I know. We aren’t supposed to admit that we judge other people. But guess what? I judge people all the time. And because I have two small children, I’m often judging other Moms. I’m not talking about Mom shaming. That’s totally different and mean-girl by nature. I’m talking about judging. To judge is to “form an opinion or conclusion about.” I googled that. I think judging another Mom is fair game. I think we all should be forming opinions of each other. Maybe by judging other people we can become better parents.
When I decided to become a stay at home Mom, I really didn’t feel like I gave up working. I feel more that it was a career change. I went from being a marketing professional to a Mom. I knew nothing about my new job and did what anyone would do when approaching a career change. I read about “the industry” online and in books. I sent my husband countless articles to read about labor and delivery, breastfeeding, starting solids, discipline, etc. We came up with a plan as to how we were going to approach all of these topics and then of course most of those plans got thrown out the window when my son was born and we realized that you really can’t plan for babies. Since all babies are different, there is not one piece of advice that will work for everyone. It’s all really “on the job training.” Do you know why there are so many books on parenting? It’s because there is not one way to do this and we’re all just trying to figure it out.
To the best of my ability, I applied what I learned from reading and what I learned from experiencing my baby towards raising my son and now daughter. Each part of our day is the way that it is because from what I know, it is the best way to approach that part of the day. I know that I’m judged for my decisions and that’s okay with me. I’m judged because I breastfed Leo for one year and am doing the same for Cora. “Shouldn’t they be done with that earlier?” I’m judged because I put my kids to bed early. “How could they sleep when the sun is still out?” I’m judged because I give Cora pieces of whole food instead of pureed baby food. “Aren’t you afraid she will choke?” They aren’t always questioning me in a negative way, but it is a judgement nonetheless. Something I’m doing is different from what they did or are doing. I’m okay with being judged because I do the same. I wonder why other people do what they are doing. I’m wondering because I want to learn what went into their decisions.
When judging becomes shaming is when it becomes hurtful. When judging becomes bashing another Mom for her decisions for her children, then it is insensitive. While we don’t owe others explanations for how we choose to parent our children, the next time you judge another Mom for her decisions, ask her why she does what she does. You may not agree, but at least you might understand.
I ’m not a perfect Mom and I’m sure that there are better ways to do some of the things that I do. I just haven’t thought about it yet, read about it yet or judged you for doing it yet! The next time you think, “I can’t believe she does xyz with her child.” consider for a minute what might have gone into her decision. The only way we can get better is to understand what others are doing different and decide for ourselves what we want to do for our own family. So, continue judging me. I will judge you. Maybe we’ll learn something new.
Here is a picture of Cora at 7 months not choking on her dinner. 😉