Mom doesn’t know best

When did birthing a child make you an expert on all things?  We used to have the notion that father knows best but the media and women’s liberation groups have seen to it that we no longer go around saying that. Now the catchy phrase is “mom always knows best.”

I saw the above flier in our pediatricians waiting room. I’ve seen it thrown around many times on social media. The scenario usually plays out like this: Some mom makes a poor decision and looks to get positive reinforcement from Facebook so she shares her poor decision backed with some ill thought-out logic and all the comments come flooding in: “you know what’s best for your baby,” “you’re his mom, no one knows what’s best better than you,” “Good for you for standing up to your Doctor, you know what’s best,” “Don’t listen to anyone else, you know what’s best.” etc. etc. etc.

I’m not sure when giving birth to a baby makes you more qualified to diagnose medical needs than someone who went to 8 years of medical school and has been practicing pediatric medicine for 20+ years.  I’m not advocating to never seek a second opinion or to never ask your doctor if there is an alternative, but I am advocating that reading 6 posts on facebook or webMD does not put you on equal footing with your doctor.  And sometimes maybe you should run ideas past a trusted friend and listen to what their answer is.  Raising your child based on popular vote via social media is a horrible idea but so is never ever listing to anyone.

I was a social worker for a while. My caseload was full of moms who did not know what was best for their children.  Sure, many of these moms were addicted to drugs and were making poor choices based on their addictions but many more than you would think were moms who genuinely loved their children and were simply not properly educated about the decisions they were making.

We are all capable of making bad decisions. That’s why we need to be there to help and support each other in love, NOT blindly parrot out the lie that parents unquestionably always know what’s best.  We are not doing anyone any favors by saying this, not ourselves and most certainly not our children.

So lets stop with the “Mom (or dad or uncle or aunt or grandma or grandpa) always knows best.” No one always knows best. Parenting is hard. Sometimes what we need most is a loving friend who can tell us the truth, not a cheerleader who is encouraging us off a cliff.

7 thoughts on “Mom doesn’t know best”

    1. Thanks Lia,
      I think it is important. I’m not sure when we started thinking this way, I’m guessing the internet with instant information had something to do with it.
      It’s also a fine line between when speaking up is necessary and when it’s ok for someone to simply have a different parenting style.
      These conversations are probably best left for your closest friends and not had over social media. 🙂

    1. Thanks. It’s true I could have rambled on about deadbeat moms but I didn’t want to get too negative. I just wanted to point out that parenting is tough and moms (and others) can be wrong. And sometimes what people need are loving friends, not cheerleaders.

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