If you are a mom, you’ve been in a situation before where you saw the behaviour of a child or mom and wanted to say something out loud to them. Regardless of whether or not you said something, if it wasn’t a safety concern, I am urging you not to say anything the next time the situation arises.
It took me years to build up an immunity and not to care about what others say or think about me. It wasn’t easy and I have my friend’s mom to thank for this immunity. She once said to me: People that don’t like you will always have something negative to say about you. Since they already don’t like you, why would you waste any time on them and care about what they have to say?
Once I became a mom, my immunity vanished. I was faced with a new virus of judging moms. Family, friends, and even strangers had advice and would comment on how I was doing as a mom and what I was doing wrong as a mom. The two most memorable occasions were:
1) When I was paying for soothers at a store and the lady behind me started to lecture me about how bad soothers are for children and it didn’t even crossed her mind to buy them. I told her that I don’t have a child. I have a baby. It crossed my mind to buy them because it soothes her and keep her quiet for my sanity. She was shocked that her advice was not welcomed.
2) I was told I shouldn’t say no to my daughter because it affects her confidence and it doesn’t really help her understand the situation. I told this friend I don’t say no to her. I YELL no to her because I need her to stop whatever she is doing. There is no other word that can be said faster and be more effective when your child is licking a mirror at a Winner’s store.
I’m sharing these experiences because these two events shocked me to my core. While I think I dished some pretty good clapbacks, I started to double guess all my decisions as a mom and questioned whether I was even a good enough mom. So, if and when you feel like judging another mom, stop and think of the following first:
1) You have no idea what that mom is going through. She might not have had a good night’s rest in seven months or more. She might have received some bad news from her family. She might have told her child 15 times to do the same thing already. You’ve been through bad days as well and you know you are lucky no one saw you on those bad days. Remind yourself you’ve been through bad days and may have acted poorly as well.
2) You have no idea what her child is going through. Some illnesses or disabilities are visible but some are not. The child might have something serious going on or might have lost his favorite soother. Bottomline, you don’t know the backstory or what is going on at the time.
3) You don’t have all the answers. What worked for you and your child, might not work for another mom and child. We are all going through the same milestones but all at different times and as different individuals. Your child might love eating his dinner on a white plate, but mine will only eat on a sectioned orange plate so none of her foods touch each other.
4) You aren’t right all the time. Nobody is.
5) You need to mind your own business. Seriously, there should be enough going on in your own mom life. Just mind what your own child is doing or licking.
In my mind, no one should ever feel like they are not a good mom based on what someone else said. Also, no one should ever make another mom feel like they are not a good mom either. We are all raising our children to the best of our ability and with best intentions. We should always try to lift each other up and lend a helping hand. The next time you want to speak up to a mom about a situation, consider speaking up to see if you can lend a hand.
Monica Hui is a working mom in Calgary, Alberta, constantly looking for ways to do things faster and faster so that she can slow down to have pretend picnics with her daughter. Her website, www.wishahmon.com, shares her own personal experiences, mom tips, and DIY projects in hopes of helping other moms create an easier, prettier, and efficient mom life. You can follow her on facebook or Instagram, @wishahmon.