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Why I don't care if you think I'm a bad parent

Gemma Hartley is a freelance writer with a BA in writing from The University of Nevada, Reno. She lives in Reno with her husband, three young kids, an awesome dog and a terrible cat.

Go ahead and say I'm a bad mom; we can still be friends

I’m a strongly opinionated woman, and I’m not afraid to show my colors. I know where I stand on many issues in the so-called mommy wars. I don’t partake in these fights; I simply know where I stand. I know what is best for me and my family, and I won’t be persuaded otherwise. 

I vaccinate my kids. I co-sleep. I used to make homemade baby food but totally gave up on that craziness. I don’t like hormonal birth control. I limit screen time to the bare minimum. I am firmly in favor of wine. I’m strict with bedtimes. I’m a feminist. I think dogs are infinitely better than cats (mostly because my cat is THE WORST). I chose a big family. I married young. I give my kids chores. I babywear. I am Pinterest-savvy like no other.

More: The letter my pre-mom self really could have used

I don’t state these things as fighting words. I’m an open book when it comes to my parenting decisions, because I know I am right. I am right by me, that is, and when it comes to my family, being confident in my choices is the only thing that matters. Mothers who disagree with my decisions probably feel the same way. Persuasion via the Internet is a rare (and possibly non-existent) thing. It’s just as likely you’ll have your life view forever altered by a bumper sticker.

So why do I state my opinions and positions with such fervor? I put it all out there in hopes that it will help make some other mama feel less alone. I do it to find community. I don’t do it to cast judgement or make enemies. As long as you’re taking the path that feels right to you, you’re doing just fine. Even if you don’t feel totally confident in your decisions, you’re still doing just fine. You’re mothering, and you care.

More: 19 Books that will teach your kids big life lessons

That’s why it doesn’t matter to me if you agree with me or not on the “hot button” issues that plague mom blogs. You may have a totally different opinion than me in regards to my parenting decisions, and that is fine. We can still be friends. Unless you are partial to instigating Facebook arguments, in which case, get your fighting sweatpants on and settle in.

Otherwise, let’s not be assholes. Let’s get a cup of coffee and get to know each other. You can helicopter parent your kids while I let mine dig in the ever-growing mud pit I choose to ignore in the yard. I’ll bake Pinterest-inspired cakes while you enjoy my collection of cheap wine.

More: Parents sued for letting kids play too loudly in the backyard

We can talk about ourselves, our passions, the things that bring us joy and the struggles that unite us. We can be women: real, reasonable and multidimensional. We can leave the faux-rage on the Internet where it belongs.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

Go ahead and say I'm a bad mom; we can still be friends
Image: Indeed/Getty Images
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