Last week a friend of mine shared on Facebook about how much judgement she was getting from other mom’s about her decision to homeschool her kids.
Last month a friend told me how much judgement she got from other mom’s she knew when she decided to follow the normal vaccination schedule.
If I were to list all the things that we moms judge other moms about, I think I would use up all the server space for this blog! Vaccinations, schooling, the type of birth we had, the way we feed our babies, the snacks we pack for school, the clothes our kids wear, and the list goes on and on.
At this point you are probably running through the list of things in your head that you have felt judged for as you try to navigate this tricky thing called parenting.
Ladies!! Please! Let’s stop!
Being a mom is hard enough (check out my post on the perils of Mom Guilt for further proof) without us continually beating each other up in the process. Dads are not the ones judging us. Media isn’t even really the ones judging us. It’s the moms around us that increase the judgment with those little comments, looks, and sometimes outright statements that what we are doing as a mom is not measuring up.
Why do we do this?
I have a theory: I believe that we judge other moms because we are insecure deep down about the choices we are making for our own kids. Because of that insecurity, if another mom does something different than us it triggers that fear that we are doing it wrong. How do we deal with that? We put down her decision so we can feel better about ours.
That statement may have led to some defensiveness for some of you. Right now you’re thinking, “There’s no way I do that! And if I do, there’s no way that’s why I do it!”
But think about it for a moment. If I send my kids to public school, and I feel 100% secure in that decision (can you ever feel 100% secure in any decision as a mom? Maybe we’re shooting for 90%), then when my friend tells me that she’s going to homeschool her kids I can celebrate that decision because she’s doing what she thinks is best for her kids. It doesn’t mean that what I’m doing isn’t best for my kids. It means we have different kids, and we are different moms, and our families are different and THAT’S OKAY!
It’s okay for a mom to make a different choice than you. It doesn’t mean that yours is wrong. It doesn’t mean that her’s is wrong. It’s just different. Embracing that allows me to celebrate those differences instead of judging them. We’re on the same team, moms! Let’s act like it!
A few weeks ago I wrote about how being secure in our self-esteem allows us to celebrate the differences in others, because they don’t take anything away from us. This is exactly the same thing. Being secure in our decisions as a mother will allow us to celebrate moms who are doing it different. To be secure in your mothering, I would argue you need a certain level of security in yourself.
If my theory is correct (and I think it is), then we can stop judging other moms. Even if we are only 50% secure in a decision we have made for our kids, we can catch that judgmental attitude as it rises up through our body, and remind ourselves that their decision is not a judgement on our decision. It’s just their decision. We can choose to say nothing, or we can choose to celebrate their decision with them. What we should not do is make them feel “less than” for making it.
As women and moms, we can be our best allies, or our worst enemies! Let’s choose support, and celebration. I know I’m over all the judgment, and guilt!
Don’t forget to secure your spot in the Discipline that Connects online course! You can click the image at the top of the sidebar, or check out last week’s post by clicking here for more details!