Fotolia

10 Things Every Grown-Ass Mom Does When Another Mom Judges Her

Ad failed to load

As a grown-ass woman, I feel confident saying Iw as pretty prepared for motherhood. I read the books and I did the research and I joined online forums and I asked my mom (and every other mom I knew) endless questions. Honestly, and for the most part, I was ready. I knew what I needed to do to keep my newborn alive and healthy and safe. What I wasn't prepared for, however, was the judgment that comes along with parenthood. Yikes. Thankfully, it didn't take me long to learn the things every grown-ass mom does when another mom judges her; things that can give a mom some much needed perspective and understanding when you're on the receiving end of a few raised eyebrows and subtle head shakes.

I'd like to to tell you that it's super easy to deal with someone else's judgment, but that would be a lie. As human beings we're conditioned to seek out a community and validation and feel connected to, you know, other human beings. So, when those human beings essentially hurt our feelings, we're affected. You want to feel like you're part of a larger collective and you want to feel understood and supported and when you don't, you get bummed out (for lack of a better word). At least, I do. I know that I like and usually do pretend that shame and judgment don't bother me, but they take their toll and they make me sad and they can fill me with self-doubt that, in the end, is totally unnecessary.

However, as a grown-ass woman I know there's a right way and a wrong way to deal with judgment and shame. Someone else's judgment might be unavoidable, but how we respond to that judgment is entirely in our control. So, if you fancy yourself a grown-ass mom, here's how I'm guessing you deal with potential judgment and shame.

Ad failed to load

She Remembers That She's Judged Other Moms, Too

giphy

It's easy to point fingers, but it's important to stop and wonder if you've put someone in a position that required a little finger pointing in your direction, too.

I've been judged by mothers both publicly and privately, but I've also done my fair share of judging. Is that easy or comfortable to admit? Nope. However, it's important to remember so I don't try to climb up on a high horse I have no business being on.

She Realizes That Judgment Usually Stems From Self-Doubt

Our culture is pretty sh*tty to moms, to be honest. The expectations placed on the shoulders of already exhausted mothers are outrageous, so feeling like you have to be "perfect" is palpable and hard to avoid. At the end of the day, every mom just wants to feel like she's being the best mom she can possibly be. Sometimes it's hard to feel that way, however, when you watch someone making different choices than you do.

And, of course, sometimes it's easy to side-step self-doubt by changing the conversation entirely, and making it about someone else. If someone is putting you down by judging you or shaming you, I'd venture to guess it's because in the end they're in need of a little boost. Does that make it right? Absolutely not. However, sometimes it's nice to know why someone seems hellbent on being judgmental.

She Knows That Every Mom Just Wants To Feel Validated In Her Own Choices

giphy

That unnecessary pressure and those high expectations are why every mom just wants to feel validated in her choices. I don't know about you, dear reader, but I definitely feel better when someone compliments my parenting or tells me I'm doing a good job or simply asks me for advice, because they think my parenting style is one they could use, too. That's an amazing feeling, right?

Well, that feeling is difficult to harness when you watch someone doing something differently than you, and doing it well. I know that whenever I find myself judging another mom it's because I'm really and truly just afraid she's a better mom than I am, and I'm terrified that I'm failing in all the ways she seems to be effortlessly succeeding.

Ad failed to load

She Takes A Step Back And Evaluates Her Choices...

Is being judged fun? Nope. It's kind of the worst, especially when the thing you're being judged on is as important and personal as parenthood. However, you can also learn from some people's judgments.

For example, a mom friend judged me on social media for letting friends know that my then-baby boy and my family cat weren't getting along, and we were contemplating whether or not we should find our cat another home. She attacked me with memes and status updates, calling me a "helicopter parent" and a bad pet owner and saying that I might as well put my kid in a bubble. While I didn't appreciate any of that, whatsoever, and she definitely could have simply talked to me or shared some of her hard-earned wisdom instead of shame me, I did look into alternatives and found ways to help facilitate a better relationship between my son and our cat. Now our 2-year-old toddler and our family cat are the best of friends. Was her judgment warranted or at all necessary? Nope. However, it did give me the opportunity to look somewhere else for advice (like friends who don't judge and shame me on the internet.)

...And, If She Can, She Learns From Another Mom's Judgment

giphy

Not only have I learned about some parenting alternatives because of a few moms' judgements, but I've also learned what not to do. I mean, there's really no better teacher than experience.

I'll never forget how I was made to feel when my friend (who I trusted) so callously judged me in front of mutual friends. While it just plain sucked, it was also a poignant reminder that even when something is important to you and you're passionate about a specific topic, judgment and shame don't do anyone any good. They don't make your point easier to understand and digest, they don't make you look like someone that can be trusted or confided in, and they don't make the person you're judging feel great. At all.

She Reminds Herself That She Knows Her Baby Better Than Anyone Else

No matter how "seasoned" or knowledgable someone believes themselves to be, they don't know your baby like you do. They don't know your family the way you do or the unique situations you all face, both together and separately. A grown-ass woman knows to take someone's judgment with a grain of salt and a smile on their face because, in the end, what do they really know about you, your baby or your life anyway, right?

Ad failed to load

She Doesn't Let Someone Else's Judgment Affect Her Decision Making Process

giphy

Is it good to evaluate your decisions from time to time, and assess whether or not they still make sense as your child (and you) grow and evolve? Of course, and I highly recommend it.

However, don't make someone else's judgment or shame the reason why you're second guessing yourself. In fact, if you can, try not to second guess yourself at all. Taking pause to make sure certain choices are working for you and your family isn't the same as feeling so uncertain that you're afraid of making any sort of decision. Someone else's feelings about your parenting choices have no business being part of any subsequent decisions you may or may not make.

She Reminds Herself That She Has Other People Who Support Her

When I find myself on the receiving end of someone else's judgment, I remember that I have so many people who love me and support me and value the choices I'm making. When in doubt, just focus on your tribe and remind yourself that you'll never make absolutely everyone happy.

She Remembers How It Feels To Be Judged And Thinks About That Feeling When She Feels Herself Judging Someone Else

I'm a flawed human being (so, so flawed) so I know that I'm not above silently judging someone else. However, when I do find myself looking at a mom and thinking anything other than something supportive, I remember what it feels like to be judged. That flashback keeps my judgmental ways in check, and reminds me that instead of judging another mom, I can help her or at least show her some solidarity and remind her that she's not alone.

After all, I know I would much prefer that reaction to someone's shameless judgment.

Ad failed to load

"When They Go Low, We Go High"

giphy

When in doubt, just do whatever Michelle Obama would do. After all, she is and will forever be our collective #GrownAssWomanGoals.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack