Is it just me or does it seem that mothers out there are constantly judging each other's "mommying"? I see it almost daily on forums, Facebooks, and even some parenting blogs. I admit, I am guilty of doing it, too! I am certainly not and will never be perfect.
We all believe that our way is the right way that we tend to forget that all mommies are totally different, but that is okay. We all have our own struggles, stories, and reasoning behind how we mommy our children.
The fact is that we can sometime let our ignorance get in the way that we focus on each other's techniques versus our reasonings behind why we do them.
Let's highlight two common opposing sides to every mommy out there:
- I had a natural birth vs. I had a C-section.
- I chose to have my own biological child vs. I chose to adopt.
- I stay home with my children vs. I chose to work full time out of the home.
- I had infertility issues vs. I was able to conceive right away.
- I let my kids watch tv. vs. I do not let my kids watch tv.
- I let my baby cry it out vs. I do not let my baby cry it out.
- I chose to breastfeed vs. I chose to formula feed.
- I chose to use disposable diapers vs. I chose to cloth diaper.
- I chose to vaccinate vs. I chose not to vaccinate.
- I chose to co-sleep vs. I chose not to co-sleep.
- I am a straight parent vs. I am a gay parent.
- I choose to spank vs. I choose not to spank.
- I lost all of my pregnancy weight instantly vs. I still working on my weight loss one year later.
- I chose to have a large family vs. I chose not to have only one child.
- I had my baby as a teen vs. I had my baby in late adulthood.
- I chose to bring religion into my kid's life vs. I chose not to expose my kid to religion.
- I breastfed for only 4 weeks vs. I breastfed for 4 years.
- I chose to circumsize my son vs. I chose not to circumsize my son.
- I found out the gender right away vs. I chose to wait to know the gender until birth.
- I gave birth at home vs. I gave birth in a hospital.
- I give my child only healthy foods vs. I give my child whatever he or she wants.
I could go on and on with this list, but you get the point. As you can see between all of the different sets of mommies is that one mommy chooses one way and the other mommy choses the other route. That does not necessarily mean that one route is any better than the other.
Though it may not be your way of doing things, it could be better for the mommy and her family. Who's better at knowing what's best for your family than YOU?
If you are a mommy doing all of the judging, then try to put yourself in the other mommy's shoes. Remember, you cannot possibly know their family and whole story... unless you are in the family. Just because it is different does not mean it is wrong.
If you are the mommy who's being judged, try to understand that the other mommy feels as if "one way fits all" though this might not be true. It is hard to not feel divided when you have another mother telling you how you should be doing your parenting when it is clearly none of her business. Just smile, nod, and know that you are doing the very best that you can.
We are all on the same team here. We are all mothers who want the best for our kids and the children of this world. Let's lift each other up and celebrate freedom of choice, though it may not always be the same as ours.