If you don't have children, don't tell me how to raise mine!

mother and childWhy do people who don't have children feel it's their civic duty to pass judgment and criticize those of us who are parents? There are no manuals. Parenthood is strictly on the job training. I read an article written by a 45-year-old woman who referred to herself as "childless," even while writing the post about her stepson and daughter-in-law. She boldly said that even though she is "childless" she's got more childcare experience than her stepson and daughter-in-law. Maybe she does. But babysitting and being a mother are two very different things. She continued berating her daughter-in-law for being in awe of "every single thing the child does" finding her parenting style to be "exhausting."

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At the age of 12, I was responsible for my two younger siblings, both in diapers at the same time. I changed diapers, fed them, did laundry, cleaned the house, played with them, and could still find the time to read a book if they were napping.

Before we have children, it's easy to be an expert because we have no idea how complicated parenting is. How flippant she was to compare her babysitting to the love of a mother for her own child. There is an emotional investment when you can't return the child, when the childcare is not temporary and when that child is your heart walking around free in the world.

The tirade chastising her daughter-in-law for being too invested and involved in her toddler's life came across as small and petty. She even went as far as saying that she feared that the constant attention given to the child was causing him to be demanding. Newsflash "Abuela": you can't love a child too much. "I think it's because she's had his face three inches from her own every waking minute since his birth," she writes.

My children are the center of my universe and raising them is the most important thing I will ever do. What the hell is more important than raising the next generation of human beings? I am proud of my kids being a priority. I take my role as mom seriously. My first responsibility is to my children. If someone doesn't like it, tough, but don't make fun of moms trying to do their solid best. Parenthood is not a pissing contest.

Babies don't come with instruction manuals and parenthood is not an exact science. Basically, you can read all you want, babysit for a living and think you know what it feels like to be a mother, but until you hold that child in your arms and experience that moment when you realize that you are looking into the eyes of the most important person that you will ever meet, you don't have a clue about what motherhood is. Hell, I thought I knew all there was to know about parenting ... until I had children. Then I realized that I didn't know jack.

Image via Phalinn/Flickr

Topics: family  grandparents  how to parent  mommy wars