Thursday, April 8, 2010

Moms Judging Moms

When I found out I was pregnant, I signed up with all the usual parenting sites and newsletters. I started reading all kinds of "Mommy Blogs." In general, I established an extensive social network of other new and experienced parents to rely on for advice.

Instead, I predominantly found judgment. Judgment about whether moms chose to breast or bottle feed. Judgment over moms using the "cry it out" method of sleep training. Judgment over co-sleeping. Judgment over whether birth was done naturally or with medical intervention. A whole lot of judgment.

Why do we do that to each other? Why do we turn on our allies, going through essentially the same situation we are experiencing ourselves? Over some dumb little detail like breast vs. bottle? Why aren't we supportive of each other?

As someone who felt negatively judged by many in my "support network" when I weaned Anna at 10 months, I have endeavored to never force my parental preferences on anyone else. If your parental choices are not going to harm your child or mine, then have at it. If you are breast feeding and need to lean on someone who's been there and done that, give me a call. If you are frustrated by the applesauce your toddler painted in your hair with her spoon at dinner time, well, sorry, that's on you. Don't sit so close next time.

My primary point is, as moms (or dads) we should be lifting each other up - offering to lend a hand where we can and keeping our mouths closed when need be. My secondary point is that there are some sites that will definitely not be receiving my membership if/when baby number two comes along! If I want to feel bad about my parenting, I can do that plenty fine on my own. I don't need some stranger insisting that I feed my kid only organic, non-dairy, non-fat, non-taste food matter from 6 months on. That's just not my style.

*For the record, my REAL LIFE network of new and experienced parents is the best, non-judgiest group of people around. I wish there were more of you in my birth club - yeah you other new moms know what site I'm talking about. Nothing but drama.


  1. I totally agree with you. I read books instead, I especially liked I'd Trade My Husband for a Housekeeper and other books written by those authors. Those books became my support network. And in turn, I try not to judge other people's parenting styles.

  2. I'll check those out, Michelle! I think the Internet must make us feel anonymous enough to say things we wouldn't say in real life. I can't imagine that half of what gets spewed online would ever be said to my or anyone else's face!