A toast to Judgy Mamas

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Motherhood isn't black and white, or right and wrong. There's a million and one ways to be a fantastic mom!! Embrace the difference, don't judge it.

I’ve come to realise that parenting involves and requires a surprisingly vast amount of choices. And different parents have different parenting skills for different situations. In fact parents may deal differently with their respective children, as every child is totally different from the other.

So should we judge the way another mom raises their child just because it’s different from the way we parent?

I was on the phone with  a friend and told her I had to get off the phone to pat J to bed (it was wayyyy past his bedtime and Barney was still blaring on TV). Her response (in perhaps the most condescending tone ever): “you still have to pat / rock him to bed; he should be on a sleep schedule at this age. XX goes to bed by himself” I was furious!!!

This is what a typical night putting J to bed looks like. It's a struggle, sometimes, but it's my struggle :D
This is what a typical night putting J to bed looks like. It’s a struggle, sometimes, but it’s my struggle 😀

I mean kudos to you that your baby is able to fall sleep by himself and I have to rock (not literally rock more like turn out the lights, lie beside him and sing / talk lol) mine until he falls asleep. It doesn’t make either of us bad moms, just different.

We enjoy our "post bath-time / pre-bed time play time" , as a working mom i love to spend as MUCH time as i can with J and since he isn't yet in school i'm not in a hurry to send him off to bed at 7pm when i only got back from work at almost 6pm.
We enjoy our “post bath-time / pre-bed time play time” , as a working mom i love to spend as MUCH time as i can with J and since he isn’t yet in school i’m not in a hurry to send him off to bed at 7pm when i only got back from work at almost 6pm.

I can understand in extreme cases when parents are just neglectful and maybe harmful to their kids (like seating your toddler in the front seat of a car, no seat belt, no car seat!!!). But different doesn’t always mean wrong or inappropriate. There are a million ways to be amazing, and loving parents.

What if I think it’s okay to scold / spank my son, and you don’t? We are both still parenting…just different choices.

What if I vaccinate my child, and you don’t? We both still want the best for our kids.

And what if you send your son to school at 12 months and I’ll rather home school mine till he’s 24 months? We are both still making sure they learn…just different choices.

It’s unfair all that judging from breastfeeding choices, to birthing preferences, to discipline choices, to feeding choices, etc.

A lot of new moms feel nervous about talking candidly about their own parenting choices, and I understand that. If everyone wasn’t so judgy maybe we’ll all be more comfortable discussing the respective choices we’ve made. But because of your judgy-ness which you have convinced yourself is “not rude” another mom is anxious of the choices she has made in raising her kids while in reality she was doing just fine until you and your judgy-ness made her feel her otherwise.

We need to STOP! MAMA’s let’s just STOP!!

Whether you are aware of it or not you may be judging or have judged another mom for their parenting styles just because it’s different than yours. Honestly, I too am guilty of unconsciously judging people by the way they parent and I shouldn’t. It’s wrong and I know people judge me for some of my own parenting choices. It shouldn’t be like that.

We should learn to embrace the differences and not judge each other; it’s what makes us all unique. We all are just trying to be the best moms we can and learning along the way. There is no guide book to being a good mom, just focus on having and maintaining a happy healthy family by doing what works for you. If you are trying…..you are doing a good job!!

Have you found yourself judging another parent, or being judged?

Love & Light,

Mrs O.

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Every generation want to believe they have cracked the parenting code by having a set standard they boast about and condescend to other parents. No one can crack that code, just be yourself and don’t judge others cos they do it different. Good post by the way…. I hope they all see it 😉

  2. I have had to deal with a very similar incident, it also concerns me “STILL” singing to my 18 month old before she sleeps. It just left me speechless and then angry afterwards because we ( my daughter and I) some of our best bonding moments at that time.
    Besides every child is different as you said and the choice of how we raise them solely depends on the parents.
    That you raise your child a certain way does not make it the RIGHT way.
    But what can I say, she is my first child, I’m young and I make it clear that I’m (not clueless) so some EXPERIENCED mamas feel the need to put me through but honestly many times better not.
    I’ll understand if I’m being utterly careless but I’m not so just STOP it!
    Let me stop my rant right here 🙂

  3. I’ve had to deal with this severally in my 3 years since being a mum especially from the older generation, some peers maybe just to make you feel like they’re doing a better job than you? few other times from other women that do not even have kids! When it comes to parenting there isn’t any right or wrong approach it really grinds my gear when other people especially other mums judge your parenting style. my 2 cents is always trust God to guide you in your journey and ignore/stay away from negative people! parenting is already challenging enough without having to deal with such negativity.

  4. True words. I think it takes a conscious effort to just let people be ans so their thing as long as it not harmful or a child is not badly behaved. Let everyone parent the way that suits them. To each his own. I still have to rock my son to sleep n I always feel like I’m failing in that area when he should be sleeping by himself- he’s almost 15months but then I also remind myself it can’t be like this for too long, he’ll grow out of it n then I just relax.

  5. I loved this post even from instagram. From the type of cereals you feed your child to bedtime routine and toys there will always be some sort of comment meant to judge your style. Mothering my son has given me thick skin. I was soo worried when at 11 months even up till 1 my son was still waking up at night to have a bottle or two. I began to ask myself if I was doing sth wrong and all and because of well meaning advice in quote I decided to be strict which I couldn’t take after all. So I reviewed his daytime feeding and he has stopped waking up now. Without hassle or crying and sleepless nights. I was comparing myself too to other mums that had their children sleeping through the night at six months and expecting my son to fall in line too. E no easy..

  6. Have you read Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes? Chapter 6 on The Mommy Wars is one of my favourites.I think you should check it out.

    I’m not even a mother yet but this “mommy guilt”, I am very familiar with. Everybody wants to comment on others’ kids. Even in Nollywood. Have you noticed that in Nollywood, whenever it’s a part of the story that the woman or mother figure has a career, the children must be wayward, or something must happen? Low-key, that judgment is re-inforced.

    Went to church with my aunt two weeks ago and her son was misbehaving. They sat two rows ahead of me. I could see the woman in the row between us really watching, waiting to see how my aunt would handle it. I think the scolding was delivered to her satisfaction, I literally watched her exhale LOL.

    My mother has always been a career woman, and living the hectic traffic life in Lagos did not make matters better. Plus, she was going to school on weekends for her professional qualifications. So what if she couldn’t be the one to take us to birthday parties, or to go swimming? So what if our bedtime was later than other kids’ because she came home late? My siblings and I are doing great, and in conversations like this- about family or motherhood, I’ve often felt like I had to defend her choice.

    On the other side, maybe I have been judging another aunty of mine a little bit. Her son is like 17 months old, and he is extremely clingy. Wails when she is out of his sight, and he is still 90% breastfed. I don’t fully understand this because he has teeth, and he can walk. His crying holds us all to ransom (every blessed Sunday) but after this your post now, I’ll just let her mother in her own way.

  7. I love this.. Most people have opinions about raising kids but they need to realize that they are just that OPINIONS. I put Kobe to bed almost every night about 8:00 except when I’m being lazy and we have a routine (read, sing, pray and then sleep). He can go to sleep himself but myself or his dad end up suffering it cos he’ll wake up at like 10:30 and say you didn’t read for me. Lol. What a lot of parents need to realize is what works for one child doesn’t necessarily work for another. Kudos to you mama. Keep doing you.

  8. I have a relative who has a degree in judging(not that i dont too but id make conscious efforts to stop) she’s also a young mom but makes it look like she knows better than us all just because she started childbirth before us(mind u that was cos we chose to finish our tertiary education n she didnt) she went as far as openly criticising me at an event when my 3mnths old son had boil then which was because i was on antibiotics n she just opened her mouth “how old is he that he’s already having boil” At a party,in d midst of people!!!!!! I felt terrible.This same madam know it all attacked our other cousin(who happens to be a working mom) that she carries her 10months old daughter too much,how that concerns her i do not know. Being around her too much is bad for ones soul and i have totally made up my mind to stay away from her

  9. Great post. Shout out to judgy moms (and sometimes not even mums?) out there.
    The judgement for me is so real in church. The latest one happened during prayers as I was busy worshipping my God oh. The lady just had to end that connection I was experiencing with God at the time just so she could give me her two cents of parental advice. I won’t lie, I was very irritated. I actually meant to speak to her after the service but couldn’t find her (lucky girl).
    Anyway my husband says she probably meant well. Like you said in another post, sometimes you have to smile and let it go.
    Blessings.

  10. There has got to be the point where we draw the line between judging and offering advice. I’m quite certain that if things are said the proper way without the attitude of feeling superior, then we won’t be said to be judging.

    • ABSOLUTELY! I do offer (sometimes unsolicited) advice but never in a manner that suggests i’m judging another mom’s choices / parenting skills. Sometimes people do have good intentions in offering their advice, it’s usually the method of sharing the opinion that comes off wrong.

      It’s a thin line, i’m careful not to tilt to the judgy side lol. x

  11. I love this post, and I wish we can all mind our business when it come to how people discharge their parenting duties. My daughter is 3yrs old I still hive her cerelac because she doesn’t take milk so that the only way I get to her. But the look on my friends face each time I buy it when I go for shopping is so discouraging,but good thing I have always done things that suits me and never to please people

    • Great job mama!! I don’t see what’s wrong with cerelac though lo it’s really just cereal (like cornflakes, only better), i know adults who eat it looool. Enjoy raising your daughter in the healthiest happiest way you know how to. Wish you all the best x

  12. Comment:
    I agree with u moms, my advice is every parent should parent their children the way they dim fit, for me I don’t listen to what! A mom has to say, all I do and keep doing whenever my son does something am not comfortable with, instead of complaining or comparing him with other kids (this feelings comes sometime) I just speak to God about him and it really works 100 percent. Take for instance when my boy was 4month old he couldn’t sit on his own up till 5month, I felt bad because my friend son of the same age was crawling already, so what I did was talk to God about him and before you knew it he started sitting, in less than a week he started crawling. So I want to encourage all the moms we are the best, we rock and at the same time it takes God. Mrs oby good job and more grace to your elbow. Remain bless

  13. It’s funny how when we were kids our parents let us ride shotgun. Of course times have changed and that does not make it right. My father never forgets(and I doubt if he has forgiven himself) the time I sat in front and hit my head on the windscreen. I was probably not up to 5 then. Anyway, I hit my head and there was this big crack and I said to him, ” daddy sorry I broke your glass.” I didn’t even cry but I think he cried, lol. Oh well, I like to think I turned out alright. lool

    • Awwww! That story is half funny, half sad! lol I bet you turned out okay lol

      I still see some kids riding shotgun, standing even. I cringe. But yeah some of our parents / aunts / uncles did let us ride shotgun then lol thank God for little or no wind-screen incidents lol

  14. So on point! I was so annoyed at folks who thought I was to blame cause my child wasn’t making full sentences at 2! Or those who think because theirs started potty training early, something is wrong with yours!
    Breathe! Every child is different! Handle yours, let me handle mine!!

  15. Oh well, this never gets old . When I had my first child it would sometime seem like I was doing everything wrong at times, whenever I get judged in form of advice ofcourse?but I’ve always not cared so much for people’s opinion of me so I do my best still and turned out am still best at doing what’s best for my child. This fateful day I was gonna take my new born to d hospital for immunization barely three wks ago, I backed her, made use of an umbrella for covering now I sighted another mom wit hers on her back as well but exposed the baby to the scorching sun, an elderly man was approaching us after looking at me inform of admiration perhaps cos I made use of d umbrella, told the other lady to use something to cover her baby but she turned deaf hears. I was silently pitying the poor baby,. We later both got into dsame vehicle and next thing heard d lady say to me to adjust my baby’s head. I just payed her back in her own coin lool, of cos she felt bad who cares and as it were my baby’s head was in its proper place. My point-most of the judgemental moms really don’t take care of theirs d way u do, so listening to them would give you nothing but bad vibes.

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