Mom judging - I’ve been guilty of it, I’ve been victim to it, and I am currently running a campaign to end it!
Growing up, I was raised in a home of great faith by a mother who spoke strongly against gossip and passing judgment. For the first 12 years of my life I can honestly say I embraced this upbringing and I truly tried my best not to judge others. Then I became a teenager. I was awkward looking, and like most teenagers, my sole drive in life was to fit in. As a result, what I didn’t have in looks, I made up for with humor. I became the funny girl. I often turned my tongue towards bashing others as a ticket to fitting in. I usually only talked about the mean girls, but what I failed to see in my pubescent state was that by joining the gossip grapevine I too became a mean girl.
Luckily, by college the braces came off, my skin cleared up, and Dr. Katz did a great job on my nose!!! Consequently, I finally became comfortable in my own skin. I also began to follow my passions, first in school and later in life. And on most days, I was joyful, purpose driven, and I rarely wasted time on idol gossip. Then I became a mom.
In the blink of an eye, I lost my full time career, stopped all my old hobbies, and I poured all of my own energies and identity into raising my children. Slowly, my old insecure ego began to emerge and I became bitter and judgmental. Why? For so many years, I wrongly tied my self-worth and identity to my ability to successfully achieve. Subconsciously somewhere along the road of life I decided that a joyful life was one directly correlated with my ability to “achieve”. Be successful in college, be successful in the workforce, be successful in my marriage, and so forth, and then you will be happy.
So once I stepped into my new role as mom, my children became my next achievement project. I was determined to become the illusive super mom, and then I was sure I would be happy. I believe it was this deeply rooted subconscious mindset that ripened the soil and planted the seeds of my mom-judging career.
I cringe as I remember the anxious American mommy rat race that I so willingly chose to enter. My toddlers were signed up for more activities than the average Ivy League bound high school kid. I worked out obsessively and I was in the best shape of my life. And stroller envy – I had that covered. But worst of all, my judgmental Mommy bashing wisecracks rolled off of my tongue with fluid ease.
In hindsight, I was judging other moms because I was insecure, unhappy, and lacked a clear purpose for my life. My mom bashing, my judgment of others, and my general propensity for gossip – it was all a shameful defense mechanism that I used to distract myself from how miserable my own life was. On the outside I had it all. On the surface I was winning “the mommy rat race”. But with each “victory”, I began to lose a little piece of my own soul.
It is said that when you judge another, you do not define them, instead you define yourself. Based on this enlightening wisdom, my soul was in huge trouble. But thankfully, God stepped in and corrected my steps before I was able to do too much damage.
I became a special needs mom, and I am eternally grateful for this gift. Although it is often a heavy gift to carry, special needs parenting has saved my soul. My sobering new lifestyle has allowed me to truly cultivate a more joyful and resilient life. I finally understand that ones internal happiness is not dependent upon ones external circumstances. My self worth is no longer tied to my personal achievements, or to the achievements of my children. Today I truly accept that God loves me, and I have no one to impress but my maker.
Today, as a mom of two wonderful rambunctious boys, and as a blogger who shares much of her private life in a very public way, occasionally I am the target of mom bashing whispers and judgments. But, I’m ok with that. First off, I chalk a lot of it up to unpaid karma. And more importantly, I know that deep down inside we are all connected, we are all one. So I end this post with a call to action…. Let us all celebrate the messy ups and downs of motherhood, hand in hand, and let us take a stand against mom judging!