Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Judging parents

A post recently showed up in my facebook feed asking if breastfeeding is appropriate on a metro.  The responses this post produced astounded me.  There was criticism, judgment, cruel words.  It got me thinking about the nature of our society.

Parenting is hard.  Whoever says it is not either does not have kids yet, or has not gotten to a challenging time in parenting yet.  Why as a society, are we so quick to judge other parents.  I am not talking about the type of judging we do when we hear of abuse, emotional, physical, or sexual - because those actions are completely unacceptable.  I am talking about judging other parents for their choices.  For their mistakes.  For their differences in opinion.

Why are we not offering support, understanding, and respect?  I do not agree with every parenting decision other parents make.  But guess what - their children are not mine.  Their life is not mine.  What works for them is up to them, and just as I expect their respect in the decisions we make for Luca, I respect theirs as well.

Parents make mistakes.  We are human.  I have made mistakes with Luca.  But it is a learning process, and one that requires time and understanding, not judgment.

So instead of passing judgment when I see parents struggling with a child throwing a tantrum in the middle of public, I am going to shoot them an understanding smile (hopefully without looking creepy).  If I see a mom struggling with all of the kid crap she is carrying, while holding a baby, I am going to help.  I have been there - actually, I am that mama mess that I am referring to.

I am vowing to be less judgmental, and more supportive.  Will you?


  1. I couldn't have said this better myself!

    I always feel so bad for the parent when a child is having a tantrum. I've been there. I know it is hard. And I know it is made 100 times harder when you're getting glares from other people. I always try to give a sympathetic smile (or a nod like, "I've totally been there").

    And I do try hard not to judge other parents. As long as their kids are happy and healthy, I know they're doing what works for them. I know we get grief from other parents about some of our parenting choices (most notably our vegetarian diet). But it works for us.

    But man - there really are some hot button issues that really bring out the harsh criticism (breastfeeding, stay at home vs working parents, cry-it-out, etc.).

    1. Nobody should give you grief for vegetarianism. People can say I disagree with your choice, or it would not work for us, while still being respectful and supportive.

  2. I find that I'm far less judgmental of people now that I'm a parent. Because now I know what they're going through/went through. Not that I was really ever that judgmental before, I just never realized how hard it is.

    1. I am the same. I am sure I used to judge pre-kids. But I cannot understand judging when everyone is just doing the best they can. Parenting is hard, right?!


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