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July 29, 2011

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I've been wanting to write about this too. Judging is society's way of making sure we are all walking in the same step. If you judge someone you want them to be like you more than you want them to be different. People don't like different. And often we judge to make ourselves feel better about our own decisions in life. It's almost impossible not to. But we should never say it, not to someone's face, not in front of our kids and maybe not on our blogs. Just don't do it, leave people alone. It's ok to talk about what you do (live by example), but try not to talk about what others do (shaming someone). When we feel judged ourselves it's not so easy to say we don't care, because if we want to get along with people and have friends, we absolutely care what they think of us. Sure, it's easy to be judged by people we don't know, but try being judged by someone you love. Instead, let's try to celebrate our differences, learn from each other and walk a mile in someone else's shoes. I'm not judging anyone for judging, I do it to, but I also try to understand.

I completely agree. With that said, I am aware my most recent post makes me a hypocrite (or this comment does, not sure which). ;) We all do it!

Yes @Muskrat. I hate minivans.

You forgot to point out your judging parents with minivans.

Interesting...
(kinda agreed with @Kait)

I don't think everyone is as strong as you are. Some people are inherently self-conscious of the decisions they make - even if they're AMAZING decisions. So - it's not easy to just shrug off comments with a "i don't give a $hit" attitude.

I judge ALL THE TIME. In fact, I judge so much that it's a running joke between my friend and I. That said, I'm smart enough not to rub what I think is a bad decision in that person's face. Because it's their life. And if they stop making poor decisions - I'm gonna have less shit to gossip about.

I'm with Karen L. If you're going to judge other people's parenting for a moment then move on, why write multiple, long winded blog posts about how others are doing it wrong?

Since I became a mother, I feel a lot more protective towards children (not just mine, all children). So if a parent spanks their child or ties them on a leash, it bothers me personally, and I believe it is important to say something for the sake of the child. I don't see the main purpose of this as judging, but it bothers me to come off as judgmental. So thank you Kristen, for giving me permission to mouth off in defense of children.

Just today while grocery shopping, this couple were entirely engrossed in the decision of what overpriced frozen sausages to buy at Whole Foods, while their kid (about 16 months or so) was wiggling wildly in the cart ready to fall out. I jumped in and caught the kid as he was about to take a tumble - he was able to stand up on his seat! He was not secured although he was sitting on a plush cart cover that has a real belt, not like the twisted gross cart belts. I then asked rather loudly whose kid that was. It took a couple of loud tries for the parents to turn around, the mother visibly annoyed, and the father back to browsing sausages as if all that was too uninteresting (relative to the sausages).

I caught up with the couple at the checkout isle later and thought to myself: perhaps preventing a head injury was not going to help that child much. He was screaming, throwing a tantrum, kicking his cart seat, while the parents carried on their conversation as they consulted, not one, but three long grocery lists...not harried or anything, just cold and calm... then the mother caught sight of me, gave me a dirty look, noticed my quiet 21 month old, then proceeded to scold her boy loudly for his behavior. That's when I rolled my eyes in my head and judged....

Excellent post. I am one who cared too much about what others thought of me. But since becoming a mother I've tried not to and it's the only way I can manage my sanity. "I'll think about it" or "that's interesting" are two of my fall backs when I'm being judged. But some people just know how to push your buttons and I dont have a blog to get it out. Maybe I should start one. ;)

Yup. And yet I know sometimes there is a reason why someone might be doing something that seems odd. Like, I totally see how the leash thing can be something people laugh at. "Ha, look at the overprotective parent!" But - I had to use a leash during one particular crowded event where I was afraid my autistic son would run away. Because yes, he had run away into a crowd in the past.

It's interesting, but I realized not to long ago, that I don't care what people think of me in regards to my parenting. If only I could get there in other parts of my life.

Your point about people rolling their eyes in their head is funny. I do that. I'm no better then others, I just have a really good filter. Like you though, it's a passing judgment 99.9% of the time.

this is great bc it really has me thinking. is there a difference between disagreeing with someone's choice and judging them for it? if we COULD all be confident in and just own our choices would the judging cease? is judging a by-product of our fear that we're doing it wrong?

@Farming 2 Kids:

If I can offer advice...

"We've decided that (daughter) isn't quite ready to drive around or ride on the gas-powered quad."

HTH.

I try very hard not to judge my friends parenting choices, given that I have a MIL that speaks her mind (not very nicely) 100% of the time. I try to live and let live.

What do I do though, about a friend who has a son my daughters age, is her primary playdate, and we watch each others kids about once a week. They gave the son a small gas powered quad, and let him whip around the yard in it (we all live on large farms.) I don't know how to tell the other mom that under no circumstances should my daughter be going on it, without sounding like I am judging her. Because truth be told, letting a 4 year old whip around on a gas powered monster is just stupid and dangerous in my opinion.

To date it has not been an issue, but I fear it might. Right now my daighter has agreed to NOT go on the quad if it is pulled out while she is visiting. But she's 4, it's cool, I can't expect her to make the proper choice if she is caught up in the moment.

Help! I LIKE this other mother. We agree on most things, get along really well. Don't want to hurt her feelings, but need to solve this, as I worry each time I drop off my daughter.

Thanks

LOVE LOVE LOVE!! Thank you so much for saying this so eloquently. It took me a long time to realize that there wasn't a "right" way, but that I had to make my own choices. In the end, X might not work for your family, but it works for mine.

My favorite is "I guess I just love my kids too much to..."

Word.

Except that there is a difference between thinking about it for 2 seconds and writing multi-paragraph posts of mockery.

Oddly, having kids kind of freed me from caring what other people think. I used care a lot about what other people are doing/ thinking but now that I'm focused on raising my kids to be productive members of society and not psychopaths, I just don't have time to care.

But, I do judge other moms, mostly in head. And I'm sure they're judging me. I just don't care. My judgements won't effect their parenting and their judgements won't effect mine.

That is exactly where I stand on this - and not just from the Mom perspective, but in just about everything. I am who I am and you can live with it or not, that's your choice not mine.
Right now my two sisters are struggling through some issues with each other (and so I hear from both sides) and if they would just stop for a minute and consider the others side of things rather than judging the other they would get over it. Instead they consider only their position and judge the other person for their position and it's a huge circle of junk that needs to get moved past!
Phew, thanks for letting me get that out.
Have a great weekend!

Yes, particularly in the online world it would be nice if when someone writes a post that makes us feel judged we could just blow if off. For instance, I don't have a problem with leashes for small children. I've actually purchased one just in case I found myself in a situation I think it would be helpful. My daughter hasn't turned out to much of a runner (more like a clinger-on, kiddo please walk instead of insisting I carry you). So I read your piece on child leashes and I think, yes that's judgmental, but I don't have to defend my reasons for using one and in turn attack you. I can just realize it's not your thing and go about my day.

Another one in the "I don't give a shit what you think of me" club.

Maybe it's age, but when I was 25 I gave a shit about what others thought. 41? Not even a little. My kids are happy, healthy, decidedly un-perfect, and I'll just be on my merry way with them.

Amen, Sistah!

Or maybe we could just say 'That's not the way I would do it' and realize that most of our choices are not critical- make it/break it moments. There are many ways to get to a good destination - some like the freeway, some the scenic route and some would rather fly. In our arrogance we think that each individual choice will change the future when in reality, much of destiny, seems to me, hangs on luck, timing, and/or chance. JMHO

A few months ago, I heard some people talking of one woman who went with her five week old baby to the salon to have her hair and nails done. A five week old infant. She was judged very harshly.

Couldn't agree with you more. I have worked really hard in general in life to not give a shit what people think about me. I became a parent late enough in life to not really care what others thought. Heck I am a white mom raising black kids in one of the countries most segregated cities.

People are going to judge--always. But it is fleeting and I have to live with my choices and I certainly do own them.

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