Silencing the Judgment

Half the mommy posts out there today seem to discuss why moms should never judge other moms; the other half seem to tell moms they shouldn’t be doing this or that, or definitely not this or that. Both seem to carry their own level of judgment, don’t they?

I say let’s just stop the madness.

And for the love of all things made with bacon (or if you’re vegetarian, tofu?), let’s please stop the mommy wars!

Have we not learned by now that everyone is different, and that there is more than one way to do things?

What works for one mom or dad may not work for another…and we KNOW this.

All the recurring mommy wars just seem so trite by now: Stay-at-home moms vs. working moms, breastfeeding vs. the bottle, nutritional choices for children, homeschooling vs. public schools, which activities kids should participate in, how much television they should or should not watch…the list is massive.

But here’s the thing: I don’t think stopping the “mommy wars” means we stop talking about these things. It’s inevitable that some individuals are going to be offended about some things…or everything.

The problem with the way we talk about these issues (and each other) is that we, bloggers included, sometimes forget they are behind their phone or computer essentially shaming people and/or their parenting decisions.

It is just not necessary. And it certainly isn’t fair. Aside from the fact that so many of our life experiences are shared on social media in small, isolated snapshots (even that over-grammer who keeps showing up on your feed), the simple fact is…parenting is hard. Life is hard.

Oh, The Shame

I would venture to say most people prefer some kind of boost or optimism in their day instead of judgment, ridicule or insecurity-provoking comments. A prevailing issue, especially online, is that things tend to go south very fast with contrasting opinions. We see it all the time; it just takes one comment or one (perceived) sarcastic tone to create an online battle. Recently there was a mom complaining online about other moms videotaping “dashboard confessionals” of themselves in their cars. So, she chose to write a blog to rant and rave about how these moms were ranting and raving about their days on video.

Huh?

Um, so, let me get this straight: It is ok for the blogger to vent and put down the moms for videotaping, but the moms should not be allowed to vent via video? The only difference here is written words vs. spoken diatribe.

Plus, if these women want to videotape themselves complaining about traffic or potty training or stressful grocery shopping situations, then who cares?!

Really? WHO. CARES.

Somehow these video time-outs must be helping these women feel better or allowing them to get through their day a little easier. And some of us find watching them a little cathartic.

Facebook alerts us when someone is going “live”; we can choose to either watch or totally avoid it because we think the person is nuts or boring or narcissistic or whatever.

The beauty of thinking about things instead of just blurting them out the way many people do in today’s world is that it avoids drama and conflict and prevents feelings from being hurt.

There are always going to be things that irritate people. And people irritate people…All. The. Time. Such is life.  Especially nowadays, however, it is important to consider our words and choose wisely when we speak out about such irritations.

The good news is that it is possible for discourse to occur in a positive way, even when people disagree. The bottom line is that it is really easy to sit with your phone or in front of a computer and type things that judge or inflame others. That doesn’t make it right; and that goes for everyone. 

It kind of reminds me of words from our good buddy, Buddha: “If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind.” These seem like simple, and civil, enough guidelines to abide by. 

 

Are our words valid?

Are they purposeful?

Are we relaying these words when we are calm?

This seems simple enough. It doesn’t mean we stop asking the hard questions of each other, but it means that maybe…we start giving each other the benefit of the doubt, and are just a little nicer to one another. I can’t see how that would do any harm, at all. In fact, I can really only see how it can make things better. 

 

 

 

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