Do you feel like a mommy fraud?

Motherhood is my attempt to love my kids and not screw them up too much.
Photo by memorymarket photography

As a mom, just about everything I know, I learned through trial and error. Although I’ve interviewed parenting experts and read their theories but when it comes right down to it, no one has ever been able to teach me how to react to my kids unless they’re standing there with me. Which is why the whole notion of mommy wars seems ridiculous to me. I mean, you think you can do better? Be my guest. Please take this screaming child home with you and fix her.

According to a recent study, 70 percent of women feel like a fraud in the workplace. Well, I guess I have to take that one step further, since my workplace is the home. I will admit that more often than not, I’m a fraud at home too. Yup, most of the time I have no idea what the f#ck I’m doing at home either. While I may have taken courses in news writing, and science reporting at university, I sure never learned how to talk down a 6 year-old when he’s in the midst of a complete meltdown, nor did I ever learn how to make my almost 5 year-old stop pooping in her diaper. And chances are, you didn’t either.

Most of us feel like we’re tricking our bosses and co-workers on a daily basis; maybe if they knew how disorganized and messed up we were, they’d fire us. Considering we’re that insecure in jobs we’ve been trained for, it’s not much of a stretch to suspect we feel the same way on the home front; where we are forced to play it by ear most of the time.

Deep inside, I think a lot of mothers feel like maybe we’re not good at this job either — I know I do. So if we see someone who’s doing something that even we (sub-par in our own eyes) wouldn’t do, well then that poor schmuck should have her kids taken away! Tell me you didn’t feel a niggle of shock when you found out Suri Cruise still uses a pacifier at four-years-old. Yah, I don’t believe you.

Can’t we all just agree to chill out about each other’s parenting? (Yes, old lady from the Superstore, I’m talking to you! I don’t care if you find my daughter’s crying disruptive.) Outright child abuse is one thing, but if Katie Holmes feels like soothers are the way to go, I’m not going to say anything to her. I’m so busy trying to track down my own three (badly behaved) children, I don’t have time to worry about how she’s raising hers. Chances are, by the time Suri’s in college, she won’t use her soosie in public.

I’m sure I’ve unwittingly said rotten things to people about their choices (if it was you, I’m really, really sorry!) but honestly on the topic of how other people raise their kids, I’m ambivalent. I don’t have any great and wise parenting philosophy that I check fortnightly to make sure we’re all on track. As with much of my life, I follow my gut. Except when old ladies harass me at the grocery store; then I keep my hands to myself — even though my gut tells me to deck her.