Friday, February 8, 2013

Confession: I used to be a judgy Mom

Before I had children, I was the best parent ever.

I would never let my {not yet existent} children watch TV, eat anything processed (OMG can you believe how much Macaroni & Cheese those kids eat?!), tantrum in public, or sport a messy face or clothes while out and about...and so on. It pains me to admit this, but when I saw a Mom allowing any of the above to happen I would take comfort in the fact that I knew that I someday would be a better parent ::cringe::

Then Carina was born. I soon found myself chatting with other new Moms on the internet about who was breastfeeding {and who wasn't}, who was allowing their child to CIO (cry it out) at bedtime, and who was running off for a romantic vacation sans baby at just 2 months post-partum.

I judged. How selfish those Moms who didn't even try to breastfeed {without a medical reason they couldn't} were! ::wince:: How cruel to let your child cry and cry when they only want you to comfort them! ::ducks from the onslaught of rotten tomatoes that are sure to come:: Leaving their baby for a vacation so soon? I could never do that; I'm far too attached to my baby ::runs away in fear of life:: I was awful. And I'm so embarrassed to tell you that I said these words out loud (not to the Mommas directly, but in judgment nonetheless).

Now? I laugh at the ignorance of my BC (before-children) know-it-all self and take lessons from my holier-than-thou post-partum character on how not to behave towards my fellow Mothers. I don't know what changed in me or made me wake up and realize that I needed an attitude adjustment. Maybe the fact that over the last few months it has become clear to me that Carina can understand almost everything I say and do. If I encourage her to be nice to everyone and remind her that it's God's job to judge, not hers, but then she sees me shaking my head or wagging my finger at Mommas who choose to do things differently than me...well, that doesn't set a very good example for her.

Let's face it; being a Mom is hard work. We all face so many challenges every day and we do what works best for our families. So long as you're not endangering or neglecting your children, you (yes, you) are an AMAZING Mother. The last thing we Moms (collectively) need is a side of added guilt or shame on top of our full plate of everything we deal with and care for on a daily basis.

If you judge, criticize, condemn {or any combination of the above} Moms for their parenting decisions, please stop for a moment and ask yourself why...
  • Does it make you feel better about your parenting decisions? If so, why not celebrate your choice with another Mother who has made the same one. Have a glass of wine together and toast to cloth diapers or co-sleeping! I'll bet that feels even better and I can almost guarantee that it will be more fun than harping on someone.
  • Do you somehow get off on putting another down? Why not channel that energy and effort into making a positive change in yourself or your life...pick up some cute new clothes or organize your closet. Feed off of your success rather than the vulnerability and sadness of a fellow Mom.
  • Are you genuinely concerned for the well-being of the children? I mean this in the kindest way possible, but BUTT OUT and focus on being the best Mom you can be for your own children. Unless the Momma isn't feeding the child at all or letting a day old infant cry for hours, it just.doesn't.matter. Don't waste your time.

Think of the way you'd like your child to treat others, and conversely the way you'd like your child to be treated by others. Live this; strive to set the best example you can for your children, in your words and in your actions.

P.S. To those who run off on romantic vacations 2 months post-baby: Today? I don't judge you; I ENVY you. For reals.
Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...