moms: let’s stop the judging and start supporting
Before you become a parent you hardly pay attention to those kids that throw tantrums, never sleep or tend to scream for no reason. It just doesn’t phase you, but when you have your own kid it becomes your life to figure out why “your kid is doing something out of the norm”. Living a life surrounded by an amazing community of moms I have been blessed to be friends with moms who don’t judge. Yes there are a few out there that compare, judge and even look at you like you are possibly the worst parent in the world and when you are at your lowest, those judgy moms can really put you down. DON’T LET THEM! It’s only human nature to judge, compare or even have that “why is my kid not doing this” feeling. I am a true believer that if you surround yourself around those that don’t judge, you won’t judge yourself.
As moms we really need to focus on fostering a community of support because we are all going through the same thing in one way or another: raising kids. Although I have only had kids for 4 years I have experienced so many situations not only with my kids but hearing about what other moms go through. I admit many times I have thought..”man I am so glad I don’t have to go through that, I can’t imagine”. Well guess what having that mentality got me nowhere! I have realized through the years that being thankful for what you don’t have to go through does nothing, be thankful for what you have and help others when you can. Parents go through so many struggles with their kids and it’s amazing how people can judge so quickly. As we learned in elementary school, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.
Let’s stop the judging on mom’s who….
Have picky eaters: You always get the “man her kid is so small, he/she does not eat.” “She must not be doing everything she can to get her kid to eat.” “She probably doesn’t cook.” If you have a great eater how about try to help that mom and give her advice and tips on how to get them to eat. Offer to make the food one night because that poor mom probably makes a whole meal every night only for her kid to only waste the whole plate. Probably makes them feel pretty crappy!
Have non-sleepers: If your kid barely sleeps (my first one barely slept), you don’t want to hear another mom brag about her kid that takes 3 hours napes or a reminder of how tired you must be as the dark under eye circles are not enough. Give them sleeping tips or offer them things you did to help your kid sleep. Offer to watch their kid for just 2 hours so the mom can get a moment. You don’t know how much that would mean to a mom with non sleeping kids.
Have kids with have anger issues: You become that parent where everyone stares at when you are out in public as your kid is throwing the worst tantrum known to man. How about you as a parent turn around and focus on your own family and not stare at others. That poor mom is already stressed out that her child is making a scene and she can’t control him. You have no idea why that kid is throwing a fit so please don’t judge, just offer help. If it’s someone you know, offer to talk to their child. Sometimes kids respond better to other people than their parents.
Have kids that still have a bottle or paci after a certain age: I see kids all the time with paci’s and bottles way later than I stopped my kids. I won’t lie at first I would also be like, what are they doing? I soon realized that was providing no benefit to my family, only judging others. They are parents and they know their kid the best. There is no timeline on what kids need to give up when. Don’t compare when you stopped something from when someone else stopped something. The parents still use it for a reason and I am sure it’s for the benefit of the child.
Have kids that talk late: Some kids don’t talk until the age of 3 and guess what it is not a race. One of my friends told me that someone came up to her and said “wow you should really start spending time and teaching your kid how to make sounds so they can start talking” She thought to herself “thanks for the great advice because I normally just stare at my kid and don’t interact with her.” It’s very stressful for parents when their kids don’t talk until later because they have to find a way to communicate with their child. Rather than letting them know how well your kid talked, try to give them advice on ways to communicate. If you as a parent are truly concerned follow your pediatrician’s advice.
Have kids that physically develop late: My older son didn’t crawl until 9 months, he never rolled over and walked at 13 months. As a first time mom you can imagine how stressful this was. Someone told me he may need physical therapy because crawling at 9 months was super late. That comment made me feel AWESOME!! (yeah right). It sucked hearing all the negativity and to this day anytime I see another parent stressed about their child’s physical development I do anything I can to make the feel at ease. Try to suggest things that you used that encourage physical development.
Have only 1 child: It’s not anyone’s business but the parents why they choose to have 1 child. Even if they came from a big family, that does not mean they MUST have multiple kids. Be happy for that family to have that 1 child they love unconditionally because that’s all that matters.
Reached 35: I personally am not over 35 but I know people that are and I have heard people make comments: “They better hurry up because it’s gonna be hard for them to get pregnant or they are going to have to do lots of testing and put that baby at risk” How do you know they are not already trying or that they don’t want anymore kids? What if they financially are not ready to have kids? Let’s stop discouraging and scaring moms from the gift of being a mom and support them on the decision they made.
Decide not to breastfeed or can’t: Yes breastfeeding is a gift and very good for your child but it takes over your life. Some mom’s just don’t produce milk, can’t fit it into their lifestyle because of work, other kids or even cultural reasons and that is OK. Help encourage breastfeeding to those moms but never make them feel like they made a bad choice because they are not harming their baby, they are doing what is best for their WHOLE family.
Breastfeed for a long time: I stopped after a year and that was a total personal choice. I could have gone on longer but I wanted my body back. It may sound selfish but my son was losing interest as was I but that doesn’t make the mom down the street that is still breastfeeding at 2 any different than you. They made that choice because it works for them. Don’t give them that “OMG you are still nursing look.” Be proud of them for doing it.
Honestly this list could go on forever because EVERY family is different and that’s what makes it so awesome about having mommy friends. So to all my mommas out there let’s stop the judging and start supporting! Share this post to all your momma friends and let’s try to form a community rather than a competitive environment with negativity.