The day I decided to not give a flying you-know-what about what others thought of my parenting skills, was the day I became a better mom.
Now, to be fair, I have never really spent a lot of time caring about what others think. I generally don’t look in the mirror and compare myself to other women or look at my strong legs and wish they were just a bit skinnier. I don’t compare my Instagram feed to the the mom’s whose feed looks like it was done by a professional — my unedited photos work for me. No judgement in the SAHM who drops her kids to full-time daycare, you do you, I get it! Comparison and judgement are just two things that do not fit into my day-to-day life.
But, gosh becoming a mom really has tested my ability to not care.
Every decision we make as a mom is open to judgement these days.
We get blasted if we are on the phone at the park, instead of playing with our kids. If we let our kids explore the restaurant after they have been sitting there for a hour waiting on food, it opens the floodgates to comments of how other kids are better behaved or more “restaurant friendly.” Breast IS best, it is scientifically proven, but “fed is best” is also best. Yet, we still get slammed if we don’t breastfeed, or we get slammed if we do breastfeed and want to celebrate the fact that we can because not everyone can.
We can’t win in this world of social media and oversharing.
But, what if we all just stopped caring? What if we decided once and for all that the decisions WE make for OUR families are the right decisions?
What if we stop shaming other moms who do things differently and recognize that for that one mom, her decision works best for her family, no questions, no doubts.
What if we befriended those moms who are on the phone at the park? Maybe they are far from home and need someone to vent to. I love telling new moms to always do what is right for them. If you can co-sleep and still function the next day, than good for you! Keep on trucking. If you want to sleep train your 12 week old, because sleep is important to you, AMEN sister. If nursing just wasn’t working out, bottle feed that baby. Formula was invented for a reason and no one should care why someone makes the decision to formula feed or breastfeed.
If your baby is safe, and your decisions are educated, there should be no judgement.
The other side of this concept is that we all must OWN our decisions.
Ten months down the road when your friend is still nursing her babe, don’t second guess the decision you made to formula feed. When you are up all night, nursing a fussy babe to sleep because that is what gets him to calm down, don’t second guess the decision you made to nurse. Own it and know that at that time in your life, you did what worked for you.
And also know that your way is not the only way.
People are different in all aspects of life and that includes how they decide to raise their families. Love and accept other’s choices — who knows you may learn something from them.
Being a mother is hard enough, so when you add in the judgement and the guilt tripping, it makes surviving in this parental world nearly impossible. Find your tribe and love them hard. Let them know you respect their decisions and their parenting skills. Try throwing your own judgement out the window.
Judgement-free parenting may seem like a far ways off, but change starts with you. Always choose grace and know that you are a wonderful mom! Stand proud and stand with confidence, and live your best judgement-free life. Trust me, even your unedited and unfiltered pictures will be perfect!