As disappointing as it is to admit, we're all guilty of judging others. Sometimes we cast glances at fellow mothers, when in reality, we should be sticking together, shouldn’t we? We can't possibly know what other mothers are going through or have gone through as they lick a thumb to wipe away a smudge on their little one's cheek. Or as they quickly pull a fruit snack pouch from the diaper bag to quiet an irate toddler.
What may seem like a cop out or easy fix to one mother may be what works for another. There are reasons why children are all different - they grow up differently, with parents who raise them in the way they see is best for their children. Is it exactly what you would do? Maybe, maybe not. But if it isn't, that is no reason to pass any sort of judgment and as mothers, we need to remind ourselves of that more.
Every parent has their method, their style, which works for them and aids them in raising their own children. That's right, their children. And just like you wouldn't expect another mom to stare at you as you discipline your kid in the grocery store, you should follow the same rule and remind yourself not to as well.
Here's what we should keep in mind to help us remember that there's a reason why every mom does what she does.
8 She May Be Doing It Alone
If you're lucky enough to be a part of a couple as you raise your children, then you have been privy to the ability to go to the bathroom alone and get ready in the morning in general peace. So then, you also may not know what it is to struggle when you're the only parent available to your kid or kids.
Sometimes, having a day or week when your spouse is away on business or working overtime, you get a taste for single parenthood and you see just for a short time what single mothers endure every day. And you realize they are rock stars.
We all need a kind word and loving hand sometimes
That is what you should tell yourself when you see that disheveled mother in the mall parking lot, quickly pulling her child along as she hurries to the car. You try getting some shopping in with a wet-diapered toddler, when you remember that you still need to get home with enough time to prepare dinner, give the little one a bath, go through her bedtime routine and have just a few spare moments to yourself.
No, it isn't all business when it comes to parenting on your own. As with raising any child, there are the amazing moments and the stressful days. But if we're going to disregard the pleasant sights for the most part, then let's not focus so much on the negative things we observe.
7 Every Parent Has Their Method
We said this before, but it bears repeating. Whether you may be more of a disciplinarian, intent on deciding for yourself what is right for your child, or allow your kid to help make the decision himself, there are many ways to parent. Does it always work out well? No. But does your parenting style necessarily always end with a pleasant outcome? Of course not.
You could be that mother who calmly reasons with her son, urging him to think about his actions and decisions, while another mother might be quick to mentally scoff at the exchange. Instead, consider that other parents may indeed have their own ways of doing things and remember that that is totally okay.
It's okay to disagree with someone's parenting style
If it is something you don't agree with, guess what? You get to go home and never see that mother again anyway. Problem solved.
6 Your Kid Is Likely to Throw a Fit At Some Point
Take pity on the mother whose three-year-old is writhing on the ground, incoherently demanding a quarter for the gumball machine, remember that that was your own kid just a few weeks ago. Oh, what's that? Your child has never thrown anything that even resembles a fit? Then you're so lucky, but some children may have issues that aren't apparent to you as you walk by.
It's easy for some women to make silent judgements of mothers who seem to allow their kids to throw tantrums, but what those mothers may not know is that child has Autism, and his actions are involuntary. But much like babies spitting up and kids asking you to buy them something every single time you go shopping, it's one of those things we simply accept as parents.
When your child acts up in public, it's never pleasant
It's easy to judge the parents of these irritable children, but we know that at the same time you feel for them as you would hope they'd do for you. Give that mom a sympathetic smile as you walk by, you don't need to help her pull the kid up from the ground, but a little solidarity in that smile or nod can go a long way.
5 Maybe This Mom Works All Day Long
Some mothers are incredibly lucky to be able to spend most of their time being just that - mothers, full-time and without any interruptions like 9-5 work. Others, however, must walk the very fine line, balancing their work life and home life. These mothers must also juggle the time it takes to run errands, cook meals and spend the right kind of quality time with their children.
Sometimes this means sacrificing strict rules in public. And sometimes this means letting things slide, or giving in a little more than she should. But guess what? That's what she has decided needs to be done so she doesn’t pull her hair out after working eight hours.
Motherhood is hard work
And who doesn’t crave a comfy couch and mindless television after a long hard day on the job? This mom can't necessarily get that today, as you see her struggling with cranky children, here's another woman who should be applaud her for being the world's greatest multitasker, instead of condemning her for her lax attitude.
4 We Aren't Kids Anymore, So Why The Judgment?
Haven't we done enough judging and scrutinizing ourselves when we were adolescents? We are all past the age of hallway gossip and looking down our noses at others? Especially when it comes to fellow mothers. So what's the point of criticism? What can be accomplished by judging other moms?
As we've said before, we should be working to stick together, because really, who else can we trust if not fellow mothers who are sometimes just as lost as we are in the world of parenting? If we expect our own children to grow to be accepting and level-headed, then such behavior should obviously start with us. If our kids observe our better nature, then they will copy such behavior.
3 Three Kids Is A lot For Anyone
Try leaving home for an afternoon of shopping with just one toddler. At first, it will be all fun and smiles from strangers, impressed with your little one's cuteness and beauty. Then, naturally, he'll start to get restless, trading his sweet demeanor for the desire to run wild around the department store, hiding within bunch of clothes that you can only reach your arms in to grab him.
Now, imagine this same scenario, but with three children to literally chase after. As they find fun in their mischief, doing so together only makes it all that much more fun to them, giving you extra work in keeping tabs on them. That's what a busy mother of three is working with as she makes her way through the department store or mall.
The more the merrier
She simply needs to gather her own wits and round them up as best as she can. And if you gave her help in doing that, imagine the gratitude she'd feel for your patience and understanding. If we really took the time as fellow mothers to do these simple things, a mother of three would be golden with caring for her kids in public.
2 We All Have Our "Off" Days
When we're on, we're on, wouldn’t you say? We've got the laundry done, kids are behaving quite well, you've taken them out to lunch with not an outburst to be had. But of course that means that when we're having off days, it's pretty darn clear that we're enduring an off day.
Everyone has bad days, where nothing seems to go right and as a result, your whole attitude about the day is just down the drain. When you have children, having an off day is no different. Actually, maybe it is different, in that it creates even more ways to just be wishing for your day to be over.
The only cure for a bad day is to go to bed at night and start fresh in the morning
Not only will your hair just not stay in place, but you can't get your toddler to sit still in their car seat long enough to buckle them in. You can't remember where the pickles are in the grocery store, resulting in several laps around the entire place. And all over, you're just "off." And that is totally understandable. Because we've all been there, we've all had bad days where the only remedy is to go to bed at the end of them and wait for a fresh new day to begin.
When we see a mom who is clearly trying to get through one of these "off" days, the best thing we can do is remind ourselves that we, too, have endured these kinds of days, with and without children. And it isn’t any easier either way.
1 At The End Of The Day, We're All In This Together
It might sound sort of corny, but it's true. As mothers, as parents, we're in this together, in a way. We all realize that other moms have different ideas about raising their children and no judgements aren’t wanted or are useful in any way. Just as we wouldn’t want to be faced with the disapproving faces of others, we shouldn’t be so quick to do so ourselves.
We're not in a habit of criticizing other moms, instead we need to offer help, encouraging smiles, or nothing at all, positive or negative. The truth is, we have no idea what's going in in that other mom's life. Or, for that matter, what is going on in her day, even. The mother who didn’t have time to style her hair today or brush on any makeup isn’t sloppy, she's just intent on caring for her children before her. And the mom who disciplines a little harder or softer is only doing so because that's what she deems is best for her children and her family.