We all want the very best for our children, but it’s impossible to do everything right all the time. Admitting that is freeing – and it’s also encouraging to other moms in the midst of intense seasons. That’s the idea behind our Monday Mom Confessions and we’d love for you to join us – share your own confession in the comments below! Let’s throw off the weight of perfection and get real around here!
It was the day before St. Patrick’s Day. The neighbor kids were over and, along with my kids, a small gang of children was running around my house gathering up various household items for a big top-secret project they were working on.
They were on a mission. My curiousity got the best of me.
‘What are you doing?‘ I asked.
‘We’re building a leprechaun trap!‘ Conlan exclaimed excitedly.
The little girl from across the street piped up, ‘You leave some coins in this box to try and trap him. But if he gets away he leaves you presents!‘
I was speechless. St. Patrick’s Day was now a gift-getting holiday? Ain’t nobody got time for that I thought, shaking my head.
Then the kids ran off and I kept running this incredulous new tradition through my mind. Who does that? That’s so ridiculous. Kids don’t need more opportunities for presents. Who has the time to plan for something like that, anyway? What a waste.
Then I hopped up off the couch, wandered into the kitchen, and started the hour-long prepping process for our own family’s St. Patrick’s Day dinner.
And then it hit me. I was silently judging this mom for doing something she loved for her children and spending her time in a way she wanted to. Meanwhile, in our house, on St. Patrick’s Day we spend our time eating Shepherd’s Pie and planting potatoes.
Because those are the things that matter to our family.
When I really think about it, the frequency with which I judge other moms is astounding.
- Eyes glued to their phone at the grocery store. But you know what? I do the same thing. That’s where I keep my grocery list.
- Kids dressed in ridiculous clothes. Meanwhile, I don’t think twice if my daughter wears seven shirts at once and 4-sizes-too-big glittery princess shoes, because I figure I’m supporting her independence.
- Eating fast food too often. Wait, I’ve already confessed to that one.
In all honesty, I don’t know if it’s ever possible to NOT judge other moms. This mothering thing is the most important thing we’ve ever done, and we expend so much energy trying to do things right that of course we have pride in our choices.
But what I’m learning is that my pride is not in competition with other mothers’ and their choices for their family do not invalidate what I’ve already determined are ‘right’ for mine. And this, I believe is at the heart of conquering judgement.
Truth be told, in that moment when I heard about that other mom making St. Patrick’s Day a fun, magical day for her kids, I felt inferior. I felt defensive. She was making me look bad.
But really, she wasn’t. It wasn’t about me. (Hello, Captain Obvious.) It was about her kids. It was about her family. And I’m sure there are plenty of people who would hear about our family’s traditions and think, Ain’t nobody got time for that! And even if I spent hours cooking a silly holiday weeknight dinner, my kids wouldn’t even eat it.
So while it might not be possible to NOT judge other moms, what I think is more realistic is to be more aware of when it happens and call ourselves out and recognize the ridiculousness of it.
To each her own, mama. To each her own.
What do you think? Do you think it’s possible to never secretly judge another mom internally? Or is it just our external response that matters?
Would you like to be featured on Monday Mom Confessions? We’re looking for guest writers; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your 1-2 sentence confession. If it’s approved you’ll be asked to write the full article and it will be published on allmomdoes!