Things We Shouldn’t Judge Moms For
It’s amazing how much mothers judge other moms, when they know dammed well what it’s like to be a mom—they understand the numbing reality of being in charge of the physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of another human, 24 hours a day…for every day into the foreseeable future. People who don’t have kids drop the ball and make the wrong decision all of the time. So it’s a miracle that moms who, on top of everything else in life, also need to keep a curious little one safe at all moments, even function. So many of the things we judge mothers on are things that, under the right circumstances, we’d also do. There’s no such thing as the “perfect” parent and sometimes, in the pursuit of perfection, parents need to make choices others don’t agree with, just so they can maintain their sanity or get a little rest. Here are things we need to stop judging moms for.
Epidural, natural birth, home birth, c-section—there are a lot of decisions to make when it comes time to release a baby from your body. You never quite know what the full story is, or why one choice was better for one mom, when it wouldn’t be for another. You also never quite know just how much pain someone is in during childbirth.
Putting a child on a leash
Yes, they look a little silly and seem a bit odd, but you know what’s worse than all of that? Turning around in a crowded place (like Disneyland) and realizing you’ve lost sight of your kid. The embarrassing factor and even restrictive nature of the leash is all worth it to prevent the unbearable horror of losing your child.
Occasional fast food
Next time you see a mom with her kids in a fast food restaurant, keep in mind that she may not feed them this every day—this may be their weekly allotted trip. This may be a particularly crazy day on which this mother had to also take a friend to the hospital and stay late at work and deal with a flood in her bathroom. Don’t assume fast food was her first choice or a regular choice.
There’s this ridiculous notion that to be a “good mom” you have to do all the childcare on your own. Some moms judge other moms for hiring help. But we do accept that it takes a village to raise a kid…why can’t we accept that some moms don’t have family in town who can help with the childcare. Some moms have to hire their village.
Giving candy to stop a tantrum
There’s a lot of discussion over food rules and kids, and many parents agree you should not give your kid a treat to stop a tantrum—it encourages him to throw more tantrums in order to get treats. But sometimes, every so often, like when you’re on the phone with your bank regarding a loan while also having issues with your credit card at the grocery store and your child is screaming…you have no choice.
Tantrums in general
A lot of people stare at parents of kids throwing tantrums as if those parents caused the tantrums. Can we please remember that kids are unreasonable beings who sometimes, in spite of having the most wonderful parents, are total brats?
Bringing baby to the bar
It looks weird to see a baby at a bar. You don’t know what that mom’s day looked like. Maybe she’d been looking forward to this get together with friends for weeks—she needs it for her sanity—and her babysitter canceled five minutes before she was supposed to arrive.
Entertaining with television
Or an iPad, a smartphone, or another electronic. Some judgmental people believe that parents should be actively entertaining their kids at every minute, playing games with them and chatting with them. Sometimes a mom just needs to shut her brain off and let a cartoon entertain her child. Just because it happens for 20 minutes doesn’t mean it happens all the time.
There can be a lot of discussion around a mother’s maternity leave decisions. Does she go back to work too early? Does she request extended leave when people don’t think she needs one? There’s no way outsiders could possibly know what’s going on at home and they shouldn’t judge this.
Many moms would prefer to feed their kids organic all of the time. But you know what? Sometimes the organic version of something is triple the price. Sometimes the store is just out, and the mom doesn’t have time to go to a second store. Sometimes the kid prefers the non-organic and it’s the only way to get him to eat.
Losing their temper
Moms would like to be the image of patience and generosity at all times. But anyone—anyone—who has been subjected to tantrums for 48 hours straight is bound to lose their temper. Moms yell at their kids sometimes. It happens.
A woman can’t seem to buy her daughter a pink ballerina doll anymore without being called…a slew of bad names. We have to remember that, it’s quite possible this mother isn’t “not woke” or trying to “force gender norms” on her child. Maybe she just thought her kid would enjoy the toy.
Doing it with baby in the room
Maintaining intimacy is hard when you have a baby. Some parents just never find the time to do the deed and so they just do it with their sleeping baby in a crib, in the same room. I assure you that four-month-old will not remember.
The old bottle vs nursing argument. Yes, nursing is a bonding experience for mom and baby and mother’s milk has tons of good nutrients. But some mothers are working full time or their breasts are in terrible pain and just can’t nurse. It’s not like they aren’t feeding their babies—they’re just feeding them another liquid that is made for babies.
Letting them play with non-toys
Mothers will often receive stares when their kids start treating non-toys as toys, like salt and pepper shakers or pens. But they don’t understand just how happy that moms is to have her child preoccupied for a few precious minutes.