This is not the first time I’ve written about parental judgement. Maybe it’s that as I’m bringing my second little one into the world I’m seeing it more, or that it’s more topical to me now than it was a few months ago. Regardless of the stage of parenting that you’re in, I’m sure you’ve experienced judgement for your choices, even if it came from your own convictions. Sometimes, it’s really hard to deal with (especially when it comes from complete strangers… or people you just can’t talk to!) I myself have judged inside my brain, although I’d NEVER let it come out without my opinion being asked. Because it’s not my beeswax.
But when that judgement is being passed, do we stop and think about why those choices are being made? Did that mom not sleep last night and is picking her battles instead of fighting her toddler not to wear galoshes in midsummer? Did that Dad who brought his infant to the grocery store in only a diaper JUST get thrown up on in the car with no extra clothes to be had? We don’t know… so we need to stop. Sometimes, parent’s choices come from different backgrounds or preferences. We’re not bad mothers because we bottle or breast feed. We’re not separatists because we do or do not baby wear. Maybe we need to walk in another’s shoes and try something new.
I promise to do just that. So far, since Scarlett has been born, I’ve strolled, baby-worn, and nursed her in public. I’ve dressed her traditionally, in the modern style, and even in an antique diaper shirt and socks. I’ve also gotten all kinds of direct criticism, advice, and praise from strangers – and she’s only 3.5 weeks old!! In the following weeks I’ll be back to work, started pumping, and have our first babysitter for Scarlett. It’s a lot to take in and try out. I’ll do my best not to form an opinion until I’ve tried it – it’s the least I can do.
Even Hilary and Haylie Duff (whom you might remember from TV!) are speaking out, saying they believe we should end the “mommy wars” and putting judgement on others as well as ourselves. The #SisterhoodUnite gang was at Mom2.0 this year, capturing parents revealing real-life anecdotes and opinions from selected parents (I saw some Georgia bloggers in there!!). Check out the “Real Parents, Real Judgement” video featured on their YouTube page:
So what will you do to help end the mommy wars and release yourself?