Do You Judge Other Moms?

Do You Judge Other Moms?

If you had asked me an hour ago whether I judge other moms, I would have shaken my head with a lot of fervor and made some pithy declaration about each mother being the best mother for her child…But looking over these stats based on a TodayMoms’ survey of 26,000 mothers, I realize how much I DO judge other moms like the moms in this survey.

JewishMOM, do you judge other moms? Do you feel judged by other moms? For what? And do you think judging in any of the cases listed below is OK??? Or is judging always a no-no, except in cases of abusive parenting.  

Related posts:

Mommy Peptalk: The Vizhnitz Wedding Song
Vote for Your Favorite JewishMOM Chanukah Miracle
The Mommy Competition

9 comments

  1. Some people think breastfeeding a 3-year-old is wonderful. Others think it is disgusting. The statement itself is neutral. It is not a judgement. It is our decision to attach the ending, either: “…and therefore she is an inferior mother”, or “…but I’m sure she is trying her best”.

    I may disagree with some mothers’ choices, but that does not mean I think she is a bad mother! And I think this is the root of the “mommy wars”, all those high-emotion fights about “natural parenting” etc. Just because someone disagrees with your choices, doesn’t mean she thinks you are a bad parent. And just because someone makes a choice that is different from yours, doesn’t mean she thinks your choices are wrong, inferior or reflect badly upon you. I have seen so many arguments break out just because of one mother “scriptwriting”; deciding that if someone makes a simple, neutral statement (as in, “breastfeeding has been proven to be healthier for babies”), that reflects judgement on a choice that may deviate from the information conveyed in that statement. This is so unfortunate. If only we could learn to judge each other, and ourselves, more favorably.

  2. When my kids were babies, I was very judgmental. My friend and I would troubleshoot our sleep training issues and tell raised-eyebrow stories of other people’s sleep-deprived children. We referred to ourselves conspiratorially as “sanctimommies.” It was a a way of bonding with my friend, I guess, and of defining ourselves as parents.

    But now that I have preschoolers and a toddler, it seems ridiculous to judge anyone else. Parenting is baffling and humbling. I don’t really have any idea what goes on in someone else’s home, and it’s none of my business. The only judgement that is helpful is the one that gives me a window into my own issues.

    • JewishMom

      great response, thanks chaya. This really is such an important issue, the plague of mommy judgement.

  3. Deborah C.

    Ever since I have become a mom I have constantly felt judged and have hated it. My kids are not “perfect” children. my oldest son didn’t sleep more than 2 hour chunks until I completely weaned him and my second isn’t doing too great in that department either. Not for lack of trying. Between my two sons I have tried every sleep training technique out there plus some of my own inventions. Just doesn’t work for my kids, they go to the beat of their own drummer.

    As hard as it is, I have become ok with it, knowing that please G-d they will stand their ground in all other areas of life as well, especially when it counts. However, that has not helped in the being judged part of things. I get it all the time ” you nurse your 8 month old like he is a new born! what’s wrong with you?” or “are you kidding? you only get 4 hours of a sleep a night! you need to do something about that!”. Sometimes I just laugh it off, because I mean, we have tried everything, and like I don’t know it’s an issue!

    But I realized that it bothers me so much when other moms judge me because I try really hard not to judge other moms! I also really try to judge everyone, not just moms, favorably. I mean it’s a mitzvah. For me, it is one of the hardest mitzvot and I will venture to guess it is a hard one for most of klal yisroel since we don’t have the third Beit Hamikdash yet. Looking at that survey and at everything else in life I just pray that we all work a bit harder to not judge anyone for any reason ever. Lets leave it up to The One in charge.

    • JewishMom

      3 cheers for debbie. Since I posted this, I have been thinking about how awful and inappropriate judging other moms is… This survey makes me realize that this is something i really need to work on…

  4. great article before elul- our month of doing tshuva!!! I remember judging other moms for not breastfeeding and for openly discussing waiting between children thinking that I would be the SUPER DUPER mommy of the century- ya right- I crumbled by number 4 while pregnant with number 5 and crying thru each stage of weakness/crisis/even hahppy times…so no judging rather learning and introspecting to find ways of coping in the most healthy way possible…healthy for everyone, that is.

  5. GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!!!!!

    I would like to say out loud that for judging others (“I would NEVER do that”) and living up to the classic line; “I was a perfect parent before I had children”….

    I got EVERYTHING THAT I JUDGED OTHERS FOR right back at me !!!!!! And I’m doing a lot worse than they…In fact, I now admire those I judged. And it seemed innocent at the time, but now I realise that it’s an insidious trait. I still catch myself at it, but at least I catch myself, and I berate myself, and hopefully do teshuva on the spot.

    Hashem is watching, He is listening, and we should NEVER, EVER judge anyone else unless we have been in their shoes, which means, since we are all unique souls, that it is NOT POSSIBLE.

    Having said that, I still think mothers who iron their tablecloths and pillow cases are out of line … 🙂

  6. I have a really wrinkly tablecloth!

    • JewishMom

      me too, let’s make a deal that I won’t judge you if you won’t judge me. A mutual tablecloth acceptance society.

Leave a Reply