Wednesday, May 04, 2011

On Being the Judgy Mom

Like anything in life motherhood has me in a continuous state of learning. Not only do I grow as mother like my children do but as a person as well. Recently, I noticed something about myself and as a mother that I didn't like.

I've started to judge. I hate that. I hate when other mothers and women do it in general. It's an easy trap to fall into, I will admit. Get a pack of women together and the judging begins before we even realize it. We judge how we dress, raise kids, keep house, have relationships with significant others, the list could go on and on. It serves no purpose most of the time. I think that under the guise of trying to learn how to understand each other better we enter into the dangerous judging zone. At least that is what I was telling myself a bit too often.

She lets her kids eat what?

I can't believe her husband treats her that way! If I were her...

I would never let my house look like.....

When my child behaves that way, I....

You know that person. You do it yourself from time to time. Or even all that time. It's ugly and completely unbecoming, serves no one and has real place. When I noticed that I had committed this faux pas, this habit that I loathe in others, I felt so ashamed. I know we all do it but it is something I have worked so hard to eliminate from my life and want freedom from for all women. It is just too common place. Not only was I judging but I was silencing myself too. I was keeping my ideas, opinions and thoughts on how I raise my kids, and parent because I was living in fear that I would be judged harshly as well. My feelings of inadequacy were blossoming as a result.

I'm not a crafty mom.

I don't spend enough time at my kids school.

I am not the "fun" mom who is off adventuring with her kids each day.

I don't do attachment parenting.

I am too harsh. Don't cuddle enough. Spend too much time working.

The list, the judging I was doing to myself was more than a brief look inward. I wasn't trying to reassess where I was as a parent. It was pure punishment that only ended up making me like less and less of a mother and as a person. I came away from each of these moments liking myself less and wanting more. It was and is totally unsatisfying.

I am vowing with each day to be better to my friends, to women and others in general. I am trying to go with the flow more, to take each day as it comes and treat my children with less judgement too. I have to accept that how I parent is different and it is still OK even if we don't make popcorn chains, tin can vases, tissue paper flowers or homemade granola. We have our own unique moments that make our family our own. And that is just as good and what works for us. The creed I had adopted early on as a parent had slipped away but now I need to reinforce it again. What works for you may not work for someone else. You can only do what is right within your own family and selves. Don't JUDGE others if you don't want them to JUDGE you.

Read Kristen Chase's post on This Ordinary Life for another fine example of happy parenting, happy self.


  1. I fall into the camp of keeping quiet, especially on the topic of breastfeeding. It's not worth my time to argue with someone who doesn't even want to try and understand that different decisions work best for different families. My kid is happy and healthy. End of story.

  2. Great post. Applies to everyone, loved it!


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