talking behind each other’s backs?
I don’t know who judged me (my friend refused to tell me who had texted her) and I probably won’t ever find out. But I do know that this type of mom judging needs to end. We need to support each other, and give each other the benefit of the doubt rather than automatically think the worst of each other. At least, that’s what I wish had happened to me.
I can’t believe no on has commented on this yet. First, remember that YOU put the video out; no one made you do that. You have every right to do so, but people have every right to judge you by what you share.
Second, trust me, no on wants to see videos of your kids having an “epic” tantrum. People barely want to see pictures of your kids on their BEST behavior.
Finally, more importantly, you are seriously violating your childrens’ right to privacy, and you’re teaching them that they cannot trust their mom, nor can they be vulnerable in front of her for fear of public shaming. Don’t your kids deserve the right to choose what goes on the internet about themselves?
It’s abuse to starve young, growing children by denying them meals. And no, you aren’t helping your children learn to regulate their emotions by giving them low blood sugar and locking them in their rooms, so posting invasive videos of their reactions to such abuse in order to make yourself out to be the victim…is really sick. I’m sure your sons think you are just as icky, messy and stinky as you, an adult, have described them.
Can I get a link to the video? I’d love to share it on my podcast. We have a lot of fun laughing at kids being abused. Sex Trophies with crashing blood sugar are HILARIOUS!
I’m judging you for this post. God, you’re self-absorbed and narcissistic.
Why in the world would you Facebook Live it? Why would you even post a video of your kids in emotional distress (no matter what kind of emotion)? NO ONE forced you to do that. And by being so public about it, you are going get hate. Again, WHY would decide to post that??
And think about your children. Did you think “OH, they will just LOVE that I am publicly shaming and embarrassing them because they didn’t clean up their mess!” Keep that to your digital, PERSONAL scrapbook. Tell me, when they grow up and they mess up in school, are you going give them a sign and that says “I got an F on a quiz… I am a naughty child.”, put them on street corner, and Facebook Live that, too? And then shave thier head? That’s exactly what I am picking up on. Ate you gong to be on the sideline of their peewee football games ans scream and yell at them because they are no doing “well enough”? I feel so sorry for your boys. I’m concerned about them. I guess I’m comment-shaming you.
I hate to say I agree with all of the above. I do not like to be negative on the internet…the old adage about say something nice or say nothing….but this blog post rubs me the wrong way. When you post online, you invite criticism. That’s a known factor. So, if you don’t want to risk receiving negative feedback, don’t post.
Using basic needs as punishment is definitely a sign of good parenting! Why don’t you start writing a book about your wisdom?
Please go to therapy.
Yup going against what all the major international organizations that monitor human rights and withholding a basic need like food is clearly a great punishment and a great parenting decision right there. Your poor children. Perhaps someone should put you in a time out and giving you ample time to read about how seriously most of the world takes human rights violations? In case you need help, the right to food is part of the rights articulated in the 25th human right. I’ll wait while you look it up. On a more kindly note there are parenting classes out there that can help you learn to deal more effectively with behavior issues without resorting to abuses like attempting to shame your kids on facebook and withholding basic human needs. Many of them are offered free of charge in many areas. As for your children, in many countries children’s help lines are available for them to request assistance and Child Helpline International’s website can help put children in touch with those services.
Comments are closed.