12 Ways My Parenting Has Been Judged And The One Way To Stop It.

WARNING: New Moms you will be judged for your parenting choices!

Not just by the child-less couples or the elderly that have forgotten what it was like to have small children.

You, NEW MOM, will be JUDGED by other MOMS.  No matter what you do or what choices you make.  

Even though you are making choices with your child’s best interest in mind.

 

1. Working.

 

Going back to work-Not going back to work-Working from home-Working part-time-Working full-time-NOBODY wins here.

Be prepared NEW Moms: There is NO choice that WILL NOT be judged!

Stay-at-home Moms and Working Moms just can never see eye-to-eye.

At one point in my career, I worked exactly half the time and was at home half the time.  I was working in a chosen profession that I went to school for but I found the “trying to balance work/family” utterly exhausting.  Spoiler alert: There is no such thing as work-family life balance.

School field trips were scheduled on my days at work, so I ended up having to take time off.  Another issue was finding part-time childcare, there were very few choices, the kicker being that the ones that I felt comfortable with were expensive.  SIGH.  Childcare sourcing was a nightmare because I refused to put on Money Blinders.  There was no way I was going to work without feeling that my children were in excellent care.  At that point in my professional career, I was working for my benefits and pension.

I recently was judged because I chose work over no work.  Specifically because I chose to work a full time position.

I understand that work is good for some moms and being a stay-at-home mom is good for others.   My Working Mom friends are fist pumping my choice and telling me that my new position completely supports vulnerable persons in my community and is worthwhile and enabling my children to have more opportunities with my new financial status & my Stay-at-Home Mom friends are telling me I won’t get that chance again to be there for my kids.

Just cause I don’t choose your lifestyle… doesn’t mean I don’t understand you.  Why don’t Moms understand this about each other?

Why can’t we just support ANY choice?!

 

2. Discipline

 

How you discipline-strict or not strict enough. Which Discipline Methods you use and How and Why you choose your moments  to discipline are always an issue.  Every child is different and I find that I use different discipline methods with my very different children.

Your choice of discipline method is also a constant source of judging material for other Moms.

For example: some people’s version of yelling is another person’s loud, stern, discipline voice.

Honestly, yelling at my children happens.  I have yelled at my children but not to the point of emotional abuse, as some judging moms might describe it as.   I challenge those who say they NEVER yell.  I guess you have reached that highest level of Buddhism called enlightenment.  Did you know that to be truly an enlightened being you should NOT have children?

Hmmm….wonder why that is?

 

3. Vaccinations

Hoo Boy! THIS is a hot button issue in my neighbourhood.  If you choose to vaccinate you clearly are not informed enough/enlightened enough/intelligent enough to make this decision for your child because not vaccinating your child is saving them from hidden chemicals that non-immunizing moms believe will harm their children. Immunologists (who spend their whole career researching) can’t compare to the hours that non-immunizer moms have researched.  I get it though, I remember the whole Thalidomide baby travesty but do you think that’s what these professional immunologists want?  If you don’t choose to vaccinate then you are helping to spread previously eliminated diseases and putting those without immune systems at risk.

I work in healthcare. I have chosen to vaccinate. I do not judge others for not vaccinating BUT WHY must I be judged FOR vaccinating? I may not agree with everything that healthcare says about vaccinations (yes, I believe some vaccinations happen a little too early) but if I can prevent serious harm to my child, I will.

Nowadays, you can find evidence proving both sides of this issue but I put my trust in the immunologists that study immunology for their whole life.  Let the JUDGING begin!

No matter what you do – you will be judged.

 

4. Food.

Feeding my children and specifically WHAT I have fed and will feed my child.

I have received the judging look… you know the one you get when you show up at hockey practice with the leftover’s in the McDonald’s bag.

FAST FOOD! I was even a McDonald’s mom quality correspondent who got to go behind the scenes to see what was in the food and guess what?  It was real beef, real chicken, real potatoes and not pink foam goop.  No I wasn’t paid and Yes it felt contrived but I still believe that McDonald’s was pretty transparent to us Moms and that it wasn’t SET UP just for US.

But still I got judged for even doing it.  Many a Mom thought I was a McDonald’s Mom because that’s what I fed my kids.  The reality is that it is convenient and we eat there when I am rushing from work /kids activities to pick up my kids from daycare/school and then feed them before they turn into Hypergylcemic Monsters.

Currently, we call my one child “7 foods” cause it seems that he will only eat seven foods. Salmon, Chicken, Meat, Broccolli, Cheerios, Green Apples, and Milk. A recent occurrence is the addition of the PB&J. Prior to that he had no love for any breads or carbs.

He used to eat everything.  Now he is selective.

He even refuses hot dogs. He’s on and off with Caesar salad. One day I made Caesar salad for 8 days straight. Then when I stocked up on ingredients…he didn’t want it anymore. Same thing happened with mandarin oranges and bagel sandwiches. I am not worried.

Most people’s hang ups about food are their own and most of the times they are judging themselves as much as they judge others.

I am just glad that we have food!

 

 

5. Technology

When I realized that I was giving my child my iPhone/iPad to occupy them in the long grocery store line ups and that I was uploading apps that would educate entertain my kids, I had to sit back and think- what’s the difference between that and plunking them in front of the TV?

My kids have iPad Mini’s and my oldest saved his money to buy it.

They develop amazing worlds in Minecraft but they also like to watch their kids shows on Netflix. Sometimes parents don’t mind the 30 minutes of TV Time but refuse to supply the child with technology.  Please enlighten me on how it is different?

Technology is here to stay (it’s everywhere) and the evidence of how harmful or helpful it is …is still up in the air.

No matter what you do you will be judged.

 

6. Screen time

This goes hand in hand with technology.  Yes, we have an hour of screen time. That is inclusive of any device. Whether its’ TV, my iPhone, the iPad, or the iPad mini’s BUT we do go over. My one artist friend was praised that she didn’t allow her children to watch TV, I was one of the ones praising her. Until I had to babysit them! Then I realized the reason she had a nanny….it’s DAMN hard to entertain children ALL THE TIME on your own-with NO TV. Sometimes having that 30 minutes of silence may seem wrong but it feels OH SO RIGHT!

I even have to watch that I lead by example as I have been known to BINGE on my favourite shows, we all have to watch out for screen-time-suckage!

 

 

 

7. Education

Public, Private, Religious, Non-religious, Early French Emmersion, French Emmersion…..it all just makes my head spin. The biggest thing is to understand how your child learns and help them succeed. French Emmersion is not good for my son who already has language issues, so I’m not putting him in it. It doesn’t mean that he will never learn another language but I would like him to learn ONE language well… then we can chat. From thinking French emmersion is the private school for public school kids to private school education is ridiculously costly and snobbish to feeling like public school can’t ever prepare kids for the a future in academics. Lot’s of people have hangups about education and they will share those judgments ON YOU.  Trust me, you will meet these parents starting at WHICH PRESCHOOL does your child go to?!

 

 

8. Breastfeeding.

Whether you do it at all, do it too long, or do it in public. No one is happy if you breastfeed or if you don’t choose to breastfeed, or in my case if you do BOTH. Sometimes, the guilt that I have seen some moms put on others, breaks my heart. Especially when I have witnessed a guilty mom try to breastfeed, and they don’t have any milk. They tried it all but not enough or nothing is coming out! Isn’t the most important thing, that the child is feed?!  Support other moms don’t crinkle your nose at formula, it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t care enough for your child.

 

 

 

9. Hygiene and appearance.

Sometimes, it’s the battle that I don’t think is worth winning. Hey they dressed themselves! Bravo- unfortunately they dressed themselves as a bag lady and that day have refused to brush hair, wash face, or brush teeth. Are you really gonna nick pick your child who’s completely proud that they GOT THEMSELVES dressed. I’m not. Ya win some! Ya lose some! Remember all my Type A friends, it won’t be forever. Soon your child’s peer group will be judging them on their lack of name brands. Soon your child will be a clone of his friends wallowing in an AXE type cologne/deodorant that they can’t smell but is so strong you can smell them 10 blocks away.   Just remember that kids are messy when they are young but as long as they are happy, does that little bit of dirt REALLY matter?

 

 

10. Sugar- whether you let your kids have it or not- there is no right way – according to judging moms around you.

I let my kids eat as much sugar on special days. Halloween, Christmas, birthday parties, etc. and guess what – they self regulate and stop eating it. All it takes is one stomach ache or a bout of diaherra and/or vomiting and my kids COME TO THE CONCLUSION themselves. All I asked them was…What did you have different today? They KNOW!

Just remember when you let your child have that treat- someone is judging your parenting choice.

 

 

 

11. Environmental Awareness and being “green” enough.

Yes, this is a thing.  Not only are you faced with the most important task of raising your child or children, you also have to be green about it!

Yes, there is a lot of information about chemicals. I knew about BPA before the government issued a warning to the mass population. BUT why must we judge each other on how “green they seem”. I’m sorry sometimes buying the individually bottled water is my only choice or choosing to use an aerosol sunscreen is easier for application. Why do you judge me for eating regular, conventional foods over organic? Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it’s cheaper. I just finished watching a PBS special called “Poor Kids”. These kids and their parent and/or guardians, were eating foods that had a longer shelf life and were cheap for the quantity. They did not have vehicles and had to take transit. Lots of times they lived far away from the grocery stores, so they had limited funds for transportation and were a long way away from the stores. That is why they chose packaged foods with longer shelf life, and SHOCKER chemicals. Although fruits and vegetables were sometimes cheaper, being only able to go to the grocery store once every two weeks, limited their options.

 

12. Bedtimes and Sleepovers.

My kids need to be in bed no later than 8pm because I have to get them up before 7am to get them ready. I am already working with children that have teenager-like sleeping habits. They want to stay up and party but can’t get up in the morning!!! Half the time, I find my boy in bed with me and my Man no where to be found. I personally don’t want his size 5 feet in my back and if I notice him sneaking into my bed I YELL at him to go back to his own, but really, I know this won’t last forever. I figure it will be great foder/ammunition/embarrassment material to use against him with his teenager friends.

I also have pretty much STOPPED sleepovers.  I don’t think its a child’s right, JUDGE AWAY.   At 8 and 10 years of age, they need their sleep and they just don’t sleep well with other children in their rooms or at other families homes.  We have allowed them every so often but they are nightmares for at least 2 days afterwards.   We only do it now if they have nothing for 2 days, so they can recoup and I don’t lose my mind.  It’s not just knowing and trusting the parents that the kids sleepover at.  When they have sleepovers at others house you also have to live with the sleepover parents choices, which may be to not firm down the bedtimes and let them stay up until the wee hours of the morning.   Then you have to deal with the aftermath!!!

 

Parenting Truths 

The truth about parenting, is you may have a set goal, standard, or expectation BUT it can change and it will change.  What you agree with now may not hold steadfast and true until you are “IN THE TRENCHES” of Parenthood.  Just remember, that it’s OK to change your mind but if you are doing something different than another parent it doesn’t mean that what they are doing is wrong OR what you’re doing is wrong.

Let’s JUST STOP THE JUDGING and START THE SUPPORTING no matter how hard it is.

I personally try to find my like-minded moms and stick with them, BUT i’m finding even those friendships and beliefs can change as your children age.

I just accept who I am and who The Man and I are as parents and people and try to do the best we can.

 

 

 

 

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