THE BLOG
07/31/2015 10:39 am ET Updated Jul 31, 2016

Dear Moms Who Assumed I Was a Perfect Sanctimommy

It was one innocent comment. A thought. An opinion. Something each of us has all day, every day. We glance for a second at another family, a mom, and she is doing something that we don't do in our family. No biggie. We all parent differently. And we all have reasons for parenting differently. We have personal reasons, we have our own set of methods and ways and tricks for dealing with our kids. We do what is working for us, what we have found to work for our family. I applaud you for finding yours, though it's quite different than mine.

Am I allowed to think that? Am I allowed for one second to have a thought in my head like, "Huh. We do that differently." Or, "Well that is a little odd. I never did that." And maybe, just maybe, am I allowed to notice something and for one millisecond, be even the slightest bit thrown off by it? And can I give my thoughts on it on the Internet? Nope. I'm not. Because if I am, if I have a personal opinion about how something you did is different than the way I did it, I become an instant target for others to yank their bitch bow all the way back and prepare to shoot sanctimommy arrows in my back all day long. Because they assume they know exactly what kind of mother I am. With my one sentence, they just know. Surely, someone at some point has taught them what the word "assume" really means. It means you are making an ass out of u and me.

So what happens when mothers go on the Internet and leave an opinion? Oh You. Have. No. Idea.

You see, after I commented with my opinion, with my millisecond thought, you jumped on me quicker that a cat in heat at a Friskies convention. You started immediately with the obvious;

"Oh here comes little miss perfect mom!" Then you sprinkled in some "We all can't be like YOU, so right all the time. Your kids must fart rainbows." Then came the "Let's all bow down to the only mom who is doing it right." And finally, "The sanctimommy has finally arrived!" As the comment thread grew and grew, so did the assumptions. Now, not only was I in the wrong to actually have a personal opinion, but clearly, I was also trying to force my agenda on others. Yep. Let that sink in a sec. Then finally, that word showed up. The ace in their pocket. I was being "judgmental." I was also told to keep my mouth shut, and "If it doesn't involve you it shouldn't concern you." Can our society get any more detached from each other? From here on out, I shall never be concerned with anything or anyone but myself. That's sounds like an excellent idea. Comments kept flying out like vomit, and they stunk just as much. "Mind your own fucking business," "Shut your stupid mouth," "I bet you are a shitty parent in other ways." I especially enjoyed having all the words I never actually said now put right into my mouth. "So you're saying you are right and we are all wrong? Now we are all lazy mothers?" And finally, the "You don't know my kid so go fuck yourself!" comments. Aren't other moms lovely? Yes, of course I don't know your kid when I made my quick observation. I suppose I could have approached you, asked for your child's health history, what their learning style is, do they have a disability and what is it and can you please tell me all about it. But you know, I am thinking that would be a little AWKWARD.

Ladies, for the love of God, please put away your knee jerk ridiculous assumptions and just support each other. Because you know what? All those opinions you just had about me? All those disgusting and hurtful words you tossed my way? They're wrong. You don't know me. Period. With a big ass capital "P." You don't live in my home. You don't parent my children. You don't know jack shit about me.

Listen, I absolutely adore the first amendment, and support your right to say whatever you want, and to say it loud and proud, but I am constantly amazed at what grown ass women say on the Internet. It appears any sense of class, respect, maturity, and couth has seemingly left the building by way of comment threads. You are all slowly creating a culture of silence from those who have a different opinion than you, and that's the saddest and most dangerous thing about this. We need the differences. We need other opinions. We need everyone to be vocal without fear of backlash. As mothers we need to stop knocking others down and instead lift them up. So before you pull back that bow and let those assumption arrows fly, please check yourself. A village full of mothers aiming at each other's backs is not a village capable of raising children. Not in any way, shape, or pointed arrow form.

Melissa Fenton is a humor writer. Find her in the laundry room, kitchen, or running through a pasture, and also writing about her four sons at 4boysmother and on Facebook.