As a new mom, I was kind of like a sponge. Every bit of information regarding children would be soaked up. I believed everything, much to my chagrin now.
I dreamed of becoming a super mom and getting this parenting gig right.
Of course, my kids would grow to be angels, always hold my hand and never have ice cream for breakfast. I’d do everything right, have ever-lasting energy and put my feet up during the day while my children lovingly played on the floor.
Reality hit me, right in the middle of Piggly Wiggly aisle 6.
The tantrum of all tantrums and the floor being polished by my son as he rolled around flailing and shrieking. The glances from the other shoppers surely told me I was being judged.
I tried to reason with my son, bribed my son and finally, I mustered up enough strength to grab him, my purse and leave the store amidst gaping mouths and looks of disgust from other badge-wearing moms.
The grocery cart remained in aisle 6… along with my pride.
Son 1, Mom 0.
To add salt to my already gaping wound, another mother came over to the car and told me how I was doing it wrong. What I should be doing is this as she explained her parenting technique (which was raising the world’s most amazing kids). I was doing this mothering thing wrong. Obviously. I should have disciplined her way because my way wasn’t working.
I could have popped her in the nose. Did I just admit that?
Isn’t it funny that as soon as we see a positive sign on the little test strip, we enter the vicious world of mommy slamming? Right away we need to join collaborations with teams. Team cloth diapers vs. Team Pampers.
From there we move up to Team formula vs Team breastfeeding.
Why Do Moms Judge Moms?
As we journey through the early days through adolescence and beyond, it seems like mommies are pitting themselves against each other.
What for? Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things?
Honestly, does it matter that I breastfed for over 2 years, I mean really? Does it hurt you or impact you?
These bullying sessions only leave us feeling shame, guilt and failure. We miss the greatest moments of our children’s lives because we are trying to be someone we are not.
As a result, we retreat from our mommy friends or other outspoken friends. We may even give in to the temptation to just give up and not really care about anything anymore.
Secrets of Motherhood
“God made each of us to parent differently. The methods we choose aren’t as important as the lessons we entrust.”
God chose us as a parent for each unique child, and He hand-picked each child for us. He wants us to turn confidently to Him for all parenting needs. He will give us wisdom when we ask.
What I need to remember when moms judge me:
- Every mom doesn’t get it right all the time. The supermom has to take off her cape too.
- Listening to other’s opinions makes us question what we’re doing. God tells us to ask Him for wisdom. Therefore, this should be our first place to get knowledge and insight about parenting.
- God is leading you, the method you choose or the direction He leads will be different from other moms.
- Every mom needs encouragement. Period.
- God will deal with the injustices of judgment. As a result, leave it to Him to decide.
- Trust God as you parent.
As Christian moms, I hope we overlook these shaming sessions and rather give grace to one another. We’re going to mess up and even when we teach and show our kids Jesus, they will still swear and call others idiots.
When we look back on our parenting journey from the empty nest, our biggest accomplishments will have been leading our kids to Jesus and raising them with unconditional love. The rest pales in comparison; therefore, we need to encourage, support and build each other up wherever we are in our parenting journey.
27 Those who are sure of themselves do not talk all the time. People who stay calm have real insight. 28 After all, even fools may be thought wise and intelligent if they stay quiet and keep their mouths shut.
Julie Loos is the mom of 5 kids and has been happily married to Greg for 17 years. She loves to read, eat chocolate, drink iced tea and spend time writing in the midst of messes.
You can find her at her blog, Unmasking the Mess, here.