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Handling Parenting Judgement Before & After Baby

Handling Parenting Judgement Before & After Baby

The Mother ‘Hood video that’s recently made the rounds on social media feeds brings to light one of the unfortunate but harsh realities of motherhood – judgment. Judgment from basically anyone who chooses to do something different than you when it comes to child-rearing. Breastfeeding moms and formula moms judge one another. Working moms and stay at home moms don’t approve of each other. Natural water birth versus the traditional hospital birth. Disposable diapers versus reusable diapers. The list goes on and on and on. If you haven’t seen the video yet, it’s worth a watch:

Judgement & The Gender Reveal Decision

My foolish assumption was that the parenting judgment didn’t start until after the baby was born, but I’ve been proven wrong. After we found out we were pregnant, my husband and decided that we were not going to find out the gender of our baby before he or she is born. We don’t have a laundry list of reasons as to why. We just figured there aren’t that many good surprises left in life (as sad as that may sound), and this one is a good one no matter what. Sure, we can’t buy as many baby clothes beforehand, but I’ve decided that that may be a blessing in disguise for our bank account.

I’ve received varying responses upon answering the question, “Are you going to find out what you’re having?” Some people think it’s awesome and a great decision. Others think it’s great that we can do it but admit that there’s no way they could do it themselves. Some are disappointed that our baby is going to be born into a wardrobe of gray and yellow. And then there are those who don’t come right out and say it, but the tone of their voice tells you more than any disapproving word could. They say, “Oh…really?” What they really mean is, “Oh… really? Why wouldn’t you take advantage of the technology that’s available to you? How are you going to plan the nursery? Why wouldn’t you just find out?” Basically, “I don’t agree with your choice.”

This is the response that I didn’t see coming. I’m fully aware that everyone is entitled to their own choice when it comes to this. And at the same time, I completely understand why most people do choose to find out. They want to be able to address their unborn baby by name or at least he or she instead of it. They want to be able to plan. And it’s not that I necessarily don’t want to know right now. It’s that more than knowing right now, I want to experience that incredible surprise the moment that he or she is born.

I know that this is just the first of many decisions that I’ll receive parenting judgment on as a mother, so I might as well get used to it. I think it’s important to recognize, though, that parents make the decisions that are best suited for them specifically and for their individual child. We’re not all going to agree on anything. But we need to understand that people make choices based on factors that we may have never considered, and it’s important to respect those decisions even if we don’t agree with them. And just as the video concludes – even though we may disagree on what kind of diapers to use or whether to breastfeed or not, at the end of the day we all want the same thing: health, safety and happiness for our children. We just all may choose different ways to arrive there.



  1. Profile photo of Kate

    Kate February 10, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    We didn’t find out with Liam and won’t with our next and it’s so funny hearing the various reactions people have. After a while, it becomes funny and you may find yourself chuckling on the inside when people seem to actually be annoyed with your choice not to find out. I completely understand why some people want to find out but for us, it just felt right to keep it a surprise and I’m so glad we did.

    One word of caution–good luck with all the gender guessing. It seems like everyone has a theory and no comment on how you look, feel, carry, etc is over the line!!

    • Morgan Williams February 10, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      It is so funny, and the “annoyed” responses have caught me off guard more than anything! Thanks for the word of advice with the gender guessing. I’m sure I’ll hear some interesting theories in the coming months 🙂

  2. Takako March 4, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I also chose not to find out and my husband went along with it. I wanted to delay – I knew we couldn’t avoid – the pink/girl, blue/boy pigeon-holing for as long as possible. We all have good intentions but societal pressures are so strong! I knew I couldn’t completely resist it, either. But I figured that if no one knew whether it was a boy or girl, we can at least start with neutral everything and let the baby’s own personality choose his/her favorite colors.

    Then we end up with a girl who LOVES pink. *sigh* 😉 (She likes other colors, too.)

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