Raise your hand if you’re tired of hearing what other people think about your parenting.
Other people’s opinions can be extremely damaging to any mom’s confidence, and that can be dangerous. First of all, the stakes are high. Never before have you had so much pressure on your shoulders. After all, it is your responsibility to keep this tiny human alive. But not only that, you have to make sure he thrives, learns and grows… all without doing an irreparable damage. Being a mom is about the scariest job you can have.
Unfortunately, at this time when you’re most vulnerable, people like to shout their opinions at you. They make bold statements and may even tell you you’re doing this mom thing all wrong. Even if you shrug them off, they may affect you on a deeper level. But there are many reasons why you shouldn’t.
A mother’s instincts are strong
You share such a strong bond with your baby that no one else can replicate. In most cases, you know what your baby needs more than anyone else, especially some stranger in the street. If you feel that your child needs a binkie, that’s your choice. If think your child needs medical attention, take her in. Don’t let the negative Nancy’s get into your head.
There are many parenting styles
There’s so much debate about parenting styles out there, but we can’t say who is right with any certainty. There have been some studies, but just like with anything, there are studies to support almost every side. Go with the parenting style that suits you best. Maybe you subscribe to gentle parenting or attachment parenting, or maybe your style is more traditional. Just because someone parents different from you doesn’t mean they’re wrong.
People may be quick to judge a positive parent’s approach to discipline when their child is throwing an all-out tantrum in the aisles of Target. But those same people would side-eye a mom for giving their child a pop on the bottom. The bottom line is that it’s easy to judge, and many people will judge no matter what you do. So, hold your ground and handle that tantrum in whatever way you think is most appropriate.
Nobody is perfect
Even those sanctimomies on Facebook yell sometimes. It’s impossible to be perfect all of the time, and you’re going to have moments where you feel like you’re failing. Unfortunately, it comes with the territory. Try to cut yourself some slack. Even if you’ve lost your temper or fed your kid cereal for dinner, you’re still the best mom your kids can have. In your worst moments, it’s easy to let other people’s opinions get in our heads. But you should fight the urge.
The worst mistake you can make is thinking that another mom has it all figured out. Maybe your arch nemesis is rolling up in a brand new Jaguar E-Pace while you drive a used Mercedes from the last decade. Your car, house or job have nothing to do with your parenting abilities. Some of us present better than others, but we all feel like we’re barely holding it together while dancing on Legos.
No one likes to feel judged, especially when we’re working so hard in an insanely difficult job. But it’s important to recognize that judgment for what it is and move on with your life. You’re doing a great job. Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.