Lately, as a stress-reliever, I would read posts on STFU Parents, and I encountered the term, “Sanctimommy.” Apparently, it’s an old term so I’m a late bloomer. For those of you who also don’t know what it means, here’s a definition:
Emphasis on the lack of humility people! Despite the negative connotation, I easily identified myself as a Sanctimommy. And I think some of you may agree with me! Right? Aminin! For example, I remember when the sister of my sorority sister gave birth. A week later, I saw a photo of the newborn baby drinking water! Water! I immediately messaged my sis and told her why a newborn can’t drink water. Take note that I do not even know her sister haha. It’s a good thing my sis is good-natured or I could’ve received a mouthing right there and then!
It has something to do with my being a self-confessed know-it-all, my constant debates with my father at the dinner table growing up, and my dose of OC-ness that I had taken from him. I just can’t stand it when things are incorrect; I literally feel itchy, promise! Maybe that’s why I’m a teacher by passion and profession. But I’m getting way ahead of my story.
So yun na nga, I’m a Sanctimommy. A silently judging one. You’re feeding your toddler junk food?! Oh the horror! You’re letting her watch TV?! Shame on you! You’re actually letting your baby use the iPad?! Don’t you even care?!
And I dished out a lot of unsolicited pieces of advice, too! Oh yes, I am so annoying.
On the flipside, because I’m aware of this mentality, I would always try to choose the “good” choices: breastfeeding, homeschooling, organic, stainless steel, manipulative play, outdoor play… The list goes on, but I do these because I want to be the ultimate mom – whatever that is.
That used to be my lifestyle; “perfect mommy” used to be my peg – until I became yaya-less.
Suddenly, I have to use my cellphone as an emergency babysitter and let it entertain my 2-year old just so I can finish reviewing an essay in more or less 30 minutes. I review 12-14 essays a day, so I can’t count how many times I have to hand the phone over to my toddler! Do the math!
Suddenly, I have to buy a new TV just so he would watch Disney Junior while I’m wracking my mind identifying the organization issues in a student’s essay. And Disney is evil, right, so I’m just hoping there isn’t subliminal messaging in the shows we watch. Haha!
And suddenly, instead of being a fun and cool and patient mom, I find myself yelling at Yuri several times a day! Not cool, mom, not cool at all. It’s not his fault that I’m so tired!
I am tempted to compare how I am faring to those who are “veterans” in being nanny-less, including my mother. The funny thing is while I’m learning a lot from them, they also admit that they used technology to babysit their children just to get some work done. Whew, what a relief! Yuri won’t be a TV-zombie after all.
I also realized that these moms who truly know “real mothering” are barely Sanctimommies. Or they could have been one before but changed, too!
And, get this, some Sanctimommies (like I was!), those who think they are supermoms (as in superior-moms) and those who exude a holier-than-thou attitude, don’t really know a lot pala.
What a humbling experience this is. I’m now positive that God removed the yaya-who-must-not-be-named from our lives not only to remove a bad influence but also to teach me a lesson. A couple of lessons actually:
1. I will never be a perfect mom, so I should not pressure myself to conform to silly high standards. (The world’s standard is not God’s standard anyway!)
2. I will never be a perfect mother, so I should stop judging other mothers. I should stop comparing myself to those who “seem” better because, sometimes, they’re really not, and I should stop acting superior over those whose choices are limited or just different.
In other words, I need to stop acting like an annoying brat.
But aside from humbling me, looking at the bright side, this experience – or, more accurately, a lifestyle change – reminds me that God doesn’t really care if I let my child watch TV or play apps. (He cares about my yelling, though, so I should work on that.) At the end of the day, it’s raising a person who will live for the Lord that truly matters.
PS: I can’t help but share this funny post on Sanctimommies: 10 Lies To Tell A Sanctimommy So You Can Survive Your Playdate