Ending the cycle of judgment

One of the aspects of parenting that I have struggled with the most is the judgments. Sitting in a room full of people who you know think you should be doing something different with your child is not an easy thing to do. Everyone has their opinions and their beliefs when it comes to taking care of babies and raising children. I know I was warned, that other parents face the same harsh criticism and that I alone have been guilty of passing judgment however that didn’t make it any easier for me to swallow.

There has never been anything as important to me or where I have taken more pride than motherhood yet at the same time I felt insecure especially with my first. At times I feel unsure of myself and facing the judgment of others has always made me anxious.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about why we judge others. Especially as mothers. Why as mothers, do we ever allow ourselves to cause another mother to question herself in such a way when we know how horribly isolating that can make you feel? Don’t we realize how dangerous it is to judge? How quickly that could be you? You never know what the future holds for you or your children be careful of your judgments because it could come back to bite you.

I’ve come to the realization that most of our scrutiny stems from our own feelings of inadequacy. If you are a parent you know that crippling feeling that you are messing up, that you aren’t being the parent you should be. We have all been there. Agonizing over your choice to formula feed rather than breastfeed could have caused inner turmoil. Maybe you raised your voice at your child because he was dilly dallying when you were already late for work or perhaps you rushed through bedtime stories because you just needed some time by yourself. You aren’t alone. We all do things that cause us to feel shame, guilt and like we are failing, even when some of those decisions are right for your family. These feelings wage a war in our hearts, in our souls and when we can’t own our uncertainties we lose the battle and the war spills outward. Our judgment of other mothers become our weapons to defend ourselves, to ease our own tensions.

Once you stop beating yourself up over your decisions it’s much easier to be accepting of other’s differences. I’ve recently been referring often to the conference I attended, Blissdom Canada, where I heard a lot about kindness. Judging someone else for walking their own path is not being kind and it will not ease my mind over the mistakes that I make myself. I have made a promise to myself that I will be as kind as I can possibly be. I will not allow anyone else’s actions impact mine. I will strive every day to be the best person that I can be.

Since becoming a parent I have become much more accepting. We are all walking our own path. What works for me may not work for you and that’s ok. I may even vehemently disagree with you on something yet I still can recognize that does not make me a better parent. I make my decisions based on what is best for my children, what is best for my family. I assume you do the same thing. We are all just trying our best to be the best parent we can be and owning our shortcomings and mistakes actually make us better parents in the end. This is a daunting task we are facing and it is much easier to succeed if we have support. Don’t make that job tougher for someone by kicking them when they are already down. Let’s make a promise to ourselves to try every day to be a kind and supportive person and I bet our journey through motherhood will become even sweeter than it already is.

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7 thoughts on “Ending the cycle of judgment

  1. What a wonderful post. I feel like it’s almost human nature to judge or at least compare ourselves to others. But not only is it an unfair comparison since you don’t know everything about everyone, it will make you miserable. My number 1 tip for parents is do what works for you, which you are doing as well. Kudos.

    • I totally agree. It’s so easy to judge someone else but you don’t know the path they are walking. We all want what is best for our children. Who am I to decide how you should achieve that? Do what works for you is a wonderful tip to offer new parents!

  2. I agree. As a parent you just have to do what is best for your family.. it may not necessarily be what is best for someone else’s family but it works for you and that makes it ok. Everyone is different, everyone has different beliefs and needs, having said that, everyone also has their own opinions… I supposed as a parent one must also learn that these opinions will sometimes be shared with you weather you you want to or not so just listen, smile, take the advice you want and let go of the rest. Don’t think about what others are thinking and just enjoy your babies..time goes by so fast you don’t want to spend it thinking about what others are thinking. If your baby is loved, and we’ll cared for then nothing else matters 🙂 to all the mommies who are currently being judged… you are doing a great job!!!

    • Agreed! You’ve raised a very good point in that opinions will be shared with you. A shared opinion does not always mean someone is judging you. Sometimes mothers offer an opinion as a means to help others, offering things that worked for them and may help you. You have the choice to take that and use it or put it in your pocket for another time. Keeping an open mind may help you learn new tricks!

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