News and Tribune

January 21, 2014

BEAM: A stone’s throw away

Local columnist

— Hey, you!

Yeah, you, the mommy blogger who constantly publishes those condescending opinions that point out all the wrongs associated with other mothers’ parenting styles, but amazingly never any mistakes of your own. You, the sanctimonious gal that makes normal, everyday women like me feel insecure and downright rotten after reading your supposed words of wisdom.

Not all mommy bloggers fit into your category, mind you. Most are funny and warm and openly discuss their failures and struggles as parents. Many are the women we learn from, despite our differences; the self-deprecating mothers who we connect with through laughter and tears.  

But, like with anything, blogging has its borders. And the ladies I’m referencing rest on those edges, wagging their manicured fingernails at the rest of us while towering atop their pedestals. It’s you, the mommies with the chip-free polish and snotty, know-it-all attitudes about raising “the best” family, who quite a few of us take issue with.

Before this world of widespread online notoriety, you were confined to sharing your greatness at PTA meetings, sports practices and the occasional grocery store aisle. This, we sisters in inadequacy, could handle. As soon as you turned to priss away to the fine wine section, the survivors made eye contact with each other and traded understanding smirks or, if time permitted, swigs of Boone’s Farm.

Now, though, technology has left each of us isolated in this battle with only the white rectangular blank of the blog’s comment section to release our anger and, for a few of us, our fears.

We get it. No one can compare to your perfect life and amazing children, at least in your own mind, and so you make it your duty to educate the masses on the ways not to achieve it.

Oh, sure, your glass house has been impeccably cleaned with a homemade vinegar and baking soda solution and squeegeed dry. Combine that with the knowledge that stone throwing can do wonders for those biceps without even stepping one foot in a gym, and, voila, you pitch the message of how a good mother should act and be and feel without ever looking at your own reflection of the spotless window you keep.

What makes me sad is that somehow you convince a few good, well-meaning ladies that your “right way” is the only way. Maybe they are feeling rather low about their own choices or apprehensive about their parenting abilities. Being a mom is hard work. Looking for guidance, they share these links through social media with the words “This is so true” or “Wow. Does she ever hit home.”

Yet, the only homes any of these ramblings come close to replicating are the stately mansions we’ll find up in heaven.

To put it bluntly, I’m just not buying it. Your suggestions are unobtainable and, frankly, absurd. And, you know what? I’m not alone.

Behind me are the mothers who are car-rider lines away from perfection, the ones who have a hard enough time getting by without your judgmental authority. Our finger nails are, at times, frayed from being bitten with worry. Instead of pedestals, we tend to stand on uneven ground, wondering if our steps will take us to higher ground or looser soil.

Still, despite all of these supposed differences, you and I are the same. Almost every mother wants what’s best for her child. That’s not always easy. While their achievements fill us with pride, their pain cuts us deep with dread. With this, missteps are bound to happen.

You, as a mom, know this. There’s no reason to prove our credentials, no medal for being the best mommy at the end of the rearing race. So stop with the fake bravado and patronizing airs, and let each of us choose our own path through this mystery called parenthood. In the end, all of our houses, even the glass ones, will become more resilient for it.

— Amanda Beam is a Floyd County resident and Jeffersonville native. Contact her by email at