Katie Holmes, Parenting Decisions, and Judgment

Every single day, we have parenting decisions to make.  Some are the small parenting decisions, like whether or not to allow another episode of Sesame Street.  Then there are the bigger parenting decisions, like choosing a preschool, switching from a crib to a toddler bed, or getting a family pet.

It also seems like for whatever decision we make, there’s someone waiting to judge us and tell us that we’re doing it wrong.  These decisions and the resulting judgments seem like the basis of the mommy wars.  It also seems like the more visible a mother is, the more these judgments fall upon her.

Take Katie Holmes and her daughter Suri Cruise.  I don’t generally follow the celebrity tabloid stuff.  I generally don’t find it even remotely interesting.  However, I was reading The Daily Mail online the other day, and I accidentally clicked the wrong link and ended up reading a story featuring photos of a pouting Suri Cruise.

What happened?  Suri wanted a puppy that she saw at a pet shop.  (She went with friends and her mom picked her up.)  Upon being told that she couldn’t have a “designer dog,” the little girl had the typical reaction of trying pouting, then crying.

And this is when Katie Holmes can’t win.  If she bought the puppy, then it would be animal rights groups harping on her for supporting puppy mills and parents criticizing her for spoiling her daughter and not setting boundaries.  Because she didn’t buy the puppy, I’d read comments online saying how Katie was just so mean for not giving her daughter a puppy since they could afford one.

This kind of crap is exactly why we have mommy wars.  We are inevitably faced with the dilemma of being damned if we do and damned if we don’t.  Either way, someone is there in the wings, just waiting to tell you that you’re doing it wrong.

For the record, I agree with the decision not to get a dog.  They’ve had a huge upheaval.  Yes, a puppy is cute and fun, but puppies are a lot of responsibility.  Puppies are living, breathing creatures that have needs.  Getting a pet is a decision that should be thought about, not just done on a whim.  Good for Katie Holmes for making a parenting decision and sticking to it.  Good for her for setting boundaries.

At the end of the day, though, being a parent (at least, being an active and involved one) isn’t an easy thing.  That doesn’t change, no matter how many zeros are on your bank balance.

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. I totally agree with you. What difference does it make if you can afford a puppy. A puppy is a responsibility and at this time there is a lot of upheaval that basically having a puppy may not be the right time. Also, just because you have the money doesn’t mean you just spend willy nilly on whatever.

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