The anti-judgment mom zone

by Kim on March 5, 2014

You know what I would LOVE to get my hands on, as a mom?

I don’t need another semi-generic (by necessity, to be fair) book about infant care, or nursing, or raising a toddler. I mean, they’re ok to an extent, but they’re always riddled with phrases like “find what works for your child!” and “you know your child best!”

“No I don’t!!” I remember thinking as a brand-new mom. “I just met him too!”

What I could really use is a book written specifically about my kid that includes advice relevant to our exact situation (as it changes over time, of course). Is that too much to ask??

Fine, maybe it is. But if that book did exist, I wouldn’t expect it to hold a shred of value for anyone else on the planet. That’s how unique I think this parenting business is.

Some parents feel like they’ve “seen it all” (and might therefore feel comfortable giving advice about it all), but really, they’ve only seen it all with their kid(s) in their specific situations. Just because they always had great luck breastfeeding or potty-training in a certain way doesn’t mean their strategies are going to do a thing for me, or anyone else.

It’s helpful to hear stories and ideas, of course, but what is not helpful is the judgment. That dang J word.

Where is all this coming from, you ask?

Yesterday was official Moms 4 Moms Day, originally declared by the Connecticut Working Moms group and later embraced by Babble, the Bump, and some other outlets. Twitter was flooded with #moms4moms comments.

moms

I only heard about all this because our Moms group here in my town got on board. They posted pictures of local women along with phrases like “I had a natural home birth” or “I had a planned C-section” (ohh the silly controversy) and “I’m a working mom” or “I’m a stay-at-home mom.”

The ultimate point is:

moms2

The more I talk to other moms and experience things for myself, the more true I find that statement to be.

For example, I’m pretty happy that I’ve been able to experience both the SAHM and working mom gigs. Now I can say with at least some authority that both are equally hard (I promise), just in different ways. I won’t go into the whole thing here, but suffice it to say that I would never dream of judging a mom about either of those things.

Same goes for the birthing business. Why does everyone care how other people get their babies out? (I mean, judgy care, not curious care.) It’s like saying, “How’d you get to work today? You DROVE? Ooohhh….I biked. This is awkward.” Isn’t the important thing that you got there? And maybe your route of transportation isn’t anyone’s beezwax? (Wow, I haven’t used that word in a long time. Liked it.)

Anyway, I just wanted to give a little shout out to the anti-mom-judgment movement (a day late, naturally).

If you want to read more Moms 4 Moms statements, check this out.

Fellow moms: have you ever felt judged as a mom?

I can’t say I’ve ever been 100% aware of judgment coming at me, but I’m always slightly paranoid about it.

I’m careful not to post pictures of my son with his pacifier in, for example, in case anyone judges me for letting him still use it. Same thing happened when we turned his car seat to face forward a little sooner than some of my more conservative mom friends would have (don’t worry–he was over a year old and weighed enough, etc…see, still paranoid!!).

Do you think moms are coming around on this judgment stuff, or are haters always gonna hate?

xoxo

K

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex @ Alex Runs For Food March 7, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I think haters are always going to hate! I’m not a mom but as a nurse I hear a lot of judgement. I trained with a new client the other day and the nurse that was training me in was so judgmental! She told me she was trying to work on it but then continued to say the rudest comments about the parents and the house they lived in. I was shocked. I will admit that when I first walked into the house I may have judged them but 1 I would never say it out loud and 2 I changed my judgement right away! I feel like life is to short to judge people! I’d rather be their friend :)
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char eats greens March 6, 2014 at 9:55 am

I think there’s that fine line (especially as a blogger) that I might not be doing enough as a mom and that might cause judgment. But, really, I think we’re all trying to do the best we can. And, I don’t want to judge other moms solely on the fact that it is different raising kids no matter if WE were all cloned, so I would hope that others try to not be judgmental either. We really do need to stick together because even with success does come error, and that ain’t a bad thing!
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Kim March 6, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Totally agree. I don’t really blog too much about my son, except to mention him here or there and share some pics, and that’s partially because I don’t want to open myself up to judgment. It’s just hard when people don’t REALLY know you, and they don’t know what your life is like, ya know? Anyway, for the record, I think you’re a fantastic mom. :) Not just saying that either!!!

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Lexie Wolf March 6, 2014 at 5:25 am

I think there will always be judgmental people out there in the world. I’m not sure that we can change those people. I think what we can do is work on our confidence and self-empowerment, so judgy people don’t hurt us. I don’t know. That’s what I have tried to do anyway. I still think the Moms 4 Moms Day thing is really cool though.
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Kim March 6, 2014 at 1:41 pm

That’s a great point! I really like the way you put that. I think part of our judgment problem comes from our own insecurities, too, so if we all just got a little more confident about what we’re doing, we wouldn’t need to poo-poo anyone else’s approaches.

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Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome March 5, 2014 at 3:15 pm

What a wonderful post! I hadn’t heard of this special day until last night otherwise I would have jumped on board! I’ve definitely been judged by other moms and as much as I hate to admit it, judged others. I try so hard not to but I’ve caught myself saying to my husband, “Did you see _____ still uses a bottle at almost 3?” Then I think, “Who cares!?!” It’s definitely not affecting me so why worry right? Glad that there is a day dedicated to spreading word about not judging. We are all in this mommyhood thing together in more ways than we know it!
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