Mommy Wars and Judgment Prohibited: Freeing Ourselves

mommy wars
Mommy wars and judgement prohibited: Freeing Ourselves by Jennifer Andersen Our Muddy Boots

I am about to share a novel, brilliant and simple suggestion.  You will not be prepared for it. When you hear it, your shoulders will sink, a weight will be lifted, and you will be filled with lightness and hope.  I think. Ready?

Let’s stop talking about judgment and mommy wars.  These things are ridiculous and have no place in conversations where we are trying to improve for our children.

Sit with it.

Sit with it.

“But I’m not judging” you say.  “They are judging me and it’s NOT FAIR!”  What if you just stopped caring?  Right now.  What if from this moment on you owned your decisions- whether they were mistakes or ideal- and stopped giving a flying fuck about what other people say to you?

What if instead, you proceed in information seeking mode; constantly striving to know more, learn more, improve and expand your understanding?  What if every single interaction was meant only to teach you- to help you determine what is best for your family?

Marinate in this.

Revel in this.

Could it be liberating?  Would it free you to be better- happier?

This would mean that from now on when you want to tell somebody to stop judging you, you just… wouldn’t. Every time a conversation about judgment presented itself, you would stop participating- stop fighting, stop defending, and just… move on.  

Conversations about mommy wars and judgment do no good for anybody.  They are self serving- we use them to defend our own regretful choices.  They do not help us improve.  They do not teach us how to connect more deeply with our children or improve our family dynamic.  They keep us stuck in a perpetual and circular track of the same small minded, little and negative conversations.

Let’s shift our conversations away from ourselves and back to our children.

We might wonder what will be left if we do not talk about judgment and mommy wars.  For a while we may not know what to do.  Maybe there would be a void.  What would fill it?

Here is my guess:  warmth and honesty.  Truth and experience.  Mistakes and vulnerability.  Tears and heartache.  Sadness and grief.  Support and compassion. Support.  And compassion.

Our exchanges- our lives– might be very different.  Maybe we would parent in ways we did not expect, and relate to each other differently- more authentically.  This might allow us to draw on each others successes and mistakes to improve our relationships with our children.

What if we all committed to this?  Would mothers begin to support mothers?  Would this group of consumers and decision makers begin to see what families need?  Would this lead to us collectively demanding it?

It seems far fetched, I know. After all, we cannot be responsible for the choices of other people.  We can do this for ourselves though. Starting right now.  We can just stop talking about judgment and mommy wars.  If nobody talks about them, will they still exist?

There is only one way to find out.  Are you in?

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17 Replies to “Mommy Wars and Judgment Prohibited: Freeing Ourselves”

  1. I’m so in. Have been in for years, actually. From the second I knew from the bottom of my soul that parenting had nothing to do with ME and everything to do with THEM. It’s so interesting to me that parenting awareness/conversation can so easily lead all of us away from thinking about our little ones, and lead us towards thinking about ourselves. I choose to believe it is because we genuinely want such goodness for our children and are afraid to not be enough, to not measure up some how. To blow it. We begin to parent from a defensive posture…out of fear. And this only hurts the kids. I’d rather make 100 mistakes (probably did!!) and love them from a place of believing the best of them, of me … of us as a family. And showing them how to believe the best of others as well. As the kids got older this got more obvious….because THEY start to understand that people (their friends) are parented differently…and we’ve either taught them love, acceptance, humility and a learners heart….or we’ve taught them judgement. This is such an important post!!! (and my blog today is very much on this wavelength!)

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  4. Just wanted to thank you for your posts over the past few days. I’m in the very early stages of a divorce, one that I did not ask for. One of the biggest and most hurtful criticisms that I’ve received from my husband (and his mother) over the past 4 years is that I am constantly “changing the rules” in our house. I am the first to admit that I am not a natural born mother/parent. The modeling I received from my parents was entirely dysfunctional. So, when I had my daughter I made a commitment to always keeping her best interests at the core of all of my parenting decisions. For me, this has meant constant self education and change–change in my beliefs, attitudes, actions, etc. Because my daughter is constantly evolving, so must I. And oftentimes I look back at past decisions and think I was WAY off the mark or I wish I’d never done xyz. I’m tired of being looked at as flawed, or even as a failure, for making mistakes and then changing in response to these mistakes. Isn’t the true failure in making the same mistakes over and over and refusing to even consider change? I talk to my daughter constantly about how each of us is feeling in response to routines, agreements, etc. and make changes whenever it seems that something isn’t working for one or both of us. It just feels like the right thing to do. And so I’m going to try to let go of my reactions and disengage, as you’ve proposed. Only my daughter and I truly understand our relationship with one another, and that’s ok. I don’t need the whole world to understand. They’ve got there own issues to focus on.

    • Jennifer,

      Thank you for sharing your words. It is such an odd belief- that even when we are completely wrong we should carry on in the same way- just so we do not have to admit that we are wrong. It is upsetting when it is in reference to our children.

      I am sorry that you are going through such a challenging time right now. I am sending thoughts of warmth and support to you right now, and I will remember to keep doing it right now. Figuring out this parenting this is so hard. We are taught to do things that are completely against our intuition- and it feel so unauthentic. I have come to understand that balance has little to do with a 50 minute massage, and everything to do with removing inner dissonance.

      I am glad that you are here, and I hope that you will stick around.

      • I just want to offer my condolences to Jennifer. I am in a similar situation, and understand completely. Much love and strength to you.

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  6. I absolutely love this post, and totally agree with everything you have written. I work with new and sometimes vulnerable families, and am constantly staggered by the amount of times the come to be confused because they have been told they need to do things a certain way, or use a particular method. I often get told that I’m the first to ask them what they think is the best way. That is astounding. Sometimes parents say to me “how do I defend my choices?” I tell them that instead of defending their parenting choices, that spending time with themselves getting to the bottom of why they feel the need to defend their choices is a better use of time. I believe that Letting go of our defensive thoughts can then lead to debate and mummy wars fizzing out. I’m most definitely in. Thanks 🙂

  7. “flying fuck” – I LOVE this term! And its so true! I don’t give a flying fuck what others think of how I’m doing things! My mother constantly criticises me for cuddling my LG too much, or that I’m still nursing at 13 months (go me! lol), or that she cosleeps in our bed, or this… or that… or the other… You get the idea! So I’m in!

  8. I agree whole heartedly. I think the impulse to defend or feel judged is also an instinctive feeling that YOU are wrong. Different doesn’t mean wrong. Going against convention doesn’t mean wrong. And when you jump into “defend mode” you really don’t hear what the other person is saying. Maybe they are feeling insecure and looking for validation. Maybe they are judging. Maybe they really feel they have a solution to help you. But staying calm, and caring about what matters … that makes a huge difference in how you can relate with other people. With confidence in your position. Or maybe you hear someone else out, and think… hmmm, that might be a good idea. We should all be a little less close minded. Even when we are open-minded people 😉

  9. I love this. I usually try not to care what people think or do and have the attitude “to each their own.” I do however find it hard when people are passing judgment on me bc they do not share the same attitude as me. Right after I had my son a good friend told me she wanted nothing to do with me bc she was judging me. In her world she thought I was going to ruin my son, she thought I didn’t agree with her parenting style. I was a first time mom and had no style. My style has evolved and my son is thriving and joyful. These mommy wars need to stop, everyone would be much happier.