The Parenting Blame Game: It’s Not Your Fault

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On the heels of a particularly touchy topic, as I responded to the writer of the blog post “12 Reasons Why Peanut Free Schools Are Not Okay,” I was reminded of the ugly underbelly of the parenting world.

Parents blame other parents for all the things they do not know or understand. Taken in part a comment from my last post:

As a mother to a son with multiple, severe food allergies and a daughter with an autoimmune disease that is life-threatening on a daily basis, I am sadly too familiar with this kind of attitude. We hear it all too often…even from family members. My daughter has type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease with no known cause nor cure and not caused by any unhealthy lifestyle choices. Yet, time and time again we are told we caused it…that natural products will cure it…and people often say, “but she can’t have diabetes, she’s not fat.”…We have been told by my children’s grandparents that they don’t invite us out to eat because it is “too uncomfortable” for them that we have to insure that the food is safe for our children and to watch our daughter get her insulin injection.

What in the world? We parents – I think moms especially – carry enough weight and guilt when it comes to our children.

The truth is, there are a lot of theories out there. And there are a lot of studies. But there is nothing out there that says we parents ought to carry the blame for any of it.

It just happens that people like to point fingers. We love to blame people for whatever is not perfect.

Let’s get this straight right now: You. Are. Not. To. Blame. I hope that, over the noise of the blame-game and all the latest theories tossed your way, you can hear me speak this truth to you right now.

It’s not your fault.


The Parenting Blame Game It's not your fault

In fact, chances are good you’re doing everything you can to raise your child well. Diabetes, life threatening food allergies, asthma, physical disabilities … whatever it is, I would venture to guess that you are probably doing your damnedest to make sure your child lives as full and “normal” of a life as possible.

The next time someone tries to tell you that you ate too many GMOs as a kid, that you should have breastfed, that you shouldn’t have vaccinated, that you should have vaccinated, that you should have allowed your child to go roll in a pig pen to prevent whatever challenges he or she faces, remember this: It’s just not your fault.

If you need to find a safe place to breathe and rest and know that you aren’t being judged for what you did or didn’t do, or what you are doing now, join us here.

The work you do? No one but other moms and dads walking that very same path may ever know how hard you work. No one knows how very strong you are. Let this one load of blame be something that you let go. You are strong, but there is no reason to carry such a load.

Throughout the past several years, I have grown to embrace and celebrate the gift that I have been given. I have learned so much through having a child with severe food allergies, asthma, and environmental allergies. I have learned no matter how much blame someone might like to toss my way, there are many others willing to embrace me. I have learned that life is good when you surround yourself with good people; ones who build you up rather than find ways to tear you down.

We have been given such a gift. We are entrusted with teaching our children how to be resilient and strong, how to be considerate and trustworthy in tough situations, and how to be kind to those that may be different from themselves.

We are raising champions.

I think I’m going to start blaming people for positive things like that. I’m turning that blame game around. Starting right now.

Tiffany Self

Tiffany Self is a wife, mom to "Z", and a lover of words. In an ironic twist, she is an English class dropout who now writes for a living. Tiffany is a freelancer in the Chicago suburbs by way of Seattle and Southern Oregon. She writes about her journey of parenting a child with multiple severe food allergies, asthma, and environmental allergies. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

4 Comments to The Parenting Blame Game: It’s Not Your Fault

  1. Jennifer

    Thank you so very much for this!

  2. I felt reminded and saddened by this post because we have experienced similar situations with family. You are correct that as moms, we tend to carry guilt naturally. Every mom probably does. But when you are the minority as a parent of a child with food allergies, or other diseases, the guilt is overwhelming. And how can you possibly explain to a child that their grandparents are essentially embarrassed of them?
    I like your idea of turning around the blame game by naming some positive causes and effects. I have a post on my website with some of these exact ideas. In many ways, my son’s food allergies have been a blessing in disguise because some good has come of it.

  3. Keith

    Lets cut to the chase here. The body is a complicated living organism. Doctors, nutritionists, and scientists, even with all the research, are still in the dark of many functions of the body. Just as many theories in science are put forth as fact, so are the theories of nutritionists, and theories of Doctors. Many forget that each living body is unique in its own way and will react differently than other living bodies. Knowledge of the body doesn’t mean understanding. So, those who put forth their answers as facts for the “cure” or cause of allergies etc. may doing that from something which may have worked for them, but in no way guarantees it will work for others. I highly respect parents who who work so hard with their children who have allergies or other special challenges. I want to thank those parents who have to work so hard with children who have any special needs. Especially those with food allergies as so many adults really have no knowledge and certainly no understanding of what is involved in parenting a child(ren) who have such allergies. I would encourage those adults who do not have a child to spend time with parents who do so they will learn to understand the challenges. To those who “know it all and have all the answers,” I suggest you zip your lip so you don’t show your ignorance. Kudos to all those parents who have those challenges and moms, I say, “In keeping on looking for answers, you show that you are a success. I admire you for that.” Because you are a success you are not failures, so pat yourselves on the back at least 3 times a day!

  4. Kristin

    So needed this today. I am my own worst critic, and need to lighten the load a bit. Thank you.

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