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Who here likes being judged for their parenting?
*No hands are raised*
None of us, right?
Okay, there probably are one or two mamas reading this who feel that if they were judged, everyone would be impressed by their spectacular parenting portfolio. Well, well done, Karen.
Most likely though, if you think you are the crème de la crème of parents, I hate to break it to ya, but your kiddo probably isn’t presenting you with some of the challenges other mamas face.
Because here’s the truth:
We judge people when we witness a situation in which we think we would do things differently.
We make this judgement based on
our own circumstances
our own state of mind
our own children.
And I’m not pointing fingers here. I know I am guilty of doing it too.
We all are.
To be fair to us all, it can be easy to judge.
But we need to remember that it’s easy because we only have a few tidbits of information.
We don’t understand the full story of that mama and those kiddos.
The mama who seems unaware of her child’s “bad” behavior
– May be caught up in thoughts about losing a loved one.
– Or she may be making a choice to back off and let her kid be a kid.
– She may be self conscious and unsure of what to do.
– Or she might be dealing with the fog of depression.
The mama who yells and seems overly angry with her child for something that seems small to you
– May be at her wit’s end after a day of relentless power battles.
– Or she may be dealing with the same behavior on repeat.
– She may not know how else to handle the situation and is truly doing her best.
– Or she may have anxiety that presents as rage (and yes she’s working on it).
The mama whose kid is hurting other kids
– May be in family therapy to understand the root of the behavior.
– Or she may be working with an Occupational Specialist to target her child’s sensory processing issues that lead to their aggression.
– She may be dealing with the behavior everywhere she goes and physically cannot respond to every single thing.
– Or she may be using gentle parenting techniques that can take a heck of a long time to work.
The mama whose kiddo is defiant
– May have a child that does not respond to common discipline approaches and what you think you would do.
– Or she may have a child who scoffs at her counts to three, time out, and taking things away.
– She may know all the “right” things to do, and does them, but they aren’t working.
– Or she may feel powerless as a mom with a history of emotionally abusive relationships where she learned to not trust herself.
Long story short, we don’t know what we don’t know about the other parent and her children. We don’t have all the facts. We are not in a position to judge.
And, really, most everyone is doing their best, so can we all agree that all this judging business isn’t helping anyone?
Can’t we all just give each other a little grace?
And maybe a knowing smile instead of a grimace or side-eyed glance?
Motherhood is hard enough without being judged for it.
And we are all probably screwing up our kids in some unforeseeable way, anyway.
So let’s just lift each other up and cheer each other on for doing our imperfect best.
*Steps off soapbox*
Christina is the writer behind the blog Real Life Mama. She is a mom two littles, a 4-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son. Christina and her family live in San Diego, where she is a full-time mama, part-time mental health therapist (LPCC), and round-the-clock blogger, writer, and author. If she ever gets a moment to herself, she can be found singing at the top of her lungs, cooking, and crafting. Thanks for reading!