It happens all too often. A harried mom, who is just trying to do her best, can feel the negative stares coming from all the childless people of the world. It seems that almost every decision we make as parents is judged by others who have no idea what parents go through. From dealing with public temper tantrums to how much screen time is allowed.
We've all had that one friend who sits in judgment as she watches you bribe your kid with candy just so the two of you can have a conversation in peace. Maybe your best friend thinks you're crazy for allowing your child to watch Spongebob Squarepants and swears that her future children won't be allowed to watch any television.
Perhaps you once judged other moms before becoming one yourself. You had a clear plan for how you would raise your kid. Well, most of the time, those plans go flying out the window after you become a parent. Every snobby look and judgy thought will come back to haunt you when you're in the throws of parenthood.
The lady that swore she would never feed her children sugar finds herself shoving a lollipop into her toddler's mouth to stop their crying. That crunchy guy who pledged to only buy his child wooden toys, suddenly finds himself putting batteries in every electronic toy he gave to his baby for their first birthday. Here is a list of 15 Things That You'll Be Sorry You Judged Moms About.
15 Birth Choices
There are many choices when it comes to how a woman wants to give birth and it seems like everyone has something to say about it. There are the “natural moms” duking it out with the “scheduled C-sections moms”. The ladies who have their baby in the hospital may think that the home birth moms are crazy to go that route. A woman can now have an unassisted birth or a water birth. She can decide to have an epidural or use hypnobirthing to work through labor.
The truth of the matter is, what all these women have in common is that they desire to give birth to a healthy baby. All of the debate and arguments suddenly don't matter when you're holding your newborn for the first time. It's all to easy to sit in judgment when you've never given birth and once you do, you might regret being so harsh on other expectant women.
14 Breast Feeding Vs. Bottle Feeding
Another topic of debate is rather a women chooses to breastfeed or bottle feed her baby. Some women are adamant and will only nurse their newborn, refusing to give them a bottle for fear of their little one having nipple confusion. Other moms want desperately to breastfeed their child but might have complications and resort to bottle feeding. Some ladies have no interest in being the human baby bottle and turn to formula from the start.
Whatever the reasoning behind a mother's choice in this matter, the important thing is that her baby is getting the nutrition they need to grow and thrive. When you're cradling a crying and hungry baby, any preconceived notions you once had won't matter. It isn't until you are responsible for keeping a small person alive that you realize how wrong it is to judge women when it comes to how they feed their baby.
13 To Snip Or Not To Snip
Another parenting topic that people tend to get really judgy about is circumcision. The decision to snip or not snip your son is a very personal one but that doesn't stop some people from passing harsh judgment from both sides of the debate. Obviously, some parents choose to have the circumcision performed as a religious practice. For everyone else who gives birth to a baby boy, the argument rages on.
There are those who believe that it's genital mutilation. Others make their decision based on the health benefits of circumcising their little boy. Maybe you've found yourself in an argument with a fellow mom about the subject. Many couples find themselves in disagreement and fight about it. Either way, once you're put in the position of making this tough choice that will affect your son for the rest of his life, you might regret being judgmental toward others about it.
The America Association of Pediatrics states that “Infants should sleep in the same bedroom as their parents – but on a separate surface, such as a crib or bassinet, and never on a couch, armchair or soft surface -- to decrease the risks of sleep-related deaths.” Co-sleeping in the same bed is discouraged but many parents find that method of sleep works for their family. Hopefully, they follow the guidelines and sleep without pillows or loose blankets surrounding their infant.
It's really easy to judge parents for choosing to co-sleep with their little one. Sometimes parents use it as a last resort. Trust me, once you've been up, night after night, with a colicky baby who screams bloody murder unless they are nestled safely between mom and dad in their bed, one quickly regrets every judgmental comment they may have said once upon a time when it comes to the topic of co-sleeping.
11 Temper Tantrums
We've all seen it. That one kid that is kicking and screaming at the grocery store because they can't get something that they want. There's always that one child at the restaurant who is pitching a fit and ruining the ambiance for everyone else. Next to that little one is a mom or a dad who is more than likely at their wits end. It's all too easy to huff out a judgmental sigh and shake our heads as we watch these poor parents deal with their cranky kiddo.
All of that changes once you become a parent and now it's your kid freaking out in public. It's very humbling to be the one standing in horror above your child as they thrash on the ground in the check out line. Suddenly, other moms look at each other in solidarity and send a compassionate nod instead of a shameful shake of the head.
10 Working Mom Vs. Stay At Home Mom
It's amazing how harsh women can be toward each other when it comes to this topic. Many new moms have every intention of stayinging at home but find the task to be mind-numbingly boring. Other ladies need a purpose in life other than parenting their children. Some women make the decision to work for financial reasons. Whatever a mom's motivation is, the judgment being placed on women is astounding.
It's all too easy to think you have it all figured when you're childless but it isn't until you're the one making sacrifices for your family, do you realize what a hard decision this is. Women who choose to stay home give up their own careers to rear up their kids. Ladies who work surrender the time with their children to hold down a job. Either way, we all just want what's best for our family.
This is a subject that many people get pretty judgy about. There's the old school generation that believes that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. Some people believe that the problem with kids these days is that they don't get spanked and a good whooping is all they need to shape up. On the other hand, there are parents who practice positive parenting techniques and refuse to lay a hand on their child.
The debate goes back and forth and I applaud the parents who have the patience to discipline their child without spanking them. Yet, there may come a time when your child runs into a busy street and you give them a pop on the butt to teach them to stop. It happens. Then, when you snatch them into your arms and hold them tight with relief because they are safe, you might regret passing judgment in the past.
8 Cry It Out Method
Sleep can be an exhausting issue. The Ferber Method, coined by Dr. Richard Ferber, is a technique that helps infants with sleep problems. A parent trains the baby to self soothe by permitting the child to cry for increments of time before giving comfort. Some moms swear by it and other moms swear they will never use this method to get their little one to sleep.
It's a polarizing subject and one that has been known to put riffs between friends. Listen, sleep is important for both mom and baby. Some parents will resort to anything to get rest. It can't be easy to sit and listen to your baby cry in hopes that they will learn to sooth themselves. On the other hand, parents who respond to their infant's cries aren't spoiling them. Either way, you'll regret judging parents about it when your baby is screaming at 4 am.
Candy is sweet but it can be a sour subject between moms. Many people without children proclaim that they will never, under any circumstances, allow their future child to eat candy. Keeping your little one away from sweets is easier said than done. First of all, it's delicious and everyone loves it. Secondly, it's really hard to avoid because the food industry markets candy toward children. Third, it's a super great bribing tool to get your kid to do what you want them to do. I'm not proud of that last one but it's true.
So, when you find yourself bending the rules because there's a pinata at a birthday party and you don't want your kid to be the one with the freaky parents who won't let them run for the candy, you might regret giving that mom the stink eye when she gave her cranky two-year-old a lollipop.
6 Screen Time
Kids these days have instant access to entertainment with hand held devices. It's all too easy to see a kid staring blankly at a screen and swear that when you have kids one day, they won't be plugged into devices. Of course, it's important to balance out your child's screen time but almost every parent uses an Ipod or their phone as a distraction for their kid. It's extremely convenient and with interactive apps, often times, children can play thought provoking games.
Once you've had a child and you're trying to have a phone conversation with an old friend but your kid won't give you a moment's peace, you might find yourself handing your kid a device so you can have an adult conversation. They come in handy in waiting rooms, shopping carts, long road trips. I could go on and on. Yes, one day you will regret being judgy about screen time.
5 Alcohol Consumption
Sometimes, after a long day of wiping noses and kissing boo boos, a lady may want to drink a glass of wine to unwind. Some women without children look down their noses at moms who consume alcoholic beverages now and again. Maybe it's never been your thing and you just couldn't envision yourself hitting the sauce after becoming a mom. That's fine and it's a personal choice that is totally respectable.
Yet, things might change after you have kids. Trust me, after a hard day of giving into the demands of motherhood, you might find yourself sneaking upstairs after the kids are tucked away in bed. Sometimes there is nothing better having a warm bubble bath while enjoying a glass of wine. I'm not talking about being a lush or anything, just don't be surprised if after becoming a mom you find yourself drinking Merlot from a sippy cup in a locked closet.
Much like devices, television consumption is another topic that child-less people can be judgmental about. It's so easy to proclaim that your children will never watch crappy television shows. Maybe you had plans to only allow your child prodigy to watch Baby Einstein Videos. I'm sure that it's possible to shelter your kiddo's brain from mindless television but often times, once they get old enough to be social with other children, they will more than likely beg to watch every show on Cartoon Network.
Sometimes, it's just easier to give in and allow your child to watch hours upon hours of television so you can catch a moment for yourself. They will probably plead with you to allow them to watch Pokemon or My Little Pony or whatever other cartoon the other kids talk about on the playground.
3 Yelling At The Kids
How many times have you seen a crazed mom yelling at her kids in the store and swear to yourself that you will never, under any circumstances, yell at your future children like that? It's all to easy to pass judgment and of course, one shouldn't make a practice of shouting at their children. Yet, almost every mom finds herself raising her voice to her kids in a public place at least once in her life.
Sometimes you've just had it. The kids have been rotten and you're absolutely exhausted. Then, they do that one thing that pushes you over the edge. It might be something insignificant but they've been misbehaving all day and you are just over it. Before you realize it's even happening, you're scolding your child to no end, and now everyone is staring at you. It won't be your proudest moment, but you will regret that you once judged that frustrated mom.
2 Electronic Toys Vs. Wooden Toys
Toys these days come with all the bells and whistles. They beep, sing, and zoom. There are the ones that light up or the ones that wiggle and shake. If you pay a visit to a house filled with these toys, it would be easy to pass judgment. They can be maddening and many of them don't challenge a child's mind. So, you pledge that you will only buy wooden, thought provoking toys for your child.
Well, don't be shocked if every single toy your child owns requires batteries. There will be bouncy seats that sing a happy tune. There will be baby dolls that cry. There will be Elmo dolls that flip. Your kiddo will one day beg for that Thomas the Tank Engine Train set that goes chugga chugga in a loop all day. Yes, the day will come when you might regret looking down on parents who buy their kids electronic toys.
1 Mom Squads
They travel in packs and can be found everywhere. We often see them wearing yoga pants and pushing baby strollers down neighborhood streets. Perhaps you see them socializing on the benches at the local park. Sometimes they can be found in a group at the public library, taking their young ones to a “Mommy and me” class. I'm talking about mom squads. They may seem exclusive and hive minded. Maybe you swore to yourself that you would never be one of “those” moms.
Well, the truth is, being part of a mom squad can be fulfilling. Once you have a child, you will need to commiserate with other women navigating through motherhood. It can seem daunting at first, to approach other moms at the playground, but it's so worth it when you find your tribe. Before you know it, you'll be meeting up with your own mom squad and you'll treasure their friendship.