Parenting is hard. Every mom has had her moments of frustration where she’s reached her limit and was less than her ideal self. Every mom has been there. So why are moms still judging one another when we can all relate? It’s time to stop mom judging, and everyone – psychologists, media reporters, moms themselves – agree.
If you think about it, you have more in common with other moms than not. That is to say, your ultimate goal is to raise your children in excellence. No matter what individual choices you make, you’re coming from a place of love and trying to do what is best for your child in light of your entire family’s best interest.
Also, we each have a unique set of circumstances that weigh on us at any given moment. We never know what someone else’s situation is when we come across them. They may be dealing with pressure at work, financial concerns, sick family members, feeling poorly themselves, being pulled in too many directions, a failing marriage, or perhaps their children have just pushed every button possible that day. Haven’t we all worn at least one of these shoes?
Many psychologists cite that mom judging comes from an inner lack of confidence about oneself. Moms feel the need to judge one another because they are lacking in some way or are not confident about their own decisions in raising their children. If you find yourself mom judging, stop and think about your own struggles and whether what you are projecting on another mom (or even your kids) is really an internal conflict. Many times, identifying your own feelings can help you get to the root of why you are mom judging.
As you struggle with making parenting decisions, remember that others are too. Much of parenting is trial and error and what works for some, doesn’t work for others. Giving solicited advice is one thing but passing judgment is something entirely different. As humans, it’s hard to be objective, especially about something as personal as parenting. But try not to see parenting as black and white, right and wrong. There are so many spectrums on the parenting rainbow and all of them can be right.
Remember that mom judging is hurtful, a form of name calling really. We teach our children not to call names and that different families make different choices. This is a good lesson for moms as well. For those who have been mom judged or shamed, you know how badly it feels and how much it makes you question your very existence as a mother. Don’t make others feel that way too. And, if you were the recipient of a harsh mom comment, try not to let it bother you too much. Listen to your heart and know that you are doing the best you can for your family. No one else has the right to judge the way you love.
Sometimes moms are their own worst critics. It’s true, we are often hardest on ourselves. This is where you need to cut yourself some slack, have compassion for yourself and recognize that all moms struggle at some point. It is normal, natural and part of the job. Lean on friends or your partner when you self-judge. Let them be your mirror and help you see yourself more accurately. Especially as a new, first-time mom, often it takes an outsider to keep things in perspective.
Next time you see mothers out in public, talk to friends about what’s happening with their kids or examine your own parenting, try coming from a place of love, acceptance and objectivity. It takes more effort to be negative and it’s certainly bad for your emotional balance and spirit as well. Work towards judgment-free parenting and encourage your friends to do the same. Mom judging spread because moms got other moms involved. The opposite can be true too. Commit to stop mom judging and it will spread like a wildfire.