This Just In: Parenting Is Hard
Parenting is HARD. It’s worth it, but it’s hard. I could spam you with memes but I think you understand.
“I thought I was a perfect parent until I became one”…have you heard that expression? Before becoming parents, we assess parenting in a vacuum. The “best” or most correct choices seem obvious when we lack context. Before we have kids of our own we don’t know what it feels like to be bombarded with advertisements, headlines, constantly changing guidelines and safety requirements, abundant misinformation (hello, Dr. Google!), unsolicited advice, skyrocketing costs, and contrasting philosophies about raising children. Above all this, we don’t realize the emotions that are tied up in our approximately one trillion parenting choices.
So many choices. Decision burnout, am I right? The sheer volume of decisions we need to make for our families, the weight of it all…no book or childbirth class could prepare you for the intense and constant process of making decisions for your children. The overwhelming love you have for them can make every choice feel that much more heavy.
In Spite of This, Parents Judge Each Other
Mommy Wars, Parenting Police…you’ve seen the headlines and the viral videos.
*Hops on soapbox*
People! This is a tragic waste of energy! There are only 24 hours in a day. Our babies are small for a very short time. Life is simply too precious to waste time worrying about and commenting on other parents’ parenting.
Let that s*** go! Keep your eyes on your own paper and radiate positive vibes. Moms, Dads: lift each other up. We are all in this together.
4 Things That Happen When You Stop Judging Other Parents
If somehow that three sentence motivational speech didn’t blow your mind, let me do what good marketers do and shift the focus to you. Let’s be real about how nixing the judgement can benefit YOU, both as a person and as a parent.
You feel more confident about your own parenting
When you stop judging other parents you also feel more confident and less defensive about your own parenting. It’s a beautiful thing! You assume the best in other people. As in…”I’m not judging them, they’re not judging me, we’re all just doing the best we can.” Isn’t that how it should be?
You feel happier
When you allow your mind to be clouded by negative feelings, thoughts, and energies about other people, it’s harder to be happy with yourself. There’s a whole community of academics devoted to the science of happiness and this is one of the key tenets. Judgmental thoughts actually weigh us down. Letting go of your concerns about other parents and focusing on your own stuff is a truly life-changing shift.
People like you more
Listen, Judgy McJudgerson. You’re not fooling anyone. You might think you’re keeping your opinions to yourself but the people around you can feel when you’re looking down on them and it’s icky and unlikable. It’s that simple.
You have more authentic friendships
This is an extension of #3. When you practice non-judgement, people like you more and you’re able to form deeper connections and more authentic friendships. I’ve shared before that my awesome mommy Facebook group has been a transformative experience for me that also made me a better doula. You can make a totally different choice from the one I made and I’ll still fully support you because our relationship is my priority. It’s the #realtalk revolution; increasingly, we seek communities in which we can let our guard down and be honest, unplugged, vulnerable. Unshowered, disorganized, exhausted. Foundational qualities of enduring mom-friendships 😉
For all these reasons and more: less judgement, more love.