I have been thinking a lot on mommy judgement as of late as a couple articles that have come out in the last couple days (one that I wrote) and another have caused quite a debate in the mommy world.
We speak about how when people know better they do better, and that everyone will find a way that works for their family, and how judgement fuels the mommy wars - and it does, but that doesn't mean that all moms need to stop judging.
Wait…did I just say that you *should* judge? Wasn't my last post all about *not* judging…am I contradicting myself? I would say no, because I personally believe that there are different kinds of judgement, and different degrees of how one should be judged.
Let me give you some examples.
I wrote an article on being a "sometimes" single parent. This is when mom or dad is out of town for work on a regular basis. It talked about coping techniques and how to keep your family whole when one is obviously missing. When I posted about it a couple friends of mine were completely insulted that I would write about being a single parent when I am not one. (but the article wasn't about that) I feel as if I was judged very harshly - without any real information gathered. Neither of them had actually read the article so they were just putting their perception of what they *thought* I had written and judged me for it.
This is not a nice way to judge moms.
Another would be judging a mom on how she goes about the day to day of raising her kids. Judging them on what they eat, what they wear or how they dress. We can also go into where the baby sleeps, what they do for a living etc. etc. These are normal judgments that run rampant in society - and really shouldnt matter. Every single person is judging you. Watching you. Looking at what you are doing. They are called snap judgments and to try and get people above this - especially when they are looking for connections (like in mommy groups) is almost impossible. Unless you are a devout spiritual person... I would say that everyone has these type of judgments.
As a side, these are the judgments that I fall prey to the most. I fret about how I look and how my kids look to the outside world on a regular basis…it is why there are brushes and wipes in my car at all times.
This isn't a nice way to judge people either but this one is more of a *perception* at any given moment people may or may not be actually judging you - and for the most part these are judgments that you have about yourself - remember my last post (own your choice).
The third judgement is where the second article landed on. A parent "expert" consistantly tells parents to let their children cry themselves to sleep and not check on them for extended periods of time from 2 months on.. (or 12lbs - which ever comes first). Anyway, she felt judged by parents who did not believe in her methods and other parents who use these methods also feel judged (albeit maybe having not used the extreme methods that she subscribes to).
Isn't this a good judgment? If someone is doing something that is harmful to another person, or preying on people when they are in a vulerable state…isnt this when we *should* judge?
To me advocating that an infant under 8 weeks should be left for 12 hrs at night with no exceptions is abuse…and so this expert in my opinion is teaching abuse. She should be judged.
The moms that follow her blindly should be as well. Then they should also get the support that they need.
I kind of liken it to Child Protective Services. Lets say you see a mom that is yelling at a baby. Some one under 6 months old. She is really loud, screaming at a defensless infant - in a food court - or maybe she tells you that she locks her child in the bathroom all night without supper until he poops in the potty (for hours on end), or that on Facebook you see that a mom says that she puts hot sauce on her toddlers mouth when he swears….. these are all reasons why CPS would be called…. but wait..is this judgement or is it looking out for someone who can not look out for themselves??
I believe it is the latter. Children need protection by the people in the society surrounding them. The society surrounding them uses judgement to assess whether a behaviour is acceptble or not.
So mommy's… there are three kinds of judgement; snap judgments, the judgement that you *percieve* (which may or may not actually be there) and the judgement that I hope that everyone does…every single day.
I know I do.
**added after being published - I also wanted to say that since I judge moms I expect judgement from moms as well. If I am harming my kids I *want* to be called on it. If we feel like everything we do as parents is not a regret - then we really *shouldn't* feel judgement - and have nothing to really worry about. IMO.