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Judging Other Mothers

by Amanda on January 29, 2008
category: Inspiration

Women have a history of being hard on one another. Moms especially have a lot to be hard on each other about. “Oh, you aren’t breastfeeding?” “You gave your baby cookies for dinner?” “You let your baby watch 2 hours of Baby Einstein videos?” “You use a bumper?” We all have opinions about what pain management moms use during child birth. Each of us has our own style and attitudes about how we raise our children.

We need to support each other as moms and not judge each other. I know I don’t like it when I feel like I am being scrutinized or being told I am doing something wrong. There have been times that I chose not to do something with my baby, because I was afraid of being judged for it.

Being critical of your friends and family hurts your relationships. Speaking your mind does not always build trust. Sometimes friendships end because of criticism and condemnation. Even small remarks add up over time. We are not always aware that we are speaking unkindly to each other. We all put our foot in our mouth at times. Let’s be mindful of the attitudes that we are portraying to each other. In the words of High School Musical, “We’re all in this together!”

Here are 5 ways to help us stop judging other moms:

1. Make a choice not to judge. We need to make a conscious effort to change our attitudes and accept our friends for who they are. Making a choice not to judge will help you remember not to criticize or disparage your friends the next time you speaking about them.

2. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood,” is the fifth habit of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey. Learning this principal can greatly change the way you engage with other people. We need to try and understand what our friends are going through and the circumstances that made them choose that decision before we even speak. We don’t always have the full story from a blog post or part of a story heard second hand. I have friends that it is their personality to keep their lives private. So when they make a parenting decision, I can’t have an opinion. Seeking to understand what is going on our friends’ lives builds up our relationships and they will feel supported.

3. Stop talking about other moms, even to your spouse. We really need to guard our tongue when it comes to gossip. It is really easy to slip into gossip when you are honestly sharing the latest news of your friend or family member. Sometimes it feels good to talk about other people. It feels good to have someone agree with your point of view. Make a concerted effort with your friends not to talk about each behind each other’s backs. You won’t have to worry about if what you said gets back to your friend and it is better for everyone! There is peace in keeping your comments to yourself.

4. Don’t give advice unless it is requested. This is so hard for me, because I love asking for advice from people. I just assume that everyone is like me, but they aren’t. I need to remember that I shouldn’t give advice or my opinion unless they specifically asked for it. If advice or insight is requested from you, then you have to be careful not to be offended if they don’t take your advice. And visa versa, you shouldn’t be offended if you don’t like the guidance you requested. Counsel and sharing experiences is helpful. Let us make sure we always speak with the law of kindness on our tongue when giving counsel.

5. Celebrate and encourage each other! We all have difficult and enjoyable jobs raising our kids and caring for babies. Be and ear or shoulder when it is needed. I enjoy talking to McKenna and hearing about all the appointments and health updates of her two kids. Tell another mom what a great mom she is! Say it in a card, in person, in an email. I don’t know a mom that doesn’t mind being praised for being a good mom. Drop off or mail a little gift to a friend. Stop by and do her dishes. There are so many ways we can celebrate each other. Lets remember to stop judging and celebrate our victories with one another!

Have you ever felt judged by another mom? Have you ever been offended by someone giving too much advice? Do you make an effort not to judge other moms?

8 Responses to Judging Other Mothers

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Andra
    January 30, 2008 @ 12:34 am

    Excellent post. Beautiful looking blog!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Melissa
    January 30, 2008 @ 5:36 pm

    Well, I’m new to this whole mom thing, so I appreciate the desire not to inundate us “newbies” with too much advice. However, some advice would always be welcomed, I can assure you (perhaps covered as “personal experience”).

    Just my two cents!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Jenn
    January 30, 2008 @ 10:08 pm

    Thats a tough list! ….especially not giving advice unless asked! Alright, I will work on it. At least I can still be a competitive Mommy ;) … you didn’t mention that right?
    ….My 21 month old is potty trained nah-nah-nah-boo-boo (JK)

  • Comment by Sharon M
    January 31, 2008 @ 1:42 pm

    I have tried SOOO hard to be careful with this b/c I tend to be one of those “private” people that doesn’t like unsolicited advice. One of my friends, Allison, has been such a good example to me. Most of the time, if I was frustrated with my son, she would let me vent and say, “oh, I’m sorry that happened” instead of “well, you should do this and that.” I always appreciated that about her. Or, if she was going to offer advice, she would say something like, “you know, my son did the same thing, and I found (this thing) helpful.” Kinda like the personal experience advice Melissa mentioned.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by crabbymommy
    February 1, 2008 @ 1:56 pm

    I agree with you totally. I live in India and here everyone likes to tell you what to do, and even though it may be well intended, sometimes there is a fine line between offering advice and wanting to be heard because you feel you know better – often that line is crossed.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Jenn
    February 1, 2008 @ 2:02 pm

    I am really not or try not to be a competitive mom, I was just feeling feisty the day I wrote that last respond.
    Anyway, I think mothers have to do what they have to do to get through the day. So, I think there is no reason we should pass judgment. After all we are all raising our own individual, thinking human beings. No two children are a like.
    Another note, it is true my 21 month old is potty trained, but we definitely have other hurdles to deal with. I like listening and reading how other mothers handled different things. Sharon, I really like your suggestion …I actually used it today. Thanks.

  • Comment by McKenna
    February 1, 2008 @ 3:02 pm

    We all know you’re being silly! The great thing about being a mom is we all have things we can feel proud of or things we feel we got “right.” Mine is my kids’ bedtime. They go to bed at 7pm and 7:30pm every night…. nah-nah-nah-boo-boo! If I had a 21 month old who was potty trained, I sure would be proud of myself! Way to go!! :D

  • Comment by Amanda
    February 1, 2008 @ 3:55 pm

    Don’t worry Jenn we all knew you were kidding! and you have every right to be proud! I would be proud too. I am with McKenna, I feel very proud that my baby goes to sleep at 6:30 p.m. and sleeps until about 7:00 a.m. Now only if she would nap right now.

    @Sharon – That is a great suggestion! Thanks for sharing!

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