Monday, February 9, 2015

Turn Mommy Judging On Its Head #sisterhoodunite

This sponsored blog partner post brought to you by The Sisterhood of the Motherhood. Call it judging. Call it guilting. Call it shaming. The phenomenon of Mommy Judging seems to be everywhere these days, thanks to the power of social media. Moms criticizing and belittling other parenting choices, and feeling defensive for the choices they make for their own families. Today's post is meant to be a discussion of how we can combat the Mommy Judging in a positive way. Let's turn mommy judging on its head. Please join me!
How to Respond When You Experience "Mommy Judging," from Serenity Now #sisterhoodunite #partner #parentsfirst


As I mentioned in my last "sisterhood" post, if you have kids, you've probably experienced (or participated!) in Mommy Judging at some point (there's a whole funny video dedicated to it). I've encountered it a few times over the years.

One very uncomfortable instance I can recall was a few years ago with a casual mom acquaintance. She asked where we would be sending our oldest to school for first grade, and was appalled when I told her Natalie would be attending the public school across the street from us.

She could not, for the life of her, fathom why we would not send Natalie to the local private school that T and I both graduated from. Not that it was any of her business, but finances just would not permit that, and (three years later) we love our neighborhood school and are happy with it. The other mom went on and on, even offering *helpful suggestions* as to ways we could send Natalie to the private school. She went so far as to ask why my mom wouldn't use her staff discount for us.

I was embarrassed, to say the least.

I stammered and stuttered and looked around to make sure none of the other moms could hear the conversation.

How do you respond when other parents question your choices? Sometimes they really do mean well...and sometimes...sometimes they just want to validate their own parenting style and make you feel "less than."

I read Amy Poehler's Yes Please back in November for book club. I was surprised to find that I really connected to Poehler over her reflections on parenting. She's a talented, famous, wealthy actress and I am a stay-at-home sippy cup washer.

We couldn't be any more different.

Yet, we are both moms who want the best for our children.

The part that stood out to me more than any other part in the book was Poehler's revelation that just because a woman does something differently than you does not mean it's the right choice for your family. I highlighted the following quote and it's popped up in my thoughts more than once in the past few months.

"Good for her! Not for me. That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me."
How to Respond When You Experience "Mommy Judging," from Serenity Now #sisterhoodunite #partner #parentsfirst


Sarah's family lives on a 987 acre farm in Iowa and raises organic llamas and makes felted llama hair soap that she sells on Saturdays in the outdoor market and donates all the proceeds to blind chickens.

Good for her! Not for me.

Leah only feeds her kids kale.

Good for her! Not for me.

Tracy sends her four year old to college prep class five afternoons a week.

Good for her! Not for me.

Get the picture?

This concept of essentially minding one's own business and choosing to react positively was so freeing to me. {the obvious exception being when a child's health and security are involved--"what would a doctor or policeman say?" is my rule of thumb}

Our generation spends a lot of time behind computer and phone screens. It's become second nature to use social media as a platform to expound on the virtues of our parenting choices, add our two cents when someone hasn't asked for it, or to fire off a rapid response when a mom disagrees with our parenting style.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that the woman on the other side of the screen can do without our scrutiny and judgement, hastily typed out as our fingers fly over the keyboard. No, what she really needs is support, encouragement. A friend. A sisterhood.
How to Respond When You Experience "Mommy Judging," from Serenity Now #sisterhoodunite #partner #parentsfirst


I'm doing my best to adopt Amy Poehler's mantra when the schooling-sleep training-baby feeding-discipline-organic or non-organic-etc etc etc argument rears its head yet again in conversation or online. Because, quite honestly, there are more interesting things to talk about sometimes. Who wants to rehash the same thing over and over?

No one is asking you to change your mind or stop being passionate about your parenting style. Maybe just choose to focus on positives instead. Remember that we are all parents who love their little ones...and no one method or way of life fits all.

So, while your choices might be "good for [you], not for me," I think we can agree that an effort to support each other in this journey of parenthood is good for you AND good for me too!

*You can learn more about Similac's The Sisterhood of Motherhood on Facebook and their website.

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Disclosure: Similac partnered with bloggers such as me for its Sisterhood of Motherhood Program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. All opinions expressed are my own. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

8 comments:

  1. Now I have a good rhetoric to tell other parents who unknowingly judge our decisions. Thanks Amanda! We are all ONE on this!

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  2. This includes the choice to vaccinate or not. Good for her! Not for me. Without judgement! It seems that many people get on this kick of "let's all be moms and welcome and uplift each other" until you come across someone you don't agree with then all bets are off. If you don't want to be judged for your parenting choices, don't judge others when they do something you don't agree with.

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  3. Thank you so much for this! I've shared your post on Facebook and know it will make a difference, in my attitude at least!

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  4. Greaet post! Thanks for sharing. I love the video and the message!

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  5. I agree with everything you said Amanda. We need to lift each other up and be more graceful towards one another. And remember to always keep an open mind, ready to learn something new. Without judging!

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