Stop Judging Me as a Mother, Me.

washing dishes


The baby’s cry from the living room had me putting down the plate I was scrubbing and rushing into the other room with dripping hands.

“What happened?”  I asked my four year old.

“I dunno” he said quietly.

“You don’t know?”  I scooped up my teary youngest and inspected him quickly.  “I think you do know, you’re just feeling afraid to tell me.”

After delicately pulling a play by play out of him, I found myself back in the kitchen tackling the mountain of dishes.

Are you sure he’s telling you the truth?

Yes.  He said he pulled a toy out of his brothers hand too quickly and he fell down trying to hold on to it.

Maybe you shouldn’t leave them alone for so long.  I mean, if you were watching you would know for sure what had happened.

Is ten minutes a long time?  I have no other chance to do these dishes – they’re gross.  Plus I need half of them to cook with later.

You know what might work?  Maybe you could get up early in the mornings and do them… You could fold that laundry on the couch at that time too.

Well, the baby wakes up at 6 am.  I suppose I could get up at 5 and clean up a little… but I’m just so tired…

Or before you go to bed?

Yeah, it just gets so late sometimes by the time I’m finished writing…

Well what comes first, really – blogging or being a mom?

Being a mom, of course.  That’s why I write after everyone’s been fed and cleaned and put to bed.

That’s why you’re so tired.  What kind of mom are they getting when you’re exhausted?

But I’m a blogger – that’s what I do.

I’m just saying that at this particular moment you are neglecting your kids to do housework because you haven’t done the housework at a more appropriate time.

You mean during the late hours of the evening?  The only time I have to myself… if I’m lucky?

You use that time to write for a bunch of strangers.  If you used it to get your chores done, you could dedicate more time to your kids during the day.

They get almost all of my time – except for a few minutes here and there where I half-ass my way through dishes or vacuuming.  I don’t even get to crap in private.

Being a good mom takes a lot of sacrifice…

You don’t have to tell me that.

I feel like it’s my job to point out when you might be falling short.  It’s only because I know you can do better… and because they deserve the best…

Well, shut up – you’re fired.

And just like that, I stopped judging myself for the rest of the day.  Granted, it was already 4:30 pm, but any parent knows that all kids under five turn into monkeys on acid at 6pm – so the hardest part was yet to come.

I did fairly well.

I just hope I’m still fired tomorrow.



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Comments (13)

  • I know those voices oh too well! And good for you for firing that critical one!

  • Cindy 10 years ago Reply

    Awesome job – firing the obnoxious voice in your head is the perfect move.

  • Becky 10 years ago Reply

    If you can get the obnoxious voice to not come back to the workplace and still be obnoxious, let me know. I’m the biggest bully to myself.

  • Venus 10 years ago Reply

    Damn that bitch… can you fire mine as well?? I’ve been too chickenshit…

  • Sandra 10 years ago Reply

    Sometimes mine goes on vacation, since there are dirty dishes in the sink and unwashed and unfolded laundry somewhere as we speak. But when she comes back, I always want to fire her as well. Sometimes I wonder if my Hubs thinks in that voice, too. I just know he had better not speak that voice. 🙂

    Jenni Chiu 10 years ago Reply

    I suspect my husband thinks in that voice too… He is smart enough not to voice it. Well, MOST of the time… and definitely not since he was left alone with the kids for four days.

  • @bluenotebacker 10 years ago Reply

    Self criticism always hits me harder than anything an outsider could ever say. By that same token, I feel strongest when I stand up to myself. Cheers to you Jenni.

  • Sandra 10 years ago Reply

    Wanna borrow my earplugs? Yoy won’t hear the voice or the kids crying. You’re welcome 🙂

    Jenni Chiu 10 years ago Reply

    Wait – earplugs work on the voices? Damn. I wish I knew that earlier – I wouldn’t have wasted all that money on meds.

  • Alison 10 years ago Reply

    We are our own worst critics. Damn.

    Glad you told THAT bitch where to go. Even at 4.30pm. 🙂

  • Cathy Flynn 10 years ago Reply

    Have they ever killed each other? Then go back to the dishes. If you wait until later all the food will be caked on and it’ll take forever to scrub them. If one does kill the other then you have one less bowl to clean. Just trying to look on the bright side.

  • Kat 10 years ago Reply

    Stupid voice…she visits me too and if I could physically remove her from my house I would. I tried to get a restraining order on her, but the cops called me crazy. wtf.

  • Good for you. And I disagree with her. You. Whoever. That time for you – writing or whatever – is important and I think it contributes to your ability to be a good mom just as much as anything else. Maybe even more.

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