Before I start writing anything about this, I must confess that I too am guilty of judging a few mothers on their choices.
Though when I got married and saw my sister-in-law’s hard journey of pregnancy and motherhood, and then became a mother myself, my perspectives changed.
I remember an incident clearly; I was going to my hometown for my engagement ceremony by train. There was a cute family of a little baby girl, her mother, and father in my coach. I got into talking with the mother, and when I asked about her profession, she proudly told me, “I quit my job when my baby girl was born, and now I am a Mommy to my little girl”.
Though I smiled and nodded at her, I kept wondering, how could she leave her career at a peek point? Being a corporate professional myself, I couldn’t understand her logic of leaving her job. I thought many mothers balance work and children, and she could have done it too. And I thought I would never do that.
In short, I judged her. Of Course, I didn’t say any of those things to her, as it was not my place to say such things to a person I just met. But yes, silently I did judge her choices.
A few years later, when I quit my job and decided to be home with my baby when he was born, I could understand her so much better, and I could relate to her decisions.
In my 4 years of motherhood journey, I have been through my share of judgmental stares and comments. Initially, it hurts a lot, and being a new mother we question ourselves based on those judgments.
You can’t stop people from judging, but you can certainly teach yourself to ignore and stand up to those judgments.
Here are a few ways to survive the judgments;
Don’t take it personally
Did you know the human brain is actually wired to make judgments?
According to Boston College psychologist Liane Young, the human brain is actually designed to make moral judgments, with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (an area between and behind the eyes) in charge of the emotional aspect.
“It’s not just abstract reasoning, but we really experience at an intuitive gut level the judgments that we make of other people’s actions, which is why oftentimes our own moral judgments feel very robust,” Young said.
So you see, it’s not always personal, sometimes people just follow their instinct when they feel something is not right. Like I told you about my incident with the lady on the train, I didn’t have anything personal against her. It was just my instinct, as I didn’t agree with her and couldn’t understand her decisions.
So don’t take it personally Mommies. Though, it’s difficult to not take it personally if the person is actually close to you.
But why give so much thought to a stranger’s comments?
Understand that they are insecure, and judging makes them feel better
Yes, it’s the hard truth of our world that people feel better when they put others down. Some mothers criticize other mothers just to feel better about their own parenting, it’s there insecurities talking. Imagine how much better the world would be if mothers support each other instead of judging.
Next time a fellow Mommy criticizes you, do remember it’s her insecurity talking. If she doesn’t understand why you do something the way you are doing, don’t waste your time convincing.
Only you know what’s best for your Baby
Trust your instincts, because only you can understand what is best for your baby. The only people you need the approval of for your parenting is You and Your partner.
Whether it’s quitting your job and being a stay at home mom, or going back to work, breastfeeding or formula feeding, etc.
Only you know your circumstances and situations, the reasons behind any decision. They are not in your shoes, so don’t let what others say affects you.
Make your sense of humor your Armor
Trust me; nothing shuts them up faster if you laugh it off. If they understand you are not going to be taking them seriously, they might back off. It worked for me many times. Why give them the satisfaction of affecting or embarrassing us?
Surround yourself with like-minded people
I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s better to ignore such people who only criticize others, one way or another. Stick with your supporters and like-minded people.
Always remember Mommies, you are doing your best for your babies, you don’t need anyone else’s approval.
You are the Best!
Note: This post is written as part of the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge for the letter J.