By Kate Berrio of iholdyourheart.com
This just in: Did you know that you don’t get karmic points OR dog biscuits for offering your opinion when another parent casually mentions a really difficult life choice they’ve made for their child? It appears that there are actually other options when confronted with someone completely unrelated to you who shares a decision they’ve made on their child’s behalf.
We know; we couldn’t believe it either! In fact, one mom went so far as to say that the “opinions of other parents were not even at all what she was looking for when sharing news of any kind.” Radical, indeed! Read on, dear one, for more insights into this latest trend.
Prime example: The other day, I was at the playground with my littles, totally pinning mason jar baby butt-cream recipes (non-GMO, gluten free of course) when this Mom coolly mentioned her “son was taking Adderall and she felt nervous about it, but he seemed to be doing really well, right?” I was about to educate her about the dangers of such medicines on childhood development and let her know about ALL of the alternative treatments, including the most perfect essential oil I blended out of my home-based organic garden/leggings shop, when I remembered I had read an article on Mean Mommy exactly about this.
I stopped myself in my tracks and said, “You’re doing a great job, Mom, and I’m sure that decision was a hard one to make.” It took A LOT for me to say that, and it felt completely wrong as the words tumbled off my tongue, but I did it. I totally owned that conversation that was not about me at all. Yay!
Later, as I was live-tweeting the latest episode of Itty Bitty Ridiculous Houses, I noticed a post from a friend that said, “It was super hard but we decided to hold little Buttercup-Blue back for another year of kindergarten.” HOLD THE PHONE. First, she made this decision WITHOUT BLOGGING ABOUT IT. Who does that ever, at all? I mean, she didn’t even ask for the opinions of the 567 strangers she has at her disposal online.
Second, does she KNOW what the other kids will say to Buttercup-Blue when they get their moving up Special Snowflake Memorial decoupage on organic canvas–and, gasp, she does TOO and then doesn’t move up? I’d love to be a fly on the wall of THAT naptime chatter. But alas, I remembered this new trend in “less is more when offering advice” and just “liked” the post without actually commenting. Again, this was a really challenging step for me to take, but I feel it’s important to try new things and get out of my comfort zone once in a while; again, hard but SO worth it.
So you see, dear friends, even though we have really strong opinions and great advice to dole out to any other parent who will listen, it appears that the latest on the parental horizon is to simply hold our tongues and be supportive. Not one to sit out a trend (um, hi shakes for breakfast and direct order sales all the things), I am going to try my hardest.
Except if they ask me about vaccines. Cause that shit is really legit and parents need to KNOW. I have my boundaries too.
About the Author
Kate Buckholz Berrio is a single mom to two boys, and a truth teller at all costs. She works full time; speaks, writes, and performs in local theater; and generally lives a life of carefully managed chaos. She is a contributor on DivorcedMoms.com and she and her boys live in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. Follow along on her adventures at www.iholdyourheart.com and @berrioka.