What defines “a mother” is not based on an ancient manual that gives out the details of what is and what isn’t acceptable parenting. How you raise your kids is a very private thing, based on personal choices you take for yourself and your children every single day. So, what makes one person feel obligated to lend some unwanted advice about the choices YOU as a mother make for YOUR kids? There exists a fine line between lending a helping hand and some needed advice and simple intrusion and things you, as a mother, don’t have to accept from strangers.
Note: No one should ever be allowed to give this look to your kids, but you of course…

Here are five things that TDC’s own super mama, Fayrouz Eid believes you can start saying no to, without feeling guilty…

  1. Strangers Kissing Your Kids.

It is most definitely okay to not want random people you’ve known for a mere 5 seconds hugging and kissing your kids. In our Middle Eastern culture, it’s almost a blessing and a curse that people feel so familiar and affectionate with each other that they think it’s ok to hug or kiss your child after having known you for a total of 5 minutes. But when did it become ok for a complete stranger, for example, a waiter at a restaurant to pick you your 2-year old and plant a big kiss on her cheek? On the other hand, how can you teach your kids about personal space and privacy when you have strangers intruding on their privacy every day? Some people tend to overlook how intimate and affectionate a simple act like kissing a child is and that it shouldn’t be overly abused the way it is.

  1. People Making You Feel Guilty About Anything Related To Motherhood.

This tends to happen to working mothers who make the choice to enroll their kids in preschools, hire nannies or find a way that works for them. Yes, it’s okay for mothers to make the choice to work and have kids. No, it’s not anyone’s business if the kids are “too young” for their mothers to enroll them in a preschool when she goes to work. But stay-at-home moms are also not safe from people’s judgement, neither are breastfeeding moms, formula feeding moms, co-sleeping moms, mom who wean too early, or too late….you get the point. But who are we to judge a mother’s decision to work and take her kids to preschool at an early age, or another mother’s decision to formula feed rather than breastfeed? No one knows the specific, unique circumstances of their lives, or the consequences they have to live with as a result of the decisions they’ve made. No one else is looking out for their sanity or their kid’s health. So what right does society have to pass judgement on a situation that takes place behind closed doors, the particulars of which we know nothing about?

  1. It’s Not Okay For People To Shout At Your Kids.

When and how did it become acceptable for people to shout at YOUR kids? For some reason, some people believe it’s their right to interfere with how you raise your kids and feel obligated to shout at them and give them unwanted advice. Furthermore, people in authority positions, such as teachers, coaches etc have become so comfortable with yelling at kids in an aggressive manner as a means of discipline. That’s not discipline. If you can’t keep your patience and have a habit of flying off the handle then maybe you shouldn’t be in a position where you deal with children everyday. Parents shouldn’t have to accept other people shouting at their kids. To each his own child, his own rules, his own upbringing.

  1. Unasked for Advice On The Lifestyle and Health-related Choices You Make For Your Kids.

All hell breaks loose when the masses find out a mother feeds her kids healthy food…gasp! It’s acceptable to feed your kids sugar, chemicals and harmful substances but feed them fruits and vegetables that are good for them and people start to interfere “You don’t let your kids eat cake?” Yes, and it’s not anyone’s business what a mother chooses to feed her kids.

  1. People Who Bully Your Kids In Front Of You.

“You’re too thin, does your mother not feed you?”
“Sweetheart, did you mom not brush your hair today?”

Never has bullying ever been acceptable, in any form. It’s such as a shame that we live in a society that accepts adults bullying kids based on their weight, their hair, over all appearance, their attitude or anything of the sort. Some mothers shy away from telling adults that their words are mentally harming their kids and they let sly comments from their families and friends affect their child’s mental health and self-image.
Mothers, it’s okay to stand up to your kids – it’s okay to say NO to people who bully your kids and ridicule them. Say ‘no’ to bullying and protect your kids, there’s no shame in that.

So people, let’s all respect the sanctity of motherhood, respect each other’s boundaries and let mothers do what they do best. Without judgement.