The latest of which, and most interesting, seems to be the bashing of moms who lash out first.
Dubbed SanctiMommies by the dear and thoughtful Mom-101, it seems these are the folks - men and women (I'm not biased) who feel the need to voice (or at least intone with heavy sighs) their fervently held beliefs that other parents are just getting it wrong.
You know who you are: You are anonymous commentators, the eye rollers, the tisk-tiskers, the I-can't-believe-that-child-still-has-a-pacifiers when you're in the presence of moms, who, for whatever reason, happen not to be getting it right that very instant. Often you have no qualms about letting your feelings be known, especially if it means some child isn't scarred for life because of something dumb their parents are doing.
SanctiMommies can also people who don't have children but are pretty certain their little peapods wouldn't be careening around a fine dining establishment disturbing the meals of innocent gormands.
Most people admit to falling into the SanctiMommy category from time to time, and tend to let it wash away their own sins. We even pick our poisons.
I know a SanctiMommy whose pet peeves are pacifyers and thumb sucking. She can overlook soiled clothing, temper tantrums and other transgressions but she can't help herself when it comes to the dreaded binks. Whenever she sees the offense play out in her presence her face crinkles into the shape of a prune.
"How old would you say that child is? Too old be be sucking her thumb I would say!"
Whenever this type of thing happens in my presence, I fall silent, avert my eyes and try to change the subject.
Having been at the receiving end of a number of Mothers Superior, I am in the There-But-For-The-Grace-Of-god-Go-I school of parenting.
"She should have a hat on. ... I hope she's wearing sun screen. ... She's too young to be out in this cold. ... I didn't have children to let other people raise them. ... Who's the parent in this family? ... Children that age shouldn't be in restaurants. ...My kids never eat anything processed. Do you ever put that camera down?
The list of my transgressions, and public airing of them, goes on an on.
I can honestly say I've never been particularly sanctimonious about any of the hot-button issues. I've known too many people who have been tortured by "getting it all wrong."
The didn't have natural births; they couldn't breastfeed; their babies didn't thrive right away; they were depressed and fearful. One woman ultimately ended her own life. It always comes down to this: "Who am I to judge?"
I suppose the gift I really have is knowing what it is I know nothing about; and that list, my friends, is a long one, too. I try to think the best of everyone because I really don't know what they have to deal with from day to day. Hell, I don't even know what I'm doing from one day to the next, and I have to believe each one of us struggle with the same demons.
And for all those folks that would judge me? I'll try to let it go. Perhaps more than me even, they're struggling, too.