Mothers are constantly being judged, from the moment they announce the bun in the oven ("What took them so long?" or, "Was she already with a child at the wedding?), and maybe even until her child reaches college.
A mom-to-be gets unsolicited advice from almost everyone: parent and non-parent, young and old alike. Being pregnant is no easy state, especially if it’s your first time, as you don’t really know what to expect. Is it okay for a pregnant woman to have coffee? Should you be aiming for a natural birth? You also have to deal with occasional pieces of advice that prove to be completely contradictory.
When you actually have your little one in your arms, you get more conflicting ideas: Should I use cloth diapers? Is it okay to spank my child? Is it okay to go vegetarian? When you choose a preschool, should you go traditional or progressive? If your child throws a fit in the mall, you get judging looks that make you feel like you’re not parenting your child right.
Choosing sides on the different parenting topics can be endless—and everyone has an opinion.
To know what moms really have to say, Yahoo Parenting conducted a survey last August 2015 that gives us a glimpse of what moms really think of these parenting topics. The survey was conducted on 1,000 American mothers between ages 25 to 50. One thing's for sure: majority of the respondents feel that people judge them by the way they parent their child.
Survey says… Almost all moms admit that they've judged other moms. Almost half of the moms surveyed say they have been judged when they were pregnant (47%), while others are nitpicky of the way a mother feeds her child (35%).
The stay-at-home mom versus working mom was also tackled: working moms felt that stay-at-home moms have it easy (22%), while stay-at-home moms think the other way around (7%). As to being judged on their choice, almost half of working moms say they've been judged because they chose to work after having kids.
Discipline is also a hot topic. Half of the moms surveyed admit that it’s okay to spank their kids if necessary, and that they've been judged by the way they discipline their kids. They also say that they are judged solely by their child’s behavior in public.
Judging—and shaming—mostly happens during family gatherings (45%), get-togethers with friends (33%), online (22%), and in the playground (18%). As you can see by the numbers, most moms felt judged by their family and friends.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Moms say… To each her own, as the old saying goes, the same way that each child is different and each family has its own set of rules.
Agnes dela Cruz, mom of five, often gets asked how she’s able to care for five children. “My answer is consistent. I do the best I can,” she says. “Admittedly, I have to let go of some things in order to focus on the things that are important to me, like breastfeeding. I also have to teach my kids to be independent early—they’re my extra pair of hands when I need them,” Agnes says. She often doesn't mind the judging, because she’ll “go crazy” if she lets each and every one’s opinion affect her. “Our way works for us—and my kids, in my opinion, are good kids. That’s what matters to me and my husband.”
When mom of two Lia Mendoza was a new mom, she was frantic about every little thing an older relative comments on, for example, how she lets her firstborn eat on his own rather than spoon-feeding him mashed food as a baby. “The elders in our family are sometimes very strict, and I used to just do what they tell me, just so they stop talking. Later on, I learned from my pediatrician that their ways are old, and new studies have debunked them. From then on, I listen to professionals mostly, but I try not to make it a big issue with my lolas and titas, and even my in-laws,” she says.
“The ‘veteran’ moms know how to go about it. They know how to hold their tongue when their opinion is solicited. My rule is as long as it’s not a matter of life and death, and the child is happy, then they’re great. I may have overstepped before, but I try to hold back now,” says Manel Tan, mom of three, who was a parent-teacher association president for three straight years. She says it has happened to her before when she was pregnant with her second child and her eldest child was still a toddler. They had to leave the restaurant earlier because her tot was making a scene. “It’s humiliating, and that feeling sticks. You can’t easily forget those moments,” she admits.
Parenting is a big challenge and it doesn't make it easier when others drag you down just because the choices you make are different from theirs. If you have something to say that isn’t really going to help your fellow mom, then take a pause and evaluate. Or say your piece in a non-shaming tone.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Don’t you think it’s about time moms gather and help each other no matter what? After all, every parent wants only the best for her kids, and each of us have our own way of making sure of that.
Source: October 5, 2015. “What Moms Really Think About Spanking, Judging Each Other, and Their Relationships” (yahoo.com)