Ok Moms [& Dads].

This blog is going out to any and all ladies [or Gents] who may be going through something that I would like to refer to as Motherjudging*. Now this is something I have been thinking about a lot lately... Mostly because in the last week alone I have spoken no less than four mom friends who have been going through some form of Motherjudging*.

    verb moth·er ˈjəj \ ·ing
A mother or fellow parent who makes uncalled for opinions and creates an uncomfortable dynamic via unsolicited advice and often times a condescending attitude.

ie: Alice was motherjudging Betty for feeding her children snacks that had artificial dyes in them and announced loudly to the playgroup that good mothers only buy organic.

Now let me start off my saying that I really believe that to a certain extent it is human nature to judge. I think that it is in fact something that you really have to work on personally to extinguish within yourself. It is a choice, as is everything, to comment even just to yourself on the way someone else is living their life. A big turning point for myself came from reading Amy Poehler's book 'Yes,Please.'  The book is amazing [I freaking LOVE Amy Poehler- she is hilarious, wise, and 100% one of my girl-crushes] The thing that really stayed with me from this book was a passage where Amy is writing about judging other ladies and how life is hard enough for us parents. The line that stuck with me is "Good for her, not for me." It is such a good mantra for just about anyone to adapt. It is such a simple thing to focus on your own life and look at other peoples lives with appreciation, and yet for some people I suppose they get something out of being able to judge.

In life we obviously cannot always depend upon other people to do the right thing so I have devised a handy guide on how to deal with Motherjudgers. *

*If you don't feel like taking this advice, don't worry I won't judge ;-) 

1. Try Not to Take things too Personally
It can be extremely hard to feel that harsh blade of a judgmental comment from another parent, but try and let that judgmental comment or look just slide off your back. In the end, no one can possibly know what is really going on with another person. Odds are this person does not know the intricacies of your life, so don't let their judgments sink in.

2. Self-reflect
Sometimes when we hear something from someone else and it hurts our feelings there may be a deeper reason why. If someone says something judgmental or critical, you can try and create a positive from a negative by dissecting the comment. By asking yourself why their comment bothered you and figuring out what part was hurtful you can use this information to slay your own dragons. Are you letting your own self doubt or self conscious issues creep in as a response to something someone else is saying? You can handle that in one of two ways: Either figure out the root of that issue and take action or rationalize that it isn't an important issue and choose to move on and not let it bother you.

3. Use Compassion
Sometimes even grown ups can act out by using negative behaviors as a call for attention. They might not even realize they are doing it, but there is usually some sort of a real reason for someone behaving in a way that hurts other people. *I actually have implemented this quite often with my son this year. He was dealing with a bully on his bus and coming home upset. The situation was handled by our principle previously, but this kid has continued to make passing remarks to my son. Not anything serious enough to really get the school involved yet, but enough to spark dinner conversations with a seven year old about conflict and resolution
In order to understand someone you have to put yourself in their shoes, but sometimes you can't see the reasons that would make a person act the way they do. What I tell my son in these situations, is that you can't always see the imperfections in someones life. They might have had something happen to them, they might have a sadness in their life that makes them strike out at people. They might be so down on themselves that they have to act like this and pick on someone else to feel better.
What I tell my son is to treat that person with kindness and feel bad for them, because they don't know how to treat someone else with kindness- and that is a true pity.

4. Create Boundaries with Toxic People
One of the most powerful lessons I have learned in my adult life is that there is no shame in walking away. If you are finding yourself in a repetitive situation where there is someone constantly judging and being critical to a point where it is causing you unhappiness, you can walk away! Are you in a playgroup and there is one lady who picks apart the way you parent- you reserve a right to freedom from her crappy opinions! It is such a simple thing - yet something that I feel like we as grownups don't implement enough. You deserve happiness without toxic people crowding your space- Own that!

Sometimes, for example in the case of family or co-workers, it isn't so easy to walk away. In this case it is best to go with good old confrontation. You can approach the person and state your discomfort with their criticism and judgments. I think one of the best things to keep in mind when confronting someone is that there is the chance it can go nowhere. There is the chance that this person does not care what you have to say. Keeping an open mind is key in confronting someone in this situation. Hear them out, absorb what they have to say, and from there make your next move.

When it comes right down to the nitty-gritty, we as parents (and really just human beings.) are all doing the best we can do. We are all dealing with sleepless nights, mountains of diapers, parental guilt, tantrums (Even though some people will say, "Not my child!"), bills, nightly homework, very little sleep, crazy schedules, teething, nightly dinnertime negotiations, and did I mention VERY LITTLE SLEEP?! We are all doing our best and should support each other, and to quote Zach Efron in High School Musical, " We are all in this together." :::Insert basketball choreography here:::



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