In my journey towards motherhood I have learned one thing: Moms are the mean girls of the adult world! Seriously! If you want to feel judged- talk about your parenting ideas with other mothers.
If you're planning on a natural birth, someone will tell you that it won't happen and you'll be begging for the drugs.
Say you want to cloth diaper and they will tell you that you will give up after the first week of laundry.
Want to breastfeed? You'll be up all night and you obviously will be flashing people in public everyday.
Don't do daycare. Don't homeschool. Don't do time-outs. Don't let children have any sugar. Don't use this brand. Don't go to this park...
It starts even before the baby is born! Shouldn't you be eating more? Eating less? Don't eat that. Don't drink that. Are you gaining enough? Gaining too much? Don't go down the stairs so fast. Take this class. Read that book.
Oh and if you don't do exactly as everyone tells you to, you're a bad mom. Or you're not a "natural" mom. Or your parenting is "backwards."
And here's the real rub: these comments always come from other mothers- other women who know how hard it is to make all these decisions for your family- other women who are getting judged just the same for their own choices.
What is it that makes mothers so judgmental of other moms? Why can't we all just support one another?
It's the same concept as middle school: the bullies pick on the little kids because they're insecure. We have created a society in which mothers are so insecure that they must nit-pick other moms just to make it through the day. If I put this mom down for adding salt to her baby's homemade food then I'll feel better about what I feed my kid and I'll feel like I'm a good mom.
Here's what I suggest: If your kid is happy, healthy, and loved, it doesn't matter what anyone else says about anything that you're doing for your family. Keep on doing what you feel is best for your family and respect every other mother's right to do the same.
Think of it this way: When you talk with your husband about having a bad day, often times you want him to just listen and sympathize. If you wanted his advice, you'd ask for it. Give other moms the same consideration: listen and sympathize and leave the advice alone unless it's asked for.
With Love and Respect,