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Slowing Down The Judgement Express

posted Apr 17, 2017, 10:21 PM by Kanika G   [ updated Apr 17, 2017, 10:23 PM ]

Having a second baby made me less judgemental of other mothers

As a teenager, one often considers oneself omniscient, and I was no exception. I had strong beliefs and opinions. I was quick to dismiss and scoff, beliefs and theories that contradicted my own.

Time and experience have tempered my certainty, and I have learned to try to look at things from different perspectives. I also learned to live and let live. To some extent, I have learned to disagree with people on certain subjects, and still like them as friends.

I have also learned, that the need to convince other people to follow your choices, stems from insecurity. If we are comfortable with our choices, we don't feel the need to impose it on others. Only when we are unsure, we seek validation of our choices by getting others to adopt them.

Off late, I have seen a variety of posts asking mothers to be supportive of each other rather than judgemental. Motherhood comes with no preparation and no manual. How to deal with various child rearing issues, has been debated for centuries and there are no clear answers. This is because the situations that arise in parenting are nuanced and complex and there is no one shoe fits all solution. So it is no surprise that motherhood makes women insecure.

Women want the best for their children and they badly want to believe that what they are doing is indeed the best course of action. This insecurity leads to judgement. Is breast feeding better or bottle-feeding? Are working moms better for kids or stay at home moms? Is discipline more important or building confidence? Are cloth diapers better or disposable ones? Should we have one child or more? The list is endless.

As a mom, I must admit, I have strongly criticized other moms for their choices that differed from my own. Because the judgement stems from my own insecurity and is like an emotion. I can't help feeling it. But I can control, expressing it and I have. So outwardly I have been supportive of all moms and their choices, because intellectually I know that is right.

But emotionally, I have judged them. My rational mind has fought to diminish the intensity of the judgement but it has lurked around to the ugly extent, that, occasionally, I have felt pleased when someone adopting a different method from me, has failed.

However, I have noticed a significant improvement in my need to judge other moms, since my second baby was born. Although, intellectually, I knew every baby is different, having to actually deal with one that has almost diametrically opposite reactions to many circumstances compared to my older one, helped me internalise just how true this is.

Once again experience was the effective teacher. It humbled me. Even emotionally, I realised, that different situations call for different approaches, and that other moms don't use the same approach as I do, is not a criticism of my methods, but that they must use the methods that are best suited to their unique situation. I stopped taking their choices so personally.

It made me a happier mom. As I felt more secure in my own choices, I stopped noticing or caring what other moms did unless I specifically needed some advise.

Seems like my emotions are finally catching up with my rational mind.