Why Are Moms So Judgmental?
9 Ways Parents Can Start Supporting Each Other
by Laurie Jane Free
Recently, I read an article about how the Whooping Cough was an epidemic in California and it stated that this was a direct result of people choosing to not vaccinate their children. I was shocked by the vehemence towards each other on the topic. Yes, if my child contracted a deadly disease as a result of being around unvaccinated children — and I vaccinated my children — I would be angry and want to blame the parents who chose to not vaccinate their kids under the ‘herd-mentality’ premise.
However, lately, when I get inwardly steamed about a controversial subject, I am trying to do the opposite of overreacting and commenting wildly on Facebook. I am trying to bring my inner Dali Lama to the forefront and find a medium in which we can agree to disagree and really try to support each other as we raise our children in this world.
As a society, I feel like parents, women especially, could do a better job in supporting each other when it comes to how parents chose to provide for and raise their children. Any parent that’s pouring love out of their heart to raise their children is a parent I support. Why does it have to be a competition? Why are SAHP (stay at home parents) cast as a certain stereotype and working parents cast as another? There are perks and insurmountable obstacles of all types of scenarios in raising kids.
For the record, I have probably criticized every one of these items in my head (or even out loud). Through some personal growth, I am realizing that when I criticize another person, my own inner insecurities are rearing their monstrous head. My criticisms of anyone or anything, has everything to do with my issues and little or nothing to do with their issues. My point: Stop throwing stones in the glass house and start using some Windex together. Let’s try to remove the following preconceived notions and judgement out of our parental interactions:
1. Extra Curricular Activities: The number and type of them (i.e. sports). Thankfully, because of some of the work I have done on myself, I’m less likely to parent my children based on comments made by other parents.
2. Discipline: Aside from physical or emotional abuse and neglect, how you choose to discipline your children is YOUR BUSINESS. You are in the shoes 24/7, not the onlooker.
3. Staying at Home to Take Care of Your Children vs. Working to Take Care of Your Children. Both scenarios have their pros and cons. Stop trying to win the argument because there should not even be an argument anymore. It takes a village.
4. Being a Single Parent. Enough Said. I know my Dad struggled with this feat for many years, and I have the utmost respect for the single parents out there.
5. Being A Gay Parent. How is “gayness” affecting the child? Or your child? If you associate being gay with being perverse, that’s your problem.
6. Home Schooling Your Children. Sending your children to Private School. Sending your children to Public School. I could not home school my children, because I substituted as a preschool teacher and I learned very quickly that it’s simply not in my DNA… and I would be performing an injustice to their education.
7. Religion. I do my best to teach my children what I know. I bought them cartoon type Bibles so they have a basic understanding of scripture. Essentially, it is their decision to believe what they want. I believe in a Higher Power of my understanding, but I want them to come to understand what that means to them (on their own terms).
8. Responsibilities. How many chores your kids do around the house or if they earn an allowance. Again, you are the onlooker to other families. What works for some, may not work for others.
9. Breastfeeding. I’m backtracking a bit, but this is a really hot topic. I did not breastfeed. I tried, and had to stop. I am not one to buy another mom’s milk over the internet or even next door. I applaud the women who breastfeed. “BREASTFORMATION” (projectile vomiting of information on the benefits of breast milk) is not going to make a woman who did not breastfeed change her mind on the subject. It’s only going to make the woman feel horrendous about her decision and possibly become resentful of you. Information on the benefits of breastfeeding is great for groups and people who want to hear the information. I speak from experience and most moms I know who also did not breastfeed, did not make the decision lightly. Many tears were shed over my decision to formula feed my children.
I am around many moms. The most common thing I hear is that they are so tired of being judged, and tired of feeling like they are losing themselves in what other people think they should be doing. Why are we so damn hard on each other? Aren’t we hard enough on ourselves? Whether you are a strict parent, a funny parent, a fly by the seat of your pants parent, cook three meals a day for your kid parent, kids were potty trained at 18 months or 5 years parent, organized Pinterest guru parent, handy parent, dramatic parent, etc, I think the worst thing we can do to each other as parents is criticize each other! So, have you hugged another parent today?