Judgment

Ray said he read my blog and was happy to see that he’d be getting kissed more. I guess the last year was sort of rough on him too. For everything, honey, thanks.

A mom friend from Connecticut with whom I had not spoken for a little while also read this blog recently and contacted me. (Okay, the link from my Facebook profile definitely increased traffic.) We enjoyed reconnecting, catching up on family lives, kids’ growth, and that sort of thing.

One thing struck me, though. She confessed that she too had been a smoker — for all the time we’d known one another. “I tried to hide it from you!” she said. She was sure I’d judge her as a mom. After all, other than feeding your kid cocaine, what crime could be worse than SMOKING?? She was happy to say she’d also quit and that it was still hard. (You said it!)

It’s an awful fear we moms live in, the judgment we expect from other moms. Whether the issue is breastfeeding, potty training, or TV watching, you can be sure that most of us wonder how our choices are viewed by the rest of the ladies on the playground.

Or maybe it’s just me. I will be the first to admit I have issues in this department. I have too many times made decisions based on what I thought others would think or do. These days, I gussy up the house for moms dropping of playdate pals; I temper opinions on sensitive issues expressed to new mom friends — see breastfeeding mentioned above; I want to be liked.

I guess there’s nothing wrong with that. At the same time, I know I’d do better to follow the advice I give to Mitzi and Cooper almost every day, the same words my mom uttered to me: Just be yourself.

It’s hard for us insecure moms. I committed a lot of heinous Mommy Crimes…I tried to breastfeed but frankly didn’t care for it and when some of the kids gave it up long, long before one year (hey, most barely made it past four months), I was glad. Glad! La Leche members cringe in unison! I smoked for a long time, even after I became a Mom. DSS get over here! Sometimes I yell at my kids. Sometimes I let them watch a lot of television. Sometimes we eat chicken nuggets and go to bed without having baths.

Sometimes everyone stays in pajamas until dinnertime. If we get dressed at all.

I am not perfect. You know that. And one day, I’ll embrace that imperfection. Until then, don’t judge me too harshly. We are all doing the best we can.

And to my mom friend, if you fall off the nonsmokers’ wagon, don’t worry. I’ll be the first to help you back up, if you need me to — but I will never judge you.

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One thought on “Judgment

  1. This is a really interesting issue. I hate to quote my Starbucks cup, but it had a Madeleine Albright quote recently that I thought was great: “There is a special circle in hell reserved for women who do not help other women.” I am continually amazed by how hard it is for women to truly support each other! I especially see it in the work/not work debate – the at-home and at-work moms are often suspicious and critical of each other. I’m not exactly sure where these problems start with women, but let’s hope we can raise our daughters to know better!! xoxo

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