We’ve all seen her in a comment section. You’re feeding your kids the wrong foods, you’re doing the wrong extracurricular activities, you’re not dressing them properly. She’s the sanctimommy — and she has ideas for what all the moms should be doing differently. She’s the purveyor of mom guilt. Although she is not very popular amongst the rest of us, homegirl is very confident nonetheless.
I want to be the cool mom. But sometimes I feel like there’s just a fine line between the judgmental sanctimommy and genuine care about the health and safety of others.
Here’s an example: I absolutely hate it when people post photos and videos of their littles in carseats, because I am immediately drawn to the height of the buckle and tightness of the straps. I don’t want to ever correct someone else’s parenting, but I also care about carseat safety and want all the littles to be in the safest possible position. Do I say something? Do I not?
A similar anxiety occurs during the summer when everyone’s pool and lakeside photos go up. Seeing a flotation device used incorrectly, or a lack of arms-reach supervision makes my heart race. Water safety is one of my passion areas. I love to educate others about drowning prevention because I remember how much better off I felt when I learned about it. But do I want to be that mom? Must I be the buzzkill on summer fun?
Believe me: I know that I am no one’s expert on anything.
There’s lots of stuff I screw up DAILY. And I hope that the others in my village would show love to my kiddo by helping me learn and do better.
So what about you? How do you balance the goodwill desire to educate with the desire to not appear judgmental? How can we make all moms feel supported while also acknowledging best practices and kid safety? When does it cross into sanctimommy territory? Help!