Magical Monday: Judgey Confessions

17 comments

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Oh, how I LOVE True Confessions! I just did some recently, but as we are coming off the heels of Moms 4 Moms day, I’d like to lighten my load even more.  I loved Tara’s post last week about her journey to judgment free parenting and could relate to so much of it (especially the strong opinions about daycare ~ I do believe I once told a friend that putting kids in daycare was a form of abuse. *cringe, oops, and sorry ’bout that!*). Like Tara, I also had parenting IN THE BAG before I became a parent. I knew exactly what to do and how to do it and what’s wrong with these people who don’t get it? I’d like to smack my pre-parent and first-time-parent persona upside the head right now, but I also have sympathy for her for two reasons: 1.) Pre-parent people just have no freakin’ clue. It’s not their fault. You CAN’T have a clue until you’re in it. 2.) As a first time parent I was doing things very differently than other people and in order to make me feel good about my choices I had to disparage other choices. Am I proud of this? No. But it was part of my journey. I’m no better than anyone who judges other parents ~ I’m just a reformed judger. And being a reformed judger is a MUCH more comfortable place to be. I now realize we are all doing our best with the info we have, and we all want the best for our kids. Period.

So, putting my former judgey Mama behind me, let me openly apologize for the following:

*  The time I was at a friend-of-a-friend’s house gathering up some maternity and baby clothes. She had a 10 month old baby and a 5 year old. In order to keep the 5 year old happy she kept playing and replaying a video for him over and over and over. Man! I had so much judgment about that! I was going to be TV-free when my baby came and I would NEVER let him watch the same thing over and over and over. She must not have had enough control over her children, I thought. Ugh, have repeatedly eaten my words about this and have apologized to her in my head over and over through the years.

* Being such a birth-judger. When I was researching unassisted childbirth, most of the reading materials talked about how unsafe it was for babies to be born in the hospital. Unsafe because the doctors and staff don’t necessarily have the best interests of the women and babies. I would sort of get mad at every woman who didn’t do the research on this thinking they didn’t care enough (*le sigh*). While I still believe that the hospital is NOT the best place to have a child, I no longer judge the women who choose to do this. We all need to give birth where we feel safest, and many feel safest in the hospital. I fully support women giving birth wherever and however they need to. However, I still think most doctors care more about liability and policies than Mothers and babies. My opinion on that won’t change until they change.

* Hubby and I used to have such contempt over families with strollers when we were in restaurants or stores and they would just plow through or run us over. Hubby used to complain how they felt so entitled and I whole-heartedly agreed. While I have never used a stroller (because I used to judge those too), I don’t make allowances for people without kids to go first or to cut. When you’re a parent, it’s in-and-out with no time to spare. Other parents get this. Those who are not parents yet will get this someday.

* Yup, I used to judge strollers and people that would carry their baby in car-seats. Nowadays I don’t judge them but I still wouldn’t want to use them because wearing my babies in slings or pouches is just SO MUCH EASIER!

* With my first son we practiced “elimination communication” where I would read his signs of when he had to go to the bathroom and put him over the toilet. He was going poo in the toilet regularly by the time he was 4 months old. Boy, was I the BEST Mama in the world or what? I admit that I loved to brag about this. I tried it half-heartedly with my 2nd and 3rd sons and then gave up, because I just didn’t have the energy.

* I did really, really judge Mamas who would let their kids cry it out. Like my above daycare confession, I likened it to child abuse. It wasn’t until I went to a Christmas party at our own Katie Schunk’s house that I was witness to the magic that can happen when you follow this tactic. She had put her little angel down in his crib at 7:00pm, he laid down without a peep, fell right to sleep and she knew she didn’t have to worry about him until morning. WTF???!!!! That didn’t happen in my house like….EVER! In one fell swoop I stopped judging moms who did the CIO method and instead became insanely jealous of them.

Whew! That feels good to get off my chest! Being part of CTWorkingmoms has been such a good experience for me as I let the last vestiges of my inner judge go (oh, did I mention that I also used to judge Mamas who work until I became friends with the awesome ones here and saw that they actually might have a better balance than me? *Oy vey!*).

Here’s to celebrating Motherhood in ALL forms and in every way that it’s done. Every choice we make is the best one for our family. Everyone is doing what is right in their hearts, no matter how different it may look. We are all doing GREAT. Thank you for being a part of this wonderful community and Sisterhood. The Mother in me, honors the Mother in you.

Happy Magical Monday. ♥

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17 comments on “Magical Monday: Judgey Confessions”

  1. “Reformed judger” … love it! I’m currently in recovery! And I can also appreciate the fact that as a former judger, you manage to not judge the individual that is actively judging. Because you’ve been there. You rule, and your wings rule. (I am secretly fascinated with your style, btw.) Confessions do my heart good, and I love to know that I’m not the only one who has been judgmental. I definitely was anti-stroller in many situations for a while, choosing instead to carry or wear my daughter. I felt the same way about screen time until I discovered with magic that is a YouTube show when I’m getting ready for work. And, I definitely cringed when I found out how many diapers end up in landfills while I was using my cloth diapers. But, oh my, how nice it was to use a disposable diaper now and then …

    1. I love your whole comment, Tara, but I think my favorite part is where you whispered that you were secretly fascinated by my style. Teehee! Thank you. 🙂

    1. I absolutely cherish confessions too ~ and it makes me cherish the person writing them, like you do every week! ♥

  2. This is a great post. You know what’s really funny – everything I judged before having kids went out the window when I had twins. Every situation is different and things that work for moms of singletons (baby wearing, for example) are just completely impossible as a mom of twins. Strollers? A necessity if you want to be able to move anywhere solo (without another adult to help out). Cry it out? Also a necessity unless you want to be insane going between two kids on different schedules. As you said, every choice we make is the best one for our families. We just hafta to do what works for us!

    1. I should say – I did try wearing both my kids early on. I had one in a sling while I would carry the other one. This promptly stopped when I accidentally tripped and almost launched the one in my arms into the kitchen counter, while simultaneously almost landing ON the other one. After that, I decided it wasn’t worth the risk for me…

      1. oooh, that was a close one! And yes, I can absolutely see how having twins would be the fast-paced way to let go of all judgments and “supposed to’s.” You certainly had a crash course there, didn’t you, Sister? ♥

  3. This is GREAT! What motivated me the most to toss out my inner judgey mama was when I was on the receiving end of judgement and criticism when I became a first-time mama. I knew deep down inside that I was a good mom doing the best that I could under the circumstances of flying blind and by the seat of my pants. By being judged and scrutinized, I learned to block what others said or did and just parent intuitively. Letting go of negative feelings and resisting the urge to waste my time by judging others is quite freeing. And when I find myself in need of help or with questions, I turn to those awesome, wise, non-judgey moms I am lucky to have in my life. Great post!

  4. Yes!!! I still have a hard time with some of these things. I have been telling myself that just like it would feel like I was being untrue to myself and my values if I did the things I didn’t believe in, that’s exactly how others with different lives and different views would feel if I made them do things MY way. I now want every mom to feel like she is doing what SHE need to do for her family so that she can feel that she’s doing what is best…because nothing is more unsettling than feeling like you’re compromising your values simply because you are shamed into it!

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, from one reformed judger to another! I think our personal experiences help us be less judgmental of others. When I was pregnant, I too had strong feelings about birth, and about breastfeeding. I never once considered letting my baby have formula and the LAST thing I wanted was a c-section. Whelp… for circumstances out of my control, my desire to have a natural birth and breastfeed my kid when out the window and I realized that these kind of parenting differences don’t matter – like you said – every mom is trying to do the best they can and that is what’s most important. Plus, it feels sooooooooo much better to not judge people, like I just feel lighter. Great post Kate!

    1. It really DOES feel so much better and lighter not to judge ~ it’s actually a relief! Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Dear Sister!

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