Reserve Your Mummy Judgement #MummyMondays

It truly amazes me how competitive women can be in this parenting game. I’m shocked at the negativity and judgement that seems to go on within social media. It’s the natural vs. epidural debate, the cloth nappies vs. disposables, co-sleeping vs. cot sleeping, breast feeding vs. formula feeding and the list goes on.

I frequent forums and Facebook pages regularly and almost daily I see women that just can’t simply hold their tongue (or should I say, sit on their hands). It’s like a magical cloud of confidence engulfs them and they feel quite at ease to type exactly what they feel even if it makes others uncomfortable or offended. We all most definitely have opinions about things, and our decisions about how we do things in the parenting game will differ to others but that’s life and how a family decides to raise their children is their business and what suits them.

I’m not sure what it is, but some women feel that being a parent makes them an expert at everything to do with parenting. I quite honestly couldn’t care less about how other people parent their children, as long as the children are not being hurt or neglected. My main concern is that what I do works for me and my son is happy.

As much as Social Media and the internet was a treasure trove of information as a new Mum, I simply did not have the courage to use it to ask questions and join in conversation about particular issues with fear of being judged by other mothers. I actually still feel the same a lot of the time.

What tipped me off to write this was that just yesterday I was reading a friends post on Facebook and scrolling through comments others had made. The post concerned my friends newborn baby who slept a lot and she was concerned that he wasn’t waking for feeds as often as she’d like. And there, amongst positive comments, were two particular women who decided it was the place to have a bit of an argument over whether a particular drug given during childbirth makes a baby sleepy. It went back and forth. ‘But my baby was sleepy. But my pediatrician said it did make a baby sleepy. No, my lactation consultant said it didn’t…’ Oh my gosh, who cares! Oh and don’t get me started on the pro-breast feeders. Yes, breast is best. Yes, I will attempt breastfeeding again with my second child, but it just didn’t work the first time for a number of reasons. This is probably the same for many other mothers. Whether you breast feed or bottle feed, your concern and opinion should be reserved for your child only. And as with all opinions, remember that you don’t always know the story of that person.

Why does it happen I wonder? Perhaps it’s a way for some Mums to make themselves feel better and reassured that what they’re doing is actually the right thing? Whatever it is, wouldn’t the whole parenting game be so much easier if Mums could support other Mums all of the time? Because really, when it comes down to the nitty gritty, we all have one thing in common, we are Mums trying to do the best for our children, so why the competition?

Have you ever encountered judgemental Mums? How did you deal with it?

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Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman - a lifestyle and parenting blog.She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a Mum to her 4-year-old son, 2 month old daughter, two chickens, one dog and a fish called Bob and a wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little cottage on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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32 Comments

  1. March 2, 2014 / 9:53 pm

    Eva, I’m also staggered at the bad manners Social Media – I regularly see some terribly unsupportive and unhelpful comments. good on you for highlighting it :0)

  2. March 2, 2014 / 10:37 pm

    I have had a post like this sitting in my back pocket for the past few weeks. I can’t believe how downright mean woman can be to each other.

  3. March 2, 2014 / 10:42 pm

    I hear you Eva. My post that I have linked in a way is addressing all the info and advice out there that new mums can feel totally overwhelmed about. If you do not agree with anything I will not be offended. You are right, we are all free to parent whatever way we wish as long as the child’s needs are met. Also you are right of course how easy is it to be brave behind a keyboard. I always try and maintain the rule would I say the same thing to a persons face. If not do not go there. Well done for bringing this up. Because judgement of another mum can play a part in the detriment of her mental health. You have to be so careful what you say, i think. A nice thought provoking post for a Monday. Thank you

    • March 4, 2014 / 4:13 am

      It is very true what you say about what you say having an affect on mental health, we just don’t know the whole story behind someone so we need to be very mindful of this. On the other hand, since writing this post, I now have a different perspective on those people who are being judgemental, they may also be having some issues too, so it goes both ways and that makes it difficult.

  4. March 2, 2014 / 11:36 pm

    Eva,
    Recipe For Disaster is for you. This is how the other half lives, you should be proud of your foodie-talents

  5. March 3, 2014 / 12:04 am

    Thank you for highlighting such an important topic. I too am often astounded by the negative comments people feel they give to both their friends and strangers. It’s taken awhile, but I’m at the point where I no longer care what people say or think when it comes to our parenting decisions as no matter what we do or say, you can guarantee their will be someone out there who disagrees with you. xx

    • March 4, 2014 / 4:19 am

      And you’re right Lauren, there will always be someone out there who disagrees and luckily, as a blogger, I think I’ve some how become a little more aware of this.

  6. March 3, 2014 / 12:43 am

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Eva. It must be about needing a sense of assurance that ones own parenting decisions are “right”. It is such a shame, really. There’s a wonderful opportunity to build an incredible Mumma village online, and it is often tainted by just a few.

    Thank you so much for featuring my little blog. I’m thrilled. X

  7. Anonymous
    March 3, 2014 / 1:24 am

    You are absolutely right. How about a “Gees your kids are so happy and healthy. You are doing such a great job”comment every now and then….. The point you make about the breastfeeding..OMG!!! I reckon some of the midwives and the health care nurses here where I live are the worst at making a new mum feel guilty when it all just doesnt work no matter how hard they try. This has been the case for a few friends that I know. I get they are trained a particular way for creditations etc but c’mon… It doesnt work for everyone, nor is it a thing some mums want to do. My little vent for the day. Thank you for your post today Eva.

  8. March 3, 2014 / 1:34 am

    Ooooh! Cracking post Eva – this is so true. The breast v bottle debate in particular is terrible and one of my pet hates. I was staggered at the propaganda given to me before I had my daughter, not just informally on social media, but from respected national health care bodies! It is absolutely appalling the guilt they instill in mums to be.

    And you know what? As soon as you go through breastfeeding (or whatever the hot topic of the day is) you realize that all those opinions and recommendations are just noise, and the most important thing is that your child is happy.

    If your child is happy, then you’ve done your job, and you’re a great mum. Period.

    • March 4, 2014 / 4:28 am

      Thanks Eliza! Yep, there’s so much expectation. At the end of the day, my child is happy, healthy and we have a great connection so that’s what’s most important. The noise will always be there, we just have to learn how to block it out.

  9. March 3, 2014 / 4:03 am

    Eva, OMG I am totally with you on this!! An opinion is one thing, but making another mother feel inadequate, judging, or just plain offering unsolicited “advice” makes me…well, honestly, angry! Lol It’s just plain rude…especially when they continuously have something to say. My husband and I have someone close to us tht does this, we call her the “one upper”. I feel it is no one else’s business but the parents to have an opinion on what is being done with their own child. Sheesh…

    • March 4, 2014 / 4:31 am

      That would frustrate me to no end, having a friend or family member do that. I’d be close to saying something!

  10. March 3, 2014 / 8:35 am

    Totally totally agree! Too many people have opinions that honestly don’t help poor mums that are sleep deprived and just want a hug!

  11. March 3, 2014 / 9:52 am

    Such a great post! I have a friend that loves to discuss other people’s parenting (let’s face it: other mothers’ mothering – dads get off scott free!) and every sentence starts with, “I’m not judging but…” Drives me beserk. Honestly, I think it’s just insecurity and wanting that assurance that what they are doing is the right thing. I am so pleased to be past that stage with really tiny babies where everyone discusses every tiny detail of your parenting. Oh, and I’m old now and don’t care. Ha! Hey, discovered this post and link up because Eliza Ellis shared on Twitter. Love it! Thanks. x

    • March 4, 2014 / 11:56 am

      I definitely agree with you Carolyn, there must be something going on for those people to respond negatively or judgementally. So glad you found me via Eliza!

  12. March 3, 2014 / 11:00 am

    Very well said Eva!!!! Yes why don’t we all support each other instead of going – my baby slept through from day one – you must be doing something wrong etc etc…. Some of them even lied about it!!!! Does it make you more superior if your baby does everything according to the book and your friend’s doesnt??? It really doesn’t make sense. I hope your post will educate some people out there and make them realise that there’s more to it than just boasting!

  13. March 3, 2014 / 11:41 am

    I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I’ve been the recipient of unwelcome advice and remarks. But sometimes I catch myself saying a little more than I should and have to bite my tongue. Generally I don’t think there is any real malicious intent most of the time. Just a little thoughtlessness sometimes, and mostly it’s just excitement and passion over our own choices. I find it a bit difficult to find the right balance sometimes and often feel I hold back more than I should at times just for the sake of not wanting to offend any one. It’s a delicate balancing act I think.

    • March 4, 2014 / 12:03 pm

      I think that at the end of the day, the most important thing is that before people respond, they really consider the person at the other end and if their comment will truly benefit them or if it’s purely judgemental because if it’s the latter, there are some Mums out there that can take it to heart much more than others. As Mums though, we always believe what we are doing is best because for us, it is and it can sometimes get away from us.

  14. March 7, 2014 / 2:41 am

    Thanks for writing this Eva. I had a similar experience with breastfeeding and the pressure really made things worse I found. I don’t understand why mums judge each other so harshly either. We’re all in this together!

  15. March 7, 2014 / 3:11 am

    Great post Eva and I couldn’t agree more. I cannot stand judgmental parenting and there is so much out there. Everyone wants to put their two cents in and it drives me nuts! The breast is best topic hit a raw nerve with me after my first. My son was prem, had formula through a tube in special care from day dot and I struggled with breastfeeding him. I got a lot of criticism from other mums.

  16. March 7, 2014 / 3:59 am

    Yes women can be so unsupportive. After so many kids now, thankfully I no longer get the ‘advice’ from others (huge phew!) but I do remember it really stewing in me when people offered their little gems of ‘wisdom.’ One of the best came from my Sister in Law who after my first C-section delivery, (following a dreadful forceps delivery of my first child), announced I had taken the easy way out! What a twit! Each to her own – no-one’s experience as a parent can be compared, even with your own children everything will be different each time.
    I didn’t know you had a link-up here so will try to remember! x

  17. March 7, 2014 / 4:20 am

    I don’t get the negativity. We should be all supporting each other rather than tear each other down – especially on the internet.
    People should just find more important things to focus their energy on.

  18. March 7, 2014 / 4:57 am

    I often wonder what people would actually say if they were having the discussion in real life and not hiding behind the protection of a computer! They need to get a life and learn some manners. xx N

  19. March 7, 2014 / 6:40 am

    Really just in your example there isn’t any need for the comments is there. Women are our own worst enemy at times. But I see the bitchiness happening when I go to a friends for coffee – and find it quite uncomfortable. But at the same time its easy to redirect the conversation but not stand up and say, I don’t think that is right.