Less Judgment, More Support: Thoughts on Parenting in Today’s World

Let’s get real for a second: life is hard.  No matter who you are, it’s just really hard sometimes.  Then, add parenthood on top of that, and there are times when things can just feel completely overwhelming.  While I am just beginning my journey of parenthood, I have a few thoughts that I wanted to share as I navigate these uncharted waters.  

Being a parent is the most rewarding, yet difficult job any of us will ever have.  As in life, parenthood does not discriminate when it comes to throwing us challenges along the way. Whether you are a single mom or dad, in a committed relationship, raising grandchildren, adopting or fostering kiddos…it’s all exhausting at times.  But ultimately, we are all going through similar challenges, experiencing the highs and lows that come along with raising children. So my question to all of you is this: Why do we feel the need to constantly judge others for their decisions when it comes to parenting THEIR children?  

As a first time mom, I was open to any information and advice that people wanted to give.  Just because someone gives me advice, doesn’t mean I have to take it. But being an educated parent is something that is important to me so while I was pregnant, I did whatever I could to increase my parenting knowledge.  One of the greatest resources, and also the most hindering, was the trusty Internet. I joined several mom groups, both local and worldwide, I thought might be of value.  I spent time reading through all of the apps I had, but what I quickly found was they were more judgmental than I could’ve ever imagined.

A Little Help From Each Other

Whether it was asking for information on formula, baby food, vaccines, skin issues, diapers, clothes, baby gear, EVERYONE had something to say and often times, it was done in a super judgmental way.  If I want to feed my infant solids before 6 months, why can’t I? If you do not believe in vaccinating your children, who am I to tell you what to do? If breastfeeding wasn’t an interest for someone and they chose to formula feed, why don’t we support their decision?  The world of parenthood is full of constant judgment and what I cannot understand is that we are all in this together…so why are we not building each other up?  I’m not saying that I’ve never passed judgment on someone for how they are parenting, but I will say that since becoming a parent, I have become much more sympathetic to parents everywhere.  If I haven’t been through what they are experiencing, I may be facing a similar hurdle in the future. 

The next time you see a kiddo who has clearly dressed themselves, just smile because they have learned independence.  When you see a mom with a screaming toddler in her arms abandon a grocery cart full of items, have sympathy.  If your husband lets your child do his/her own hair, let it go.  When the person in front of you at the store is using WIC to purchase groceries, understand that we all struggle sometimes.  My challenge to you all is to support the moms, dads, guardians, grandparents and anyone else who has taken on the monstrous task of raising a little human.  We could all use a little help once in a while.  

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