Being a parent truly is a challenge, and everyone deals with it differently. Still, don’t we all have moments in which we (silently) judge other parenting styles and actions? There are some really great reasons to finally stop doing that; here’s a few:
1) We only see snippets
Whenever we judge other parents, it is one thing and one thing only: unfair. Because while we may see a situation and have an opinion on it, we often forget that this particular moment is a part of a whole that we don’t fully know. Is that mother at the checkout counter staring at her phone solely to ignore her crying child? Or did she maybe just get really bad news? Maybe she is dealing with personal problems; maybe she’s not feeling well. Maybe this situation, which seems crystal clear (and wrong) to us, is anything but that. What gives us the right to judge that mother, when we don’t even know her story?
2) Every adult is different
We live in a world of individualists and are proud of it. We celebrate our uniqueness, our bravery in being different from the rest. But as soon as we become parents, we all have to adhere to the same rules – why is that?! Why can’t one mother prefer not to breastfeed, not to carry her baby with her all day, or to have her baby sleep in its own crib from day one instead of in her bed? Why does our uniqueness go from being a strength to being a flaw as soon as it’s regarding our children?
3) Every child is different
Just like all adults, every child is its own little person with its own little mind and its own preferences. No two children are 100% alike, and what may work for one might cause another to cry for hours. It would simply be presumptuous to think there’s only one “right” way of raising a child.
4) There’s no magical recipe
The one thing that parenting should never lack is love – that much we can all agree on. But apart from that, none of us actually know what to do in order to make sure we raise our children the “right” way. Because yes: we will all make mistakes. Every single one of us. Even those who like pointing fingers at others for doing it “wrong” won’t always succeed, because there is no magical ingredient to make sure nobody ever makes mistakes. There’s no one-style-fits-all and there are never any guarantees, and that’s okay!
5) It’s easier together
Why go against each other when it’s so much easier and nicer for all all of us to work together? The world would be a better place if all parents would just lift each other up and support one another instead of spending so much valuable time criticizing each other’s actions. Because let’s be honest: none of us really know what we’re doing, do we? And yet all of our children turn out just fine, because that’s what parenting is all about!
6) It’s not our business – why do we make it ours and judge?!
Possibly the most important point: It’s not our business how other parents decide to raise their children. It’s theirs. If they want to be co-sleeping or not, if they want to have four children or stop after one, if they spoil their children or raise them frugally. We all have reasons for our actions and reasons for doing things one way and not another. How boring would a world be in which everyone was exactly the same, after all?
7) We’re not perfect either!
By judging other people, we automatically assume that we’re doing it “right”. But we’re not. Not a single one of us is “perfect”, and the moment we start thinking that we are or have to be, we put pressure on ourselves. Maybe this pressure is even more intense than that coming from others – and it’s just not healthy to always strive for 100% perfection. You’ll wear yourself out, and nobody wants that, because your happiness and health are some of your most important commodities – we’re pretty sure your baby would agree!
With that in mind: How about we all just live and let live? That’s not only healthier but a lot more relaxing. Wouldn’t it be great if we just all showed a little bit more understanding and respect to one another by actively looking at the positive instead of exaggerating the less-than-perfect parts? After all, #coolmomsdontjudge! Let’s try to be the change we want to see in the world – we’re making a stand against mom shaming! You can already find so many inspiring stories from moms all over Germany and the UK here, and we hope to hear your story too! Become a part of the movement and share a moment in which you were (unfairly) judged by using this hashtag – the support of all the cool moms out there will be worth so much more than a judgy look from a stranger!”