We’ve all heard it, some of us have thought it, and some have even dared to say it out loud, even right to the face of a parent just trying to parent…
You spend too much time away from your kids because you work!
How can you be fulfilled JUST being a stay at home mom?
You took your baby out in public in a sleeper and didn’t get her dressed?
Wow that outfit looks elaborate why didn’t you just let her wear a comfy sleeper?
I can’t believe you cover your baby while you nurse her how stuffy for her!
Uhg cover up while you feed him you are in public for crying out loud!
Formula is so bad for your baby, don’t you know what’s in that stuff?!
You should be using formula you can’t make enough on your own for your baby to grow!
How could they sleep with the baby in the bed, how long are they planning to live like that?
How awful that baby is all alone in his crib all night?
That baby is so spoiled being picked up every time he cries.
How could she use the “CIO” method, her baby should be held and loved all the time.
Why wont they just give that kid a sucky? Do they like listening to her cry?
How old is that child? Why would they still be using a soother?
They just left her baby with someone to go out by herself, how lazy/selfish can’t they just take the kid with them?
How does she spend every waking minute with her child, doesn’t she need some alone time, it makes for a better parent/child relationship?
Her kids don’t nap anymore; they are too young and need their naps they aren’t going to develop properly.
Why are her kids still napping? She can’t get out to do anything during the day still.
Why is she leaving so early, she is so tied to her children’s bedtime.
Her child is STILL awake it’s so late; doesn’t she know how much sleep children require?
Look at her organic, free range, non GMO, etc. etc. snacks she is giving her kids what a crunchy mom!
Oh no did you see her open that bag of Cheetos, how could she fill her kids with all those chemicals.
Why is she STILL nursing her child he’s too old for that!
I can’t believe she quit nursing so soon he didn’t get all he needed from her!
And so on and so on….
I know just as well as anyone else that there are some situations in this world that require attention. This world is not butterflies and rainbows; I don’t burry my head in the sand trying to ignore the fact that sometimes there is a need for intervention and support. There are dangerous or unsafe conditions that require this, but that is not what I am talking about here. I am referring to the day-to-day judgments, or differing of opinions on child rearing, the unsolicited advice given to parents as they navigate this world of raising tiny humans. To concern ourselves with trivial things when there is no danger is wasteful of our energy. Energy that could be spent on our own families and ourselves!
And I do mean unsolicited, because sometimes we need ideas, other opinions, other people to jump in and say “hey this is what worked for me!”
For the most part I believe we as adults often forget that most of us are just trying to do our very best, that we genuinely care for our families, and we usually have put enough second guessing, guilt ridden, worried time ourselves into the decisions we are making, we really don’t need the extra stress wondering or hearing out loud when other people think we are doing something “wrong.”
We all have expectations going into parenthood, things we are going to do, things we will never do… and we all have had some or all of those expectations shattered by reality. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we’d wanted and sometimes we beat ourselves up for that, we don’t need the judgments of other people to pile on top of all that we already feel!
We can’t win!
So let’s stop playing the game!
We have all done it, maybe not out loud but we have all passed judgment on another parent for choosing a different path than ours, lets all just admit it and then move on and stop!
Its tough not to judge, its hard when we have put time and energy into making a decision for our families, or our children, only to see that someone else is doing it differently, we put hours of worry, research, and thought into something only to see that someone is succeeding, or failing in some cases, by doing things different. It’s a hit to our ego, a jealous reaction, a grass is greener, or high and mighty feeling we all get at some point while we parent.
Don’t tell me you’ve never stood in line at the store and listened to a screaming child feeling pride looking at your own quiet child in that moment; maybe because (god forbid) you’ve handed your phone over to them, or maybe because your pocket snacks are doing their job. It’s okay to feel pride; it’s not okay to judge the other mom because her method isn’t working today. You know your little bundle has been there or will be there at some point so instead you look over and say we’ve all been there! Solidarity Momma!
We are all working our best to provide, take care of and love our families, how we get there or what creates that life we strive for is not up to anyone else’s judgment! We can never know the whole story; every situation and circumstance is unique and we don’t know what someone else is going thru. We all see challenges in different ways, and all handle them different too! Children and parents included are all different; we all have different skills and abilities.
We spend enough time as parents judging ourselves and worrying about our parenting abilities and we don’t need others to join us in the process. We need others to build us up, we are all parents in this together and we need to cheer each other on, be a shoulder to cry on, and ear to listen, or a spread a word of encouragement. We need camaraderie knowing that someone else has gone thru it, is going thru it or is about to.
We are stronger together!