When will the judging stop?

Posted: October 7, 2013 by Rachel

It is not lost on me that there are millions of different ways to parent our children, and we all have our own reasoning or beliefs as to why we do what we do. We feed our children differently, encourage them to sleep differently, and our day-to-day lives entertaining and teaching our children most likely look quite diverse. And just as we have opinions on the best way to raise our own children, that quite likely means we have opinions on how not to raise them. I truly believe this is unavoidable, but what is completely within our control, is how we react to others with different beliefs.

Maybe it was the way I was raised, but I subscribe to the notion of saying nothing if I have nothing nice to say.

 

Over the weekend, a woman on Instagram who disagrees with my parenting style verbally attacked me. Some might say that my using the word attacked is exaggerating, but I disagree. This woman knows nothing about my child or my life, yet thought it was her duty to tell me that I am a terrible mother, and that what I am doing is child abuse and neglect. What is it that I am doing? I am attempting to sleep train my child so that we can all get a better nights’ sleep.

 

Some parents co-sleep with their baby, breastfeed on demand, and wear their children everywhere. Other parents’ feed their baby formula, and they sleep in a crib in their own room. One couple may be vehemently against crying it out, whereas others see it as necessary to growth and independence. I have my beliefs, and I stick to them, but what I don’t do is tear down others who don’t share these beliefs.

 

When will the judging stop?

 

Parenting is the hardest and most rewarding thing we will ever do. Our goals are all the same: to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted children. Because my boy has been formula-fed since 8 weeks, that means I’m a worse mother than the one who breastfeeds her baby? Because he sleeps in his own crib, we’re bad parents? Because we have decided to sleep train our baby to sleep through the night, my “motherly instinct is failing me”?

 

When will the judging stop?

 

We should be praising one another for raising amazing children, lifting one another up for each difficult day that we get through, each smile that we are granted from our babies. Another mothers’ successes are my successes. We are all mothers and fathers. We know how difficult (and rewarding) parenting is. We need to stop tearing each other down if another couple doesn’t subscribe to our own beliefs.

 

But if you can’t do that, well, then just say nothing at all.

 

10 Comments

  • Anne Hill April 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Holy cow I can't believe someone went cray cray on you on IG. What the heck! You're an amazing mom and these words are perfect. Parenting is hard enough without parents judging each other. It needs to stop!

    Reply
  • Kaylan April 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Yes yes yes.

    Reply
  • katerina hefler April 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Hi Rachel,
    I've been following your blog for couple months now and it's been very interesting and inspirational reading (I've started Project Life because of you). The way you portray your life and capture those precious and fleeting moments of childhood and motherhood for your son shows that you are a loving, empathic mother and we should only wish there would be more women like you in the world. I am 30 years old, I gave birth to my son less then 6 weeks ago so I feel I'm sort of at a similar stage in life as yourself. As for bringing up children, I try to educated myself as much as I can but also to use a common sense and instincts I've been given by Mother Nature and I think I'm a good mother even though I might do some mistakes now and then. Don't let anyone to spoil this beautiful period of your life, you're doing a great job!
    Good luck and warm wishes from Prague, Czech Republic 😉

    Reply
  • Sammy April 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    i follow your IG and i've never seen anywhere on it that you are a bad mother. i'm not a huge fan of kids (not my time yet) but i LOVE seeing picture of your baby, he is absolutely adorable and i think whatever you're doing is good for you. glad you wrote the post 🙂

    Reply
  • boginga April 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    I think your post is completely spot on! I'm sorry this happened to you, but I'm glad you are able to see the other side of it. I seem to have gotten a lot of the "Just wait until…" phrase lately. Thanks for your honesty!

    http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/mom-phrase-really-8217-t-stand-143100536.html;_ylt=A2KLOzL6dFNSrh0AIiwhmolQ#!k8dNc

    Reply
  • rachel April 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    how did we get so "lucky" HA!

    Reply
  • rachel April 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    that's a whole other discussion too: defending or explaining our decisions. because that's the thing! they are OUR decisions, we shouldn't have to defend them!!

    Reply
  • CMP April 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    SO

    I wrote this really long comment and it failed when I tried to preview it.
    BIGGEST pet peeve.

    To summarize;

    – I had no clue that went down, I basically commented and kept it moving.
    – I think if anyone thinks you are a bad mom then they would think I'm satan.
    – and I told you to ignore as best you can non-constructive interactions like that because most of the time these people's relationships with their own kids and the children's behaviour as individuals can definitely be debated as "right" or "good"
    – a lot of my friends who are going the conventional route with their kids are always asking me "How did I get so lucky to have such a well behaved kid."

    and finally that you once again inspired and reminded me I need to be more committed to documenting.

    Reply
  • Marysia April 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    So sorry you were attacked like that. You are completely right on what you say here, I dislike ever having to defend or explain my decisions to others. We all do what we think is best for our children and that should be good enough, but to some I guess it's not.

    Reply
  • Manda Townsend April 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Seriously? WTH? You are a wonderful mama and I agree with all your wise words here 110%.

    Reply

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