It is the unspoken truth that once you enter into the realm of motherhood there is always and I mean ALWAYS somebody lurking in the bushes watching your every move as a parent. Like there wasn’t anyone talking before you had kids, now the topics of conversation have tripled. And all because you entered into Muvahood. This community of women, whom are all from various walks of life, cultures, traditions and the like is undoubtedly filled with great, supportive and positive people yet peered with the negative nancys’ and judgmental judys’. Though the bullet points of complaints concerning the choices made for your child compiled at the dinner function never actually make it to your front desk (or sometimes maybe they do if they come directly from Grandmom). Its still quite annoying just knowing that as a Muva, to the detriment of others, sometimes you just can’t live. While it may be easier to ignore all letters of recommendation to better your capacity to parent, here is a sensible guide to help you through the unsolicited gestures and comments we all may get more often than we’d like to help navigate through those who really care and who’s just picking to ruin your day. Let’s talk about Whose Judging Anyway?
The “other parents” you run into at your favorite functions. The ones you tolerate at your children’s baseball games and dance recitals and unfortunately the ones we have to see everyday in the workplace who can only offer conversation of condescending comparison. That mom that questions whether you’re breastfeeding or not every time she sees you and scoffs every time you give her the same exact answer that you’re not strictly breastfeeding. These other parents along with their judgments and shaded compliments are frankly irrelevant. They hold no significance in you and your children’s lives nor do they ever make it a priority to be of any benefit to such. They comment only to suffice their ongoing insecurities they try so hard to cover on a daily basis, so understand their judgments are more reflective of them than you and keep them both at bay. They’re just picking.
(The Actual Village)
While us muvas constantly run into the insincere parents, we come across gems of those other parents that are extremely helpful just when we need it most. They’re the ones whom with just one organic commonality you’ve been able to build a lasting friendship or possibly a business relationship. That mom you just so happened to be working with that day who offers you some gently used clothes that are just sitting and seem to come at the best time. The husband of that mom who offers your child to practice with him while he’s swinging the bat with his own son. Those are the ones when giving you advice, even when you may not care to hear to it, give them a pass of patience because they feel like they only want to help not judge you.
Good Teachers/Good School Staff
You have to give credit where credit is due and good teachers and good school staff deserve the recognition. They’re with your child 7 to 8 hours out of the day and they are the ones who see what us muvas would like to. Now I’m sure we’ve all heard horror stories whether from the internet or loved ones who’ve had the tea to tell us about what their child’s teacher did in school.
So when we come across those great teachers, those whom when you ask about your child’s day they can verbally replay their entire day back to you; Always have a listening ear for what they’re saying. Not only for the lasting betterment of the relationship between you and the teacher, whose doing phenomenally, but also for the relationship between that teacher and your child. A good teacher’s job is hard enough, they won’t want to make it harder by making up something they feel is of no concern.
Article on parent shaming, poor choice on the teachers behalf. I said what I said.
Family and Friends
We love them and yet sometimes can’t stand them and the feeling is 99% of the time mutual. It’s really no avoiding their opinions because of the love that always bring about notions of concern or just plain ol’ 2 cents. Here’s the thing, if you can honestly say to yourself that your friends and family love you and only want the best, then understand that their opinions are coming from a good place but they do not have to be enforced. Create boundaries if need be and never make them feel like you don’t want their advice at all because you will more than likely be asking for it sometimes. You don’t want to burn that bridge just because of that one annoying piece of unsolicited advice they gave you out of genuine concern.
However if you can’t say that to yourself and don’t believe they have your back 100% then again create clear boundaries and take no shame about affirming them. It’s your life to live and everyone deserves to have a healthy support system around them.
So look at the character and statements of those commenting on your parenting and pay attention to how what they say makes you feel to weed out the insincere from the sincere. Your feelings are valid. If you’re a new muva or expecting a bundle of joy then know that you’ve been warned and hopefully you’ve taken a mental note so that you’re able to handle it in your own version of the best way when the nonsense eventually unfolds.