Although many social media and mainstream media out there would like us to “end the mummy wars”, what they are really doing is trying to silence our most inner passions and experiences. Silence what we know to be true and important to us as mothers (how we feed our babies, handle sleep issues, discipline, make medical decisions etc.) so we don’t “hurt someone’s feelings”. *GASP*! The horror! Oh how we all must shutter at the thought of being JUDGEMENTAL!
It appears we have reached the point in our existence as humans where we must silently and quietly go to the sanctuary of our own homes and utter our “judgments” and opinions only to ourselves while making sure our windows are closed and our blinds are pulled. We must immediately apologize and explain ourselves in case we hurt someone’s feelings. We must NEVER appear opinionated or passionate…because of course if we say ANYTHING that is not close to what that particular mother is experience or feeling then we are being judgmental bitches. Oh yes, and did you know we are also being hurtful and uneducated and then we must read all of the research that they have found, to show how what we are saying is wrong. And hurtful. And uneducated…and judgmental.
5 reasons you can stick the “I’m judging you” mummy wars up your…
1. Something written on Facebook, Twitter, a blog or newspaper is not a personal letter to you…This blog you are currently reading was inspired by my experience on The Milk Meg Facebook page today in regards to my blog post “Please, please mama…pick up your crying baby.” I have had a huge, overwhelmingly positive response from people. But of course every single time I re-share the link on Facebook I get at least one or two people commenting that I’m “judging” mothers because I’m asking them to “Please pick up your crying baby”. I am told that I, “don’t know what it’s like for every mother” and that they might be experiencing post-partum depression. But you see, if your baby is crying and you have post natal depression and you have not had even two minutes to pee that day and your baby will not breastfeed, will not stop crying even when held and you are at your wit’s end then I’m obviously NOT. TALKING. ABOUT. YOU.
Here in lies one of the biggest issues with blogging, social media and sharing of opinions and/or research…IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU AND YOUR OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE! Maybe you had to leave your baby crying for a few minutes to gather yourself, pee and think of your next strategy or plan for settling your baby. Maybe you need to put your crying baby down to make a phone call to see if you sister or friend could come over to help for an hour so you can shower. Maybe you are a single parent, alone, overwhelmed and scared. Me suggesting that women, “pick up their crying babies” does not mean that there will never be a situation where a mother needs some time. Me sharing my own experience of seeing those crying babies being left in their prams was not a judgment. Yes, those mothers may have been at their wit’s end!! And I get it! Please just don’t pull the “judgment” card out on me because I’m encouraging them to ask for help and support so SOMEONE can pick up their baby if they can’t. Oh I’m such an evil woman.
So please, stop telling me that I’m judging and start understanding that not everything is going to apply to you and it not a personal letter addressed to you, stamped with my seal of lactating, baby-wearing, attachment parenting judgment.
2. It’s OK for us to disagree and the fact that we have different parenting philosophies is OK! Imagine this…
An author of a sleep training book posts on her Facebook page, “It’s important to let your baby self-settle. A baby must learn that they will not be picked up at every moment. You cannot pick your baby up every time they make a little peep and you will create bad habits by doing so.”
Now here is one way I could respond:
“This is SO JUDGMENTAL!. I just could not stand to hear my baby cry! It was making me feel so depressed and overwhelmed and I just had to pick her up. How about you think about us mothers who cannot handle the thought of our babies crying. You really have no idea how hard it is for us.”
I could go on and shower her with research to show why it’s so important to answer their cries…have anecdotal stories and experiences from myself and other mothers to show her just how wrong and JUDGMENTAL she is…but why? I mean really…who cares?! She has a different philosophy. Instead of commenting and telling her she is wrong; I write my own blog, have my own Facebook page and wrote my own book on sleep. Because we can all be together on this same planet without calling each other judgmental at every second of the day. We can all have different philosophies, we can all have different opinions…WITHOUT being at war with each other.
3. By calling each other “judgmental” all of the time, all we are doing is silencing each other.
I don’t know about you but I think it would be a pretty boring place if we all just agreed all the time and never got into discussions about things. I feel strongly that babies should be answered to. I feel strongly that women should be able to mother through breastfeeding without being told they will “spoil” their babies. I feel strongly that breastfeeding is the biological norm and there are risks to the alternatives…HOWEVER I will not, and do not head over to the “other” pages to argue that they are judging me because they feel differently. Stand your ground when you feel passionate! Get up on your rooftop and shout your case! But don’t tell others they are being judgmental just because they wrote something controversial that doesn’t align with your own experience.
4. We all judge sometimes so it’s time to just get over that fact. Just let it go…
To “judge” is to form an opinion or conclusion about something. This is something we do constantly. Sometimes it’s a necessary part of being human to survive (judging people or situations to make quick decisions about our safety) or about simple things like making opinions about something based on their hairdo. But let’s thing logically about this. If there is something who is judging you based on your experience or appearance who cares? It’s their loss if they don’t want to get to know you because of it and has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
5. Your personal narrative of victim-hood is attempting to silence everyone else…
We all have our own internal dialogue. We all feel guilty about things, we are mothers after all and we are our own worst critics. We all have times where we may feel judged unfairly. We all have our own narratives of victim-hood. Let’s see if we can STOP this endless cycle of insanity! We are not victims of people’s words or opinions. We are not victims of people’s experiences or thoughts. Let’s start feeling good about our decisions that we have made and patting ourselves on the back. We don’t need others to do that for us! Yes, words are powerful, words can invoke emotion and thoughts. Start your own positive internal dialogue. Because feelings are not facts, someone else’s opinion that differs from yours is not necessarily judgment. And even if it is…it has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with that particular person and their own stuff.
Now get out there, stand up on your rooftops and shout your own truths! Without shouting at the others that they are being, “judgmental”. And to the media and formula companies who are telling women to “stop the mommy wars”… sorry to burst your advertising bubble but we are not at war.