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.
- Women, Working & Too Much Judgement: Read Lisa’s take on judgement battles between women.
- Revealing Baby’s Gender: Before experiencing it first-hand, Brian had no idea that gender reveal was such a hot button issue.
- E-family news: Handling Unsolicited Pregnancy Advice
- Read more posts about pregnancy from the Family Room bloggers