I was pregnant with Calvin when I realized how quickly becoming a parent goes from being the most exciting and scary thing ever, to the one thing at which you will always fail.
That first trimester was glorious though: it was of course a roller coaster, but there was joy and anticipation. After the announcement, the questions and opinions never stopped.
If you are a parent, you have made yourself available to judgement from anyone and everyone. Just when you think you are safe and not around anyone with a child, you end up sitting near the judgy non-parent that will tell you what you are doing wrong.
All the ways you can fail are super obvious to everyone except you. You need to give your child a sibling. You spoil him. Why would you have more than two? Don't you know what a decent education costs? Don't you know how that happens? Don't you know how unfair you are being to your older children? They should not have any responsibilities for their younger siblings, and you are taking away important parent time from them. If you are worn out, maybe you should have thought about that before you had so many kids. Above all, you can never complain or have a bad day: you asked for it. You should (not) be breast feeding, bottle feeding, giving solids, using an affordable car seat (correctly or incorrectly), using pacis, using a stroller, wear your baby, sleep train, co-sleep, circumcise, peirce your baby's ears, sleep in, take a shower, go outside, allow your child near an electronic screen for any period of time, feed your child something fun, use a Bumbo, take your child in public, stay at home or work outside the home. You also cannot, under any circumstances, be poor. Got that?
Parents that are trying to raise their children in a religious home have additional judgments. Obviously you are brain washing them with morality and teaching them to hate. Isn't it convenient after all, how God always answers our prayers with the answers we want to hear? Your family size is up for further scrutiny, whether you have a small family (Don't you trust God?!) or a large family (They are raising their own cult.). If you are religious with children, (or religious at all) you damn well better be perfect and have no faults or else you are obviously a hypocrite for trying.
It feels as though the list is endless. There are moments where I wish I had known all the ways I would obviously fail as a parent before having children. It is as though the entire world believes that parents do not realize they are responsible for raising a generation of people. I get that there is a spectrum of parenting capabilities. I get that there are some people that are terrible parents. Shouldn't we assume that is the exception rather than the rule?
I am just a Catholic woman/wife/mother. I like good music, good food, good TV and movies. I don't like big groups of people. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I am pretty awesome. That does not mean that I am perfect. I make mistakes on a daily basis. I also do my absolute best to own up to those mistakes with the only people that my parenting mistakes effect: my children. They of all people know my faults, but I apologize and keep trying to do better. I also do many things right, and we have tons of fun as my children learn to be people. As I am tasked with being their primary educator in life, I simply do not have the time to tell you about all the things that you are doing, will do, or have done wrong as a parent. Can we all start giving each other that same courtesy?