Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 181 - Sanctimommy

I remember after my first child was born, that everyone wanted to give me free advice about how to raise my son.  Feed him cereal in his milk, then he will be full.  Don't put cereal in his milk, it will make him a fat baby.  Lay him down on his left side in the crib, the right side, his stomach, his back.  It seemed that although well intentioned, most advice was contradictory and confusing.  So after raising two sons who are now grown and out of the house, I can empathize with new mothers.  And it is very hard to not be one of the people that I just described and dole out free advice. 

I came across a term that pretty much sums up this type of person: Sanctimommy (noun): a maternal micromanager who is unable to stop herself from lecturing other parents with her (unsolicited) opinions on child rearing. This coming from the word sanctimonious. 

I vow to never be like this person.  I was in the grocery store behind a woman with a young child that appeared to be around 8 months old.  He was cute as a bug.  He had a gold necklace around his neck that hung below the neckline of his shirt.  I debated on whether I should mention that this was a very dangerous piece of jewelry. It could get caught on something while the child was playing and choke him. I'm not one to keep my mouth shut and I debated the battle within of potentially helping save the life of this child and being viewed as a "know-it-all-mother" aka the new term sanctimommy. 

The thought of being a sanctimommy trumped my decision that day.  It probably was the first time EVER that I decided to keep my mouth shut.  I wanted to badly to tell her how my oldest son had swallowed a penny at the same age and had to have emergency surgery to get it dislodged from his throat.  Thank God if it had to get stuck, it got stuck in an upright position so that air could still through.  Or how my youngest son had a dime in his mouth and swallowed it riding his bike and had to go to the hospital to get a shot to  relax his esophagus so that the dime could "pass through his system" the natural way. 

For that day, I decided to be silent and hope that nothing like these events ever happened to her son and it was worth the eleven cents worth that I kept to myself.  That was a penny and a dime that cost more in medical bills than the coins were worth to be removed. But the lives that they saved were my children and that was priceless.

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