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Why is it that we feel the need to compare ourselves to other moms? And why does this bring more guilt than other things? It's not like I've ever (or often) felt "wife guilt." And I HAVE had "teacher guilt," but rarely. I just feel so bad every time I do something "wrong."
Alright, enough with the quotation marks. But, I do think there's this horrible comparing and judging that goes on between moms. I feel judged for things like my choice of diapers, our scheduling system, what we feed him (donated breastmilk),the public places we bring (or don't) bring him. Some say we waited too long to bring him to church, others say we should have waited longer. Some think I should let N cry it out when it's time for a nap, and others say you shouldn't schedule a baby at all. And these are not from my books, but from the looks and suggestions from others. And when you have an adoption agency checking in on you and making suggestions and judgments on your parenting choices, it just adds even more pressure. Am I the only one here? Surely not! I even hate that my post about his schedule could have caused mommy guilt/judgment since I told you how well he was sleeping (which of course he defied last night needing to be soothed on several occasions... haha).
I'm convinced that there's so much "mommy judgment" because of our own inadequacies. Kind of like why a group of middle school girls need to pick on one specific person so that the rest of them feel better about themselves. I'm convinced that we judge other moms and their decisions because we want to validate our own. The problem is, I already notice it in myself too. As much as I don't want others to judge my own parenting choices, in my head I determine what others do that I disagree or agree with. There's no need! Wouldn't we all feel so much less pressure and judgment if we all just acknowledged if we're all different people, creating different families and needing to make different choices?! And being more accepting of what others do? Truly, belittling others' choices does NOT make my own choice any better, right? Unless someone is doing something truly dangerous we should probably just encourage ALL parents because we could all use a little encouragement, right? And us first timers are already totally paranoid about all the choices we make as it is and need all the encouragement we can get! (Thanks mom!)
Sorry to get on my soapbox. I obviously haven't solved any big problems here, just thought I'd share this discovery that I was completely unprepared for! =)
|This is not mommy guilt. Just mommy love. =)|