Judging, the passing it on effect.
A common discussion amongst women we speak to is this notion of being scared of being judged on thier mothering choices by other people, and more worryingly so their peers. I want to know what has got us into this mess. Why do we feel that those people that are close to us are judging us on our parental decisions? Surely we have born and most importantly kept alive a small human being; the hardest job on the planet. We should feel proud of what we have accomplished and pass on our learnings, even if at times it wasn't quite what we'd hoped we'd learn. Instead however we all cower under this idea that other women are slaying us for our choices, and in turn bury ourselves in self doubt.
We can all agree that every pregnancy and every child is very different along with every family set up. Therefore as a general rule there cannot be one single formula which can apply to managing each of them. You simply see what you are dealt and manage accordingly. Of course we all make mistakes, we all have weak moments, we all fail at times but thats the best part, so does everyone else. We do not have to feel alone during those tough times, we should be able to openly discuss those mishaps and be comforted by our friends and family rather than feel judged.
Don't get me wrong I'm not saying all wrongful parenting should be saluted. But for people we know and care about (and on the whole know are doing a good job) we should support and reserve from making quick assumptions about their parenting style.
As a mother to be this topic is extremely important to me as I soon become a parent. I can't imagine entering into a world where I fear looking after my child how I wish to do so whilst feeling judged by those closest to me. Ok, so I may have a slightly thicker skin and an innate sharing ability (hence the blog) but I still can't imagine how it must feel to feel I have to conform to something that actually is impossible to conform to since no child or situation is alike! Worse still, being bitched about whilst doing it!!
Ok, so I realise I cannot magically change how everyone conducts themselves. But what if we here at TMC change two small things. Firstly we rest back to the aged old tradition of looking at the way we ourselves act towards others. I am not accusing anyone here of judging, but what if we all took it into our own hands to make a conscious effect not to judge others around us. It might just have the passing it on effect and we could create a safe haven where women are more positive about parenting and sharing their stories. Secondly. we should back ourselves a little bit more. So that even when we feel judged, we don't care so much about it, or maybe even just confront it. If those closest to us feel it is ok to role their eyes then we too should feel comfortable enough to ask them why they are doing so.
And if they don't respond? Well.. F*** 'em.