Why do we judge each other? Constantly spending our time and energy worrying about what other people are doing or how they choose to live their life is exhausting. We judge the outfits they wear, the food they eat, and even if they are part of a certain religion. I am sure that everyone says to themselves that they do not judge others. This is a lie. The more accurate statement would be that they TRY not to judge someone else. We all judge others at some point in our lives, and sadly, no one judges or gets judged more than a mother.
Mothers face scrutiny every single day and about almost every single decision they make in their child’s life. The only way to avoid being judged is to never leave your house, but then I am sure that your cat or dog is judging you. So, why do we judge?
The simple answer is it is in our genetic makeup, it is the way our brain was wired. Our minds judge before we even have a conscious thought about what we are doing. Just as it is impossible to not breathe, it is impossible to not form some type of judgment when you meet someone new, or see a stranger doing something you consider ‘odd’ at the park. Your brain is doing it automatically. But why?
It has a bit to do with survival instincts, believe it or not. Judging others is how we build our own internal moral compass of right and wrong. This is all ‘good’ judgment, in that it is your brain doing the work for you, with no ill-intent or thought. What is wrong, and what happens often, is when our logical brain starts judging people. When I say logical, I mean that this is when we are purposely making ill judgments about people’s choices.
Unfortunately, there is no way for moms to completely escape judgment, but if she is prepared for the decision she may be judged on, it can cushion the blow a little bit. Here are 15 things new moms (and some experienced ones) will be judged on in 2018.
15 Wardrobe Woes
Nothing is more prevalent now than celebrity children. Moms-to-be have celebrities that they love becoming moms as well. It is an impossible situation, as their parenting is not something the average mom can live up to. We don’t have all the money for nannies, personal trainers, and exquisite wardrobes. That won’t stop people from judging us.
How you dress your child is going to be judged this year and judged hard. It really doesn’t matter which end of the spectrum you fall on. If you have a more relaxed, “he’s going to throw up on it anyway” attitude, you will be judged for not putting in more effort. Gone are the days when you can run to Walmart with your baby in a slightly-dirty onesie. On the other hand, if you go all out, people will judge you for dressing your young child too “grown up”. The thing with judgment is you can’t win, so just brush it off your shoulder.
14 How We Feed Our Newborns (Yes … Still!)
It is surprising that in a world that is so advanced and getting more so every day would still be concerned with how a mother chooses to feed her newborn. Yet, it is, and it may never end. #BreastIsBest vs. #FedIsBest is a mommy war that shows no sign of slowing down or stopping, so you might as well hang on for the ride. Most civilized people know that no matter how you feed your baby, it is good and wonderful. There are still those out there, who deem mothers who choose to formula feed as “lazy” parents who do not want to give their baby the best.
Does breast milk have great nutritional value in it? Yes, it does. Guess what though? So, does formula. Before formula was invented, babies were dying because their mothers were unable to nurse. It is time to concern ourselves with real issues in the world, and not what is going in that little baby’s mouth, as long as something is.
13 Technology Battle
It is not a surprise to anyone that technology has taken over. It is the age of information and entertainment, and a lot of people are very happy about this. While a lot of people are happy about our easy access to a wealth of knowledge, a lot of people are very uncertain about it. Who are these people? Moms, that’s who. It is very conflicting, as we are told that we need to limit our children’s screen time and that they probably shouldn’t watch any until they are 2.
However, binge-watching Netflix always sounds like a good idea, and some moms choose to let their little ones watch some TV so that they can get some stuff done around the house. Due to technology not going away anytime soon, and only becoming easier to access in 2018, this is bound to be a topic of judgment that is only going to get worse.
12 Organic Or From A Box?
Not only are people concerned with what moms feed their newborn, they are also concerned with what moms are feeding their older children. Some moms go all-organic and home-made, while other moms prepare dinner from the freezer and partake in the occasional McDonalds. Neither is wrong and, as with most things that have to do with parenting, what works for your family is great.
This does not resonate with everyone, and moms will continue to be judged for the amount of processed food they feed their children. The reason being, in order for a lot of families to survive, both parents must work and bring in an income. Gone are the days where the majority of families can afford to have mom stay home and cook all the meals. This means that time is precious, and we are relying more and more on the easy-to-make meals.
11 Maternity Leave Decisions
Maternity leave is something that is different in each country. In Canada, mothers (or fathers) are eligible to take up to 18 months off after their little one is born, but it is much shorter in the United States of America. Even with the long leave in Canada, a mother is not obligated to take the entire time. It is on only partial income, and some families are unable to live off that amount for so long, so the mother is forced to go back to work.
This is something that is going to be judged. If a mother must go back to work early, there will always be people who state that if she could not have afforded to be home with her baby, she shouldn’t have had one. If that has ever been said to you, please don’t listen to them. Some women just choose to go back to work early, they crave the adult attention and conversation. Don’t get me started on how those moms are judged.
10 Vaccinations (This One Will Never End)
Here we go, vaccinating our children is a debate that has only recently become heated. Before the last few years, you just vaccinated your children, and if you didn’t no one really cared. This is only going to get worse in 2018, I’m afraid. I am not going to get into the points for either side of the argument, you can easily find that with a quick search.
The reason this is going to get out of hand is because the internet is full of information. It is not too hard to find information for and against vaccines on the internet. Once they are shared on social media, they spread like wildfire. The problem with the internet (because yes, there is one) is that there can be a lot of uncredited information. Information that is not true. This is a passionate topic that people either see black or white about, which is why this flame will never go out.
9 Lack Of “Gentle” Parenting
Gentle parenting is a form of parenting that is taking the world by storm, the parenting world that is. It is a form of parenting that tends to lean away from authoritative parenting. That means that parenting no longer comes from the top. That mother and child work together in a peaceful way. They tend to avoid the word “no” as well as any form of punishment.
If this works for your family, that is great. If it doesn’t, that is great too. It is becoming the more popular form of parenting when looking at the trends on Facebook. I fear, that due to this, there will be an influx of judgement for moms who choose not to do this and maintain their authoritative role in the family. On the topic of different forms of parenting, I want every new mom to beware that no matter what method of parenting you decide works for you, you will be judged.
8 What’s In A Name?
North, Saint, and Chicago. Until a couple years ago, I thought these were directions, Godly figures, and names of cities, but they are not. These are names people are giving their children. Out-of-the-box names are becoming very popular, and that could be due to celebrities giving their children the most unique and uncommon names out there. This has led to many moms choosing those one-of-a-kind names for their little ones.
It is hard to say right now, which side you will be judged on. I can’t say for certain if you will be judged if you choose an out-there name, or if you choose a traditional name. Chances are, you will be judged by someone either way. The main solution is to just name your child whatever you want and brush off all the haters. You won’t be able to win or please everyone, so just please yourself and all will be good!
7 #MeToo Parenting
It is a brand-new world out there, women are speaking out against abuse and harassment and they are all demanding change and equality. The #MeToo movement has taken the world by storm, especially by young women who either are or are about to become mothers. This means that their parenting style may be a lot different to how it was just a few decades ago.
We are about to see an influx in feminist parenting. This means that mothers of little girls are teaching them at a young age about consent and the importance of speaking out against injustice. Unfortunately, because this movement has spread like wildfire, if you choose not to lead your daughter with this feminist attitude, you may be judged by another mom. You may be seen as doing an injustice to your daughter, and womanhood as a whole.
6 Gender Neutrality
Gender is fluid in today’s world. It is not as cut and dry as everyone understood it to be years ago. Gender neutrality goes a lot further than just color. It has long been accepted that boys wear blue and girls wear pink, but this is changing. More and more people are understanding that boys and girls can wear any color they choose and that is OKAY.
Gender neutrality is going further, as more and more parents are wanting to avoid placing a set gender in any official documents. A couple in British Colombia have made that choice - to leave out their child’s gender from any medical forms and are allowing their child to choose what they like, not based on what body parts they have. A new mom will not want to be heard uttering that dolls are not for b s, because she is bound to be judged in today’s world.
5 Green Baby
Climate change is real, and it is happening. Our earth is being polluted and there are millions out there who worry that it won’t be able to survive forever. That means that a lot of new moms are choosing to have a “green baby”. That does not mean that they paint their baby green, it means that they really take the environment into consideration when making parenting choices.
They only use cloth diapers, they make their own clothes, and they really try not to waste anything. They don’t want to make more waste, because after all, they did bring another human into the world that has the potential to damage the earth. If you are a mom who only uses a tissue once, or chooses disposable diapers, you may be judged by some of the crunchy mamas out there. Green parenting was one of the highest trending topics on Pinterest, so the numbers are confirming that green parenting is an already prevalent trend.
4 Extra-Curricular Activities
Did you think this topic was going to be about Thursday night baseball or gymnastics? Well, I apologize if I lead you on, but that is not what this post is about. This post is about parents who choose to partake in marijuana smoking. The reason this is included, is because we are bound to see more and more parents enjoying this extra-curricular activity.
The reason we will start to see it more is because it is on its way to becoming a legal substance. There are already a handful of states in America where it is legal, and Canada is moving towards legalizing it for the entire country. With it being legal, there are bound to be more and more moms and dads lighting up after a hard day. It is hard to say which side will be judged. The parents who do it, or the parents who do not. Parents who do choose to, are bound to receive some backlash from older generations who cannot wrap their head around it being legal, claiming that they are irresponsible parents. They are probably just really relaxed parents.
3 Nursery Décor
One of the best parts about becoming a parent is setting up the nursery. Putting together all the furniture and organizing all the cute baby things is one of the most anticipated parts of becoming a parent. Usually parents would pick a certain theme for the baby’s room, whether it be a nursery rhyme, teddy bears or a nautical theme. This is becoming a thing of the past. No longer are parents picking a childish, cutesy theme.
Parents are leaning more towards a modern look to the nursery, with no cute animal prints or cheesy sayings. They are going for clean, sleek and shiny. Some of you may be wondering why the heck people would judge a mom on her nursery choice, and that is because it is easy to do so. With the prevalence of social media, and our need to overshare, moms are excitedly posting pictures of their nursery on their accounts. What you post online becomes fair game for people to share their (unwanted) opinions and judgement on.
2 Weighted Blankets
Weighted blankets are a newer trend that is taking the world by storm. They are simple enough looking blankets, but they have had weight added to them. This has shown to add to a person’s comfort and lessen any stress and anxiety that they may be feeling. This was originally only intended for adult use, but it didn’t take them long to further their reach to children’s blankets. Children can feel stress and anxiety as much as adults do, although about different things.
The problem is that we are not really sure if these blankets are safe for children. We already know the standards for safe sleep with babies and children. That infants should have nothing in their crib until the age of one, and no pillow until the age of two. These are for very good reasons, as since they have introduced these standards, the amount of infant deaths has drastically decreased. If you choose to give one of your children a weighted blanket, you may receive some judgement on whether this is safe or not.
1 How You Gave Birth (Because That’s Someone’s Business!)
Birth is a very private and intimate situation, or it used to be. It seems like how you give birth is everyone’s business these days, and there are moms out there who still judge another mom for how they gave birth. If they had a C-section, a medicated birth or a home birth, moms all over the world are being judged for it. This is really no one’s business, and it needs to end, though I fear it will only get worse.
Moms are leaning more and more towards holistic birth experiences. They are choosing to birth at home, or in a birthing center instead of a hospital. They are also choosing to go medication-free and have an all-natural birth. I fear that if a mom in 2018 chooses not to do this, she will be judged for “drugging” her baby for her own selfish reasons. Yes, this is something that is said to women who choose pain relief during childbirth.
Sources: todaysparent.com, psychologytoday.com