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Is It OK to Let a Pot-Smoking Mom Chaperone a Camping Trip?

For all the other awful things about 2020, at least we still have the joy of watching a righteous person try to shame someone else and get shamed themselves for it. Our newest “Karen” is a mom who took to Reddit to complain about the reaction when she doubted another mom’s ability to chaperone a trip because she smokes pot. Not because she deals drugs to their kids, mind you, but because she uses it for herself.

On the AITA subreddit, aita_mom19 explained that she has been in a small group of homeschooling moms for five years, and this week, they planned a camping trip for 10 of their 15-year-old daughters.

“As soon as the trip was mentioned, the girls nominated our resident ‘Cool mom’ to be their chaperone for the trip,” aita_mom19 wrote. Though she was concerned about the choice, she didn’t bring up any objections until this week, right before the trip.

“First off, the woman smokes weed,” she wrote. “It is well known in the group. Her daughter is closest to my daughter in the group, and she has told me about cool mom smoking weed. I don’t think it is responsible, and if I’m honest I think it makes her lackadaisical in her child rearing. She may not provide adequate supervision, as she often does not in my perspective. Second she has shared with the group that she partakes in the use of psychedelic drugs. When sharing about our postpartum experiences, she shared how difficult it was to recover after having her daughter. She and her husband took a large dose of psychedelic mushrooms to ‘break through her depression,’ and she has shared with us that she still takes small amounts of these drugs from time to time.”

Only one other mom in this group shared her objections, and the rest called her out for shaming Cool Mom. To her credit, this reaction made aita_mom19 doubt her actions and take it to this forum to ask if she did something wrong.

Reddit’s verdict: Not only did she go about this the wrong way, but her fears for her daughter are most likely unfounded.

“If you had an issue with her chaperoning from the beginning, you should’ve said that THEN, not just waited and hoped it would all work itself out the way you want,” juliuspepperwoodchi wrote.

“The main issue here to me is the inconsistency,” EmpressJainaSolo added. “If drug use is a clear boundary for someone that’s understandable, but that boundary has to be consistent. The [original poster] is comfortable enough for this woman to be in charge for sleepovers and play dates. Either this woman can be trusted with the children or she can’t.”

Not only did aita_mom19 bring her objections up too late, she totally missed the opportunity to fix this problem by volunteering to go too.

“One chaperone for ten teens doesn’t seem to be a very good idea in the first place,” prairiemountainzen pointed out.

Well, after alienating the others, it seems rather too late for that solution.

Of course, a vast majority of the people responding criticized this mother for objecting so soundly to another adult using marijuana. This would have been a pretty common attitude for parents in our own generation, but with the drug legal or decriminalized in a majority of the U.S. now, it seems like an antiquated notion. Psychiatrists and researchers are also looking into the use of psychedelic mushrooms and LSD to treat depression. And this mother has given no indication of being Amy-Poehler-in-Mean-Girls-level of Cool Mom — the kind who would actually offer the girls a joint.

“I definitely understand your concern, but to make the assumption that she will be irresponsible enough to do these drugs while watching your children is rude,” krmg99 wrote. “I think it would be a good idea to raise your concerns to this mother directly rather than saying she cannot chaperone solely based on your assumptions. Also raising the concerns to others in the group, but not her directly, is probably making her feel like all the other parents talk about her behind her back.”

This is a good point. It is every parent’s prerogative to protect their children the way they see fit. But criticizing another mother’s life choices to the group is not the duty of any parent.

Instead of judging other moms, let’s celebrate these women who fought for the right to breastfeed in public.

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