“Rule #2: We don’t judge, no judging.”
I just saw a trailer for the movie “What To Expect When Your Expecting” that will be released in May. In the movie, there’s a “Dudes Group” a group of fathers that hang out together. As they talk about their experiences as Dads, a new member of the group, a soon-to-be dad, makes a judgmental comment towards one of the dads, “You dropped your kid off of a changing table?” He was quickly reprimanded with Rule #2. (Click here to see the trailer. By the way, I’m not endorsing the movie, I know nothing about it other than seeing this trailer…)
I think as moms, we desperately need this rule. We’ve all done it. If we nursed our children, we may think we are better than those who fed their babies formula. If we bottle-fed our children, we are appalled as a mom displays her breast in the mall to feed her child. If we let our babies cry to sleep, we roll our eyes at the moms who have children sleeping in their beds. But if we co-sleep with our children, we are sure that the moms who let their babies cry to sleep are going to raise insecure children. We all have views on whether pacifiers are OK and the appropriate age to take them away, we all have beliefs on when children should be out of diapers and what the best way to do it is. What we feed our children, where we send them to school, to spank or not to spank, how much TV and video games they should watch… we all have opinions and can be quick to judge the mother who does it differently. Why is that? Why do we judge?
I heard a speaker talk about this once. (Jonalyn Fincher) She said that her 2 year old doesn’t sleep in his own bed, but sleeps every night with her and her husband. She then went on to say (I’m completely paraphrasing here…), “I see you judging me. I know you are getting ready to give me advice about how to get my son to sleep in his own bed.” And of course, the mothers in the room laughed because she was right. Then she said, “What I don’t see any of you doing is asking me why that works for us. Well, my husband and I are professional speakers and spend most of our nights in hotels. We are often in various time zones and nighttime speaking engagements means we have no normal bedtime routine. So co-sleeping is what works for us.” She went on to tell us that instead of judging those around us, we should take the time to learn about people and why they make the choices they do.
Perhaps the mom who bottle-fed her child desperately tried to nurse with no success. Perhaps the 5-year-old in pull-ups has a medical issue that is making potty training difficult. Perhaps the father of the 4-year-old pacifier sucking kid is in and out of the hospital with some medical condition and the parents just don’t think worrying about a pacifier right now is so important. Perhaps the mother who is so vehemently opposed to spanking was abused as a child. Perhaps it’s as simple as the mom who does things differently than you or I just has a slightly different view and is doing just fine because there is more than one way to raise a child.
As moms, some of us work, some don’t. Some of us feed our kids only organic “whole” foods, some of us are on a first name basis with the McD’s workers. Some of us spend most of our time reading and playing at home, others spend most of our time in the van between swim lessons and music classes and sports. Regardless of how and why we do things, we all have 2 things in common: we love our children like crazy and we want to be the best moms we can be. So as we journey together, let’s not judge each other. Instead, let’s encourage and love and support each other.
♥Becki, imperfect mother who has both judged others and been judged by others
“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5: 11)