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Why Are We So Judgmental of Other Mothers?

By Danielle |

Remember that time where someone told me that I go out too much for a mother?

Yeah, that happened recently. I guess we flashed back to 1954.

At first it really burned my biscuit. I mean, for a mother of three young children I barely get a free moment to wipe my own butt without someone popping their head into the bathroom. Or eat a meal without three children begging for a bite, like I didn’t feed them a buffet of every food they asked for all day long.

But if I take a couple days in a month to enjoy some time with my friends, I am automatically irresponsible and dumping my children off for others to raise. Silly me, I thought their father was supposed to help raise them!

So my curiosity peaked and I took it to my Facebook page and asked Moms from all different backgrounds to chime in with their thoughts on the subject.

 

And so started one of the best, and honest discussions we have had on my page in a long time. Real comments from real mothers without judgment amongst each other.

36 comments later, I had a ton of insight on the situation. It didn’t really surprise. I was one of those mothers years ago, the type who placed judgment and commented on everything. I will own it, because I have grown-up quite a bit since having my first child. I’ll admit that I used to be jealous when I saw other moms having actual lives outside of being a parent.

It is such a strange transition. One day, you are just another woman who can come and go as you please. But the day you become a mother that freedom flies right out the window. If you deny that this change doesn’t impact you, to be honest, I don’t think that I would believe you.

So what did some of the others have to say?

Evin C. said fear is a major factor. “None of us know what the f*** we’re doing, so if you do it differently, then maybe we’re doing it wrong… and that’s terrifying… so we judge others as a way of defending our own choices.”

Which I thought was a pretty interesting insight. Four years ago, I probably would have been right there with her, agreeing 100%.

Kristin Marie said, “I think some moms judge in order to make themselves feel better about their own inadequacies.”

I think in that the motherhood community what Kristin described happens quite often when it comes to a plethora of parenting hot topics. Don’t breastfeed? Judged. Don’t co-sleep? Judged. Opting for a natural birth? Judged.

Brandy chimed in and described her desire to have interests outside of being a mother! “We all deserve occasional nights out…I have a teen and 2 toddlers, and if it weren’t for the occasional break, I’d forget that I am more than just “Mom”. I’m a woman…I am a person with interests that don’t involve my kids all the time. There is nothing wrong with hiring a sitter and having “me” time!”

Yes! Mothers! We are people too! We are more than just moms! We are women with interests, desires, and most importantly friends. I know that a lot of my friends flew the coop when I had children. Here I am almost five years later with an amazing group of friends, some who are mothers too. This group includes people that I grew up with and new friends that I have made over the past couple years. We enjoy going out to dinner and drooling over Channing Tatum in a stripper movie.

The last comment that I really loved was from Sommer W. “I would suspect jealousy most of the time. I don’t judge or trash talk other moms for going out, but I do wish I could go out too so I feel a bit jealous despite myself! I think some women are eager to point the finger to make themselves feel better about their own situation. As long as a competent person is caring for the kids I don’t see a problem with it.”

I guess my whole point is, stop hating on other moms. People do things differently. Not everyone is going to sit at home every Saturday night or skip any and all girls-night-out opportunities. Nor should they. We are all people with our own interests. Having a social life isn’t going to impact our children negatively if we are doing it in moderation.

What do you think guys? Add your opinion!

Read more from Danielle on DanielleElwood.com
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Read more on Toddler Times from Danielle:

5 Things to Safely Entertain Your Kids in the Car
10 Reasons I Want to Go Back to Work
Our Week in Instagram

More on Babble

About Danielle

danielle

Danielle

Danielle Elwood is a straight-shooting Florida based mom of three and emerging indie author. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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6 thoughts on “Why Are We So Judgmental of Other Mothers?

  1. dana says:

    Such a great piece! I have thought about this a lot myself. I hire a sitter one night a week to go to a boot camp class. A friend said to me that she couldn’t believe I took the time to myself…I need that time. I need that time to refresh, I want to be healthy and with working and caring for 2 kids, finding the time to even work out is HARD.
    We have to take time to get stuff done for ourselves – I know that if I am a happy mom, I am a better mom :)

  2. Ashley says:

    My parents went out weekly while I was growing up. Bingo when I was really little, over for a beer and some chit chat at the local Legion when I was older and able to baby sit (I’m 7.5 and 9.5 years older than my siblings). For the most part we/they were asleep, so who freaking cares what they were doing as long as there was a responsible person there to take care of things?

    I’m a homebody, I’ll probably rarely leave my kids except to leave them with their father and run to the grocery store. My marriage came with a 5 year old little boy who gave me a crash course in parenting. Even now, almost 2 years later I still slip out to get a coffee or browse a store for some quiet while he’s here on the weekend.

  3. Krishann says:

    When I was a single mom I got a lot of grief for sometimes going out although my baby was well taken care of and would be at home with my mother (who I lived with at that time) and I would often wait until we had bedtime stories, cuddles and prayers and she was soundly asleep. If I my best friend hadn’t dragged me out the house I wouldn’t have met my husband :) Now that I am married everyone tells me that I should go out including my husband who goes out with his friends. I think it’s great that you do and anyone who complains about you occasionally going out with your friends probably secretly wishes they could do the same. You are making sure your children have all their needs met including having a mommy who can better take care of them because she takes care of herself too.

  4. Tracey Egan says:

    Gosh I think we al just need to ease up. This is a hard freakin job. One thing I do know for sure is that happy mummy = happy kids and that means that mummy MUST take time for herself and her social life, no buts about it. We need to put ourselves first sometimes and our relationships with our partners and friends right up there too. http://wp.me/p28KkX-1E

  5. Dana says:

    Everyone judges. If you don’t wish to have comments directed at you then don’t post your entire life on the internet. I feel sorry for the kid that grows up and reads that his birth was horrible and his mother compared it to being raped. If that’s judging then so be it. If she didn’t want people saying things about her religion/family/looks/actions and or words, then maybe she shouldn’t put her whole life on display. To use Danielle’s favorite phrase…”Jus’ Sayin’”.

  6. DeathMetalMommy says:

    Dude, I don’t ever EVER get to go anywhere for fun, be it by myself or with my husband or with a friend. EVER. If I go, the kids go, too. So, when I see on Facebook that this mom of two is on her third day of partying and can’t figure out if she’s drunk again or still drunk from yesterday, I judge. Otherwise if a normal mom brags that she got to go to a movie or shopping, I’m jealous but a little sad. “Why do you get to go out but I don’t?” I wonder.

    http://www.deathmetalmommy.blogspot.com

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