The Judgy Mom

April 30, 2012

I recently had a situation where a fellow mother was clearly being ‘judgy’ at both me and my son. The whole episode left me steaming mad. I was seconds away from letting this fellow mom know she was crossing the line with me and my child. Fortunately I remembered I was the grown up and ignored her looks and eye rolls. Days latter I am still thinking about this mother and some of the unfortunate situations we find ourselves with a fellow parent, why as women especially mothers is it so hard to find a common ground especially where are children are concerned? I’m not asking to sit by a campfire and sing kumba ya my Lord  with these mothers -just a sense of understanding we are all doing the best we can. I recently read a great post by From Mrs to Mama that helps put us all in check.

Check it Out:

Now that that’s out of the way, today I wanted to talk about a pretty hot topic on the inter-webs. “Judgy” moms. You hear a lot about it in the blog land as well as the twitter world. People have thrown out their own views on the topic, some stating how wrong it is to judge, some statingso be it, let them judge

And me? Well I sit right square in the middle of the subject. And before you jump to the conclusion that I think it is okay to judge and dismiss this completely, just rest assured that is not where I am heading with this. Just know that I don’t think thatit’s wrong either {to a certain extent}. Why? Because we all do it.

But before we go on any further, let me just start out by saying that it hurts when I read stuff on the internet that is directed toward another mom with the intention of hurting her, embarrassing her, or belittling her style of parenthood. It happens more often than we may even realize. And its something that needs to be addressed, and stopped. Even if I agree with the general topic or that style of parenting that is being said, it still is a big no no for me and I am 100% against any sort of online bullying, especially when it is directed towards another mom.

 Judgments. What are they? What is okay? What isn’t okay? {again, I’m not an expert… just stating my opinion, on my blog}

What are okay? The judgments that we internally  make when encountering an individual or particular situation.

This frequently happens without us even knowing. Sometimes we catch ourselves doing it. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we get angry with ourselves for it.  But often times? We agree with those thoughts. We all have our own beliefs, way of life, and “rules” of motherhood. And whether we like it or not, we pass judgment probably more than we realize, or should. Because its within us to do so, and a flaw of human nature. And as much or as hard as you may try, we all do it.
So in that sense? We are all guilty. And that? Is okay.

And I’m not talking about generalized statements that people make or blog about. For instance, you may truly believe that kids shouldn’t have a bottle past 1 years old and that as a mother you wouldn’t allow it for your children. As long as you said it, you stated your opinion, and you left it at that. Fine. Great. You aren’t directing it towards anyone, and you aren’t following that with a… “you’re a bad mom if you bottle feed your child past this certain age.” Sure some people may take offense, but you have to remember people will not always agree with you

And you know what? Who cares.

You may truly believe that cloth diapering is the best way to go, and you may say that you can’t imagine why people WOULDN’T cloth diaper. Hell, you could write a whole blog post about this and that. Awesome. Great. You said it, you believed it, and you left it at that. But if you add a little “judgy” statement like “moms who don’t cloth diaper are just lazy and taking the easy way out, and obviously don’t care about their baby’s bottom” then that may just be a little much, sista.

Because moms like me would be like… “girlfriend I don’t cloth diaper and my baby’s bottom hasn’t had an ounce of red since her birth.” —-gotta throw out some humor… although, it is true.

You may truly believe that pacifiers are a big no no and you think that it is wrong to let a 3 year old walk around with one. Okay, you said it. You aren’t directing it towards a specific individual. Sure, I’m sure someone will read that, and so happens that they have a 3 year old with a pacifier. And sure they may get their feelings hurt that you even mentioned this topic. But you can’t control that. That’s out of your hands. There will always be someone that gets their feelings hurt by anything you say. That’s all a part of life.

Just don’t go on to say that “moms who let their kids do this need parenting advice.” Or anything that would question their mothering techniques or intentions.

You may truly believe that breastfeeding is best for the child. Great. I agree with you 100%. However, I wouldn’t suggest following up that statement with… “how can you call yourself a mother if you don’t at least try to breastfeed.” Now, that, my friend is one ignorant statement. I breastfed for a year, I understand the benefits of breastfeeding, I believe in it wholeheartedly, but I also understand that there are different circumstances, different lives, trials, and hurdles that people encounter. Many of which we may not even be aware of. And sometimes, just sometimes, a woman may just not want to. So be it! It’s her choice. Don’t question her as a mother in doing so.

I frankly don’t believe that breastfeeding a child at the age of 4 years old is normal. Three years old sounds insane to me. I’m not afraid to admit it {I’ve said it before}. I could even write a whole blog post about it. However, I do not think you are a bad mother for doing so. I would never tell you to STOP. Sure, it’s not my style of parenting, and yes, I think it is bizarre beyond words… But I’m allowed to think that, and I would never directly say to you, “HEY YOU SALLY.. I THINK IT’S TIME THAT YOUR 4 YEAR OLD JOHNNY BOY STOPS WITH THE BOOB, IT’S A LITTLE MUCH DON’T YA THINK?  

You get where I am going with this?
So, the judgements that I am talking about here are theones that people direct to a specific individual {or group of moms that do certain things or practice a different way of parenting then them} in order to inflict some sort of guilt or pain out of them. It’s purposeful. Rude. And sometimes very nasty.
These women that call other moms out. Directly. Women that question their parenting style. Moms that try to tell other moms what is best and if they do it the other way than they are totally wrong or “take it from me” type of mentality. And those that go as far as demeaning their love for their child {those are the big violators right there.}

Even the passive agressive ones are just as bad. You know, the moms that are like.

What I have to say to these judgy moms {the ones that are up on some self-made annoying pedestool}, is that is you don’t know, you haven’t been there, you haven’t done that. You are not in that mother’s shoes. You are not living that mother’s life. And 99% of the time? You are wrong.

Sure, we are all human and we will all make judgments. Sometimes, we will slip and judge them directly, say something that is hurtful, or question their parenthood. But we should realize when we do this. Learn from it. Grow as adults, and more importantly as parents.
I’m not perfect. I have done it. And certainly, I’ve been embarrassed by it. But, I am continuing to learn how to be more open and see things from a different point of view.
I’m not asking you to change your views. Your parenting style. Or what you believe in. Hell, that would be like me asking you to change from a Republican to a Democrat {which I would never tell you to do such a thing… fun humor, if you will}.
Like politics, motherhood is one sore subject around the inter-webs. People say that you have to watch what you say, censor your “mothering beliefs”, and be all hush hush.
But I don’t believe in that. I think you should be open to state your opinions, your beliefs, your style of parenting {even if it goes against what the majority may believe in}… just don’t do it in a way that will belittlemoms, question their parenting, or try to push your ideas on them. 
Because at the end of the day? 

Only I know what is best for my child. And only you know what is best for yours.

Photo: Maryna Linchuk by Alexi Lubomirski for Vogue Russia May 2012
Original Post via From Mrs to Mama