Do you ever feel like moms on the “other side” are judging you? The breastfeeding moms? The working moms? Do you ever feel like that article they shared was a subtle jab at you? Well, I’m going to be REALLY honest with you: They ARE judging you and it WAS a jab.
Do you know why? They’re terrified. They probably do not even know that they are terrified, but they are. Here’s the deal: moms (and people in general) cling to the labels that make them feel warm and toasty inside, we cling to the things that make us feel safe. We latch on to whatever the thing is that makes us feel like we’re not completely screwing it all up and then we yell about it from the rooftops. I know this because my “safe thing” used to be breastfeeding. I felt like I was messing my kids up in every single way BUT in breastfeeding, so, I yelled about it….a lot. The yelling looked a whole lot like sharing articles and not-so-casually dropping the fact that I nursed into unrelated conversations. At the time, I didn’t know that it came from a bad place, but it did.
Now when I see someone going on and on about the “right” way to do something or when I feel the judgment (perceived or real), I just remember that they’re coming from a place of fear. Remembering that people are just trying to cope has helped me, it shifts my mindset from defensive to empathetic.
You see, our friends are just scared they’re messing it all up and they’re clinging to their “right thing.” You and I both know there are very few universal “right things” in motherhood, but they don’t know that……yet. They deserve our patience. It’s our job to extend grace (even if it’s not reciprocated).
We do the best we can with the information we have. We’re all scared out of our minds and for some people judging is what they do when the fear rises up and paralyzes them. Love them anyway because, newsflash, that annoying, sanctimonious, judgy girl is your neighbor, too.
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