Somebody alerted me in the comments of this blog that an old post I wrote for Mad About Multiples called, Minivan Seating Configuration 1-5, was picked up by a car seat venting group on Facebook. (I have not verified that this is true, or what is being said on that forum.)
A car seat venting group? What? It's a closed Facebook group presumably populated by perfect parents. But if it is true that parents are bashing my post, then...
Gosh, the intent of the post was to make the audience of fellow moms of multiples laugh with me as I tried to figure out how best to seat my battling boys in our minivan. I can't imagine that anyone would judge me, especially based on a post written two years ago that highlighted how I sat my children back in 2005, when car seat standards were different.
I can't believe someone bothered to look through the Internet archives of 2010 to find an example of poor car seat use which is how they must have found my post. And then they apparently took the time to highlight (bash?) what I did wrong.
If you were to nit pick, I'm sure you could find various concerns in the photo I used with the post. (My God. Did you see the marker streaks on the minivan's ceiling? I know.) I'm sure if you were to read through the post, you could pick out mistake after mistake. But I'm guessing here... was it that my son's chest buckle in the photo is crooked? I want to tell those people that the photo was a frozen moment in time, that I'm sure the clip started off in the right position but that my son likely fidgeted with it, as was often the case back then.
I bet that if I randomly popped into the car of any one of the members of that car seat venting group and quickly took a photo, I'd catch something amiss, be it the way their child is buckled in, or be it that there may be an unhealthy treat showing up in the background. The child of a friend of mine managed to unbuckle herself from her car seat while the car was moving on the freeway. She startled her mom by leaning a bit over the driver's seat. That would have made excellent fodder for a judgmental thread.
Or was it that I moved my 99 percentile children forward facing when they reached one year of age, back in 2005? Today, my nearly 8-year-old twin boys are 80 pounders but they are still in booster seats. I assure you, there are very few rising third graders we know who are still in booster seats, even if they don't meet the new standards of both age and weight.
Back when I was a new mother, I spent a lot of time judging other mothers. I could not see the forest through the trees. But most mothers, once they get past the new experience of a first born, start to be more tolerant of other parents. I wish that every judgmental new parent would later be forced to sit beside herself once her kids are older because I bet she would be shocked to see how much time and energy she wasted on perceiving herself as perfect. She is not, and karma has a good memory.
Every parent makes mistakes and we mothers especially need to lift each other up, not tear each other down. I admit, I still have to work at keeping my judgmental self at bay. It's easy to judge, it's harder to keep a clear focus on your own life. So let's just move on from the mommy wars, shall we?
My friend and fellow twin mom, Elisabeth forwarded me this wise post, from Rage Against the Mini Van, Where is the Mommy War for the Motherless Child? Read it and then remove yourself from groups like the car seat venting forum. Refresh your perspective, and carry on doing things that really make a difference.
I relish my role as a mother. I deserve the support and applause of other mothers, not cloistered judgmental whispers about my parenting as seen through the out-of-context distorted lens of a blog post from 2010.