Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mom Guilt and Judgement

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I, generally speaking am a very non judgmental person. Over the years I've learned you don't know a person’s heart, there motivations, there past experiences, therefore you can't judge them. This was a lesson I learned after making some decisions that were not the best I could have made. While going through the repentance process, counseling, and soul searching I came to realize that a huge factor in my emotional state when I made these decisions was my abusive father. I hadn't realized how the abuse had manifested it's self in my life through bad decisions until well after the fact. Realizing that, I hoped that people did not judge me too harshly based on my decisions alone, because there was a lot more going on than just the decision. After that I've tried to make a point of being open minded and unassuming in regards to others actions. Even actions that certainly are wrong may be influenced by events or factors unknown to me. So I try and leave it to the lord to judge. With that said as a Mom I find myself awfully judgmental!?!?!?! What the heck?

I started thinking about this after another mom at church was talking about formula feeding her baby. He's had severe allergy problems and simply could not tolerate her breast milk. So she had to switch to formula. She made a comment about how she just wanted to tell everyone that she wants to breastfeed, but can't with her little guy. I couldn't help but think that she must be having some major mom guilt. She said she'd never formula fed her 3 older children. So she must obviously think breastfeeding is best. I felt bad for her! I think as moms we are all just doing the best we can. We are all doing what works best for us. Sometimes I step back and analyze my thoughts about other people and I feel a little like a know-it-all teenager! Where in the world did this come from? Reading a few books and researching a few things? Why do I feel like what's working for me is the "right" way to do things? I think as moms we feel judged/pass judgment on so many different things. Letting you baby sleep in bed with you. Putting them in a crib too soon. Breastfeeding too long. Not breastfeeding long enough. Letting your baby cry too long. Not letting your baby cry at all. Having too strict of a schedule. Not have any schedule. Using store brands. Not using store brands. Using medications. Not using medications (this specifically comes to mind with teething). Vaccinating. Not vaccinating. If your baby is too small. If your baby is too big. Making homemade clothes, bibs, blankest, etc. Store buying everything. Making your own baby food. Buying baby food. Not feeding organic baby food. If your house is too dirty. If your house is too clean. Oh my goodness the list goes on and on!

It seems that with every parenting decision there is guilt, or judgment! Someone, either another mom or some expert from some book, saying a different way is better! My realization is that I need to not judge the mom who breastfeeds to sooth and calm her child. Just because that's not how I do it doesn't mean she's wrong to do it that way. I need to not judge the mom who doesn't let her child cry at night to go back to sleep. I almost didn't do that myself. Just because I found great success in that doesn't mean it works for everyone! I also felt pretty guilty listening to Croix cry himself to sleep when we first started doing that. I need to acknowledge that we are all doing the best we can. We are all figuring it out as we go. We all love our children. The Lord loves all of us and I need to show more love and less judgment for how others choose to parent! So to any of you who I may have judged, I’m sorry! I’m trying to be a better person!


Artsy Aut said...

Great post! Its so true, we all do it different but we are all doing our best. Each kid is different and each Mom knows their child best. As long as your baby is happy and loved that is all that really matters

KJ said...

You are amazing! This is a great post. What a much better mother, friend, wife, and overall person you are and will be for having discovered early on to give each and every person a break and a little support. I miss you!

Kalena and Justin said...

I love you :). I agree with you we all need to judge less but I also think its human nature to do this. I think the goal is to see past it and not dwell on it all. Dont worry that people are thinking you are doing it worng and know that even if we think someone is wrong it doesnt mean they do and it works for them. Thank goodness the final call isnt up to us right?

You are such an awsome pereson and so sweet with how you are always thinking about others.