Motherly Judgement

My neighbor once told me, “Oh, my children aren’t allowed to wear ‘character clothes’,” when I asked if her son liked Thomas the Train. That’s not even an answer to what I asked. Then, I’m not even kidding, her daughter’s photos were put up (as a model) in the mall’s Disney store. Does she even see how hypocritical that is?

This is the mom who excitedly asked me, “Are you staying home now?” after she saw me home on maternity leave, in the middle of the day. When I responded, “No, I go back to work on Monday.” She said, “Oh, too bad” and drove off in her minivan. As though we could have actually been friends if I had stayed home…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for her. I’m glad that she can stay home with her two children- if that is what she wants to be doing. But do not judge me. Do not feel sorry for me because you are home, and I am at work. Do not try to make me feel guilty that my child watches tv, or loves Thomas the Train, or wears Yo Gabba Gabba shoes.  And I won’t judge you for walking around the neighborhood with your bearded dragon.

If you work, and you want to work- that’s great. If you stay home, and you want to stay home- that’s great too. The GUILT comes in when you are doing one or the other, and you do not want to. I know that we all have our reasons, quite a few of which are financial. But all mothers need to be comfortable with their decision- and not feel guilty about it! If you are at work because of financial reasons, and you’d rather be home- be comforted by the fact that you are helping the family on many levels, and you are not alone. You are still the ‘mom’. Believe me, they know!

Have you felt ‘judged’ by other mothers?  Does it make you question your choice to work or stay home?



After watching “Up All Night” with Christina Applegate, and seeing her character deal with the changes to your personal relationships that occur after becoming a mother- I went to see a few girls from high school that I haven’t seen in ten years. We found each other on Facebook, saw our babies were all born within 5 months of each other- and met up today for lunch. It was so interesting to not only see these women as mothers, but also to see how much had changed in all our lives since we last saw each other.

For the two women I met up with, it was their first baby. For me, it was my second. I saw a bit of my former self in each of them, worrying about the details, worrying about germs, what classes to sign the babies up for, how many mommy friends they have… I felt all of those things, but I don’t anymore! Now I know that if my child is happy and taken care of, then I am succeeding. I also know that there is no need to stress about germs, because you can’t escape them. And I know that you have to do what works for you- not what other people tell you are the ‘right things’ or the things you are ‘supposed to do’. I guess we all get there in our own time.