Being a mom is the most challenging yet worthwhile experience ever. When you become a mother, you learn about the “strengths you didn’t know you had, as well as deal with fears you didn’t know existed”.
Researchers say that we make parenting or motherhood harder than it should be. I want to agree with this; however it is only hard because the expectations from the parents, from the children, and from the society are that much higher. We are expected to have everything down; from day care before the kids are born, to preschool, to extracurricular activities, to disciplining techniques, EVERYTHING!
Some may say that we do not, but then we fear that our children will be left behind, less accomplished, or express bad behaviors. We fear that they will not fit in the norms set by their schools, or society, and have a difficult life as a result of that.
All these just to avoid something that MAY happen in the future. All the brain wrecking, planning, preparing and acting on things just to control a certain future for our children. Is it necessary? Are we really making it hard on ourselves as parents? Are our fears valid? Can we really, truly predict that not having the best early education will ruin our child’s college experience?
Nothing is for sure, and WE KNOW THAT, but we prepare anyways so we can control the outcome and avoid any chance of our kids NOT having the future they deserve.
When I had my first child, I was also one of those moms who said that I wouldn’t allow my child to watch TV, or use the IPAD, or she would eat only home-cooked food. I made these promises to myself before she was even born and hoped that I could control all the “bad” things out there from touching my little one.
There is no right or wrong when you make such decisions for your children. If you follow through, that’s wonderful, but not doing everything from your future-parenting-checklist does not make you a bad parent. You can do everything by the book and get the opposite result; or vice versa. The important thing is, you love your children and give them the attention, care, and guidance they need to make good choices, experience openly, and love unconditionally.
Children are born with their instincts fully intact; they are born wild and free. This is something my daughter, Arya, taught me through her personality.
Raising her and her sister has been a learning experience for me. I have good days, bad days, and sometimes very bad days, but in the end, we teach each other, and everything falls in its place. I am basically a single mother. My husband works a lot and even though I have in-laws, my girls are glued to me almost always. Some days I manage to survive without any bruising, but other days, it is a big struggle. I do my best and always put my girls first [sometimes out of necessity and other times out of mom guilt], however, I often get judged for being the mom I am to my girls.
Today I will share 5 reasons I am judged as a mom BY MOMs.
5 Reasons I am Judged as a Mom BY MOMS
I co-sleep with my girls – well I did with my oldest until she was about 2 and then she moved to her big girl bed, and currently my 13-month-old sleeps in my bed. My oldest actually slept in her crib which was open and close to our bed, so she had the freedom to climb in our bed.
Co-sleeping renders a lot of debate. There are several benefits to it as well as some precautions, however, my mom did it, my grandmother did it, as well as my mother in law, and I basically am the latest link in the chain. 😊 My reasons for co-sleeping with my babies are for comfort, closeness, safety, and breastfeeding reasons. And even though I stand by my choice without a doubt, I often get judged by other moms because I basically let my babies sleep in my bed [or me in their bed], and did not force them to sleep on their own.
2. No major schedules
I prepared schedules for Arya; eating, napping, sleeping schedules, all of them. However, after she was born, I realized that none of them really worked for us. For this reason, I let my kids make their own schedule as oppose to me enforcing a schedule for them. Sure, my girls take naps, eat meals/snacks on time, and sleep at a given time (8-9pm). However, I am not super strict on this, just as long as they sleep enough according to their age and need. This flexibility is a bit of an inconvenience for me and because I work around my kids’ life, I often get called-out on it. I let my kids choose their schedules [not on purpose], but it worked for them and I make it work for me.
3. Preschool choices
When I was pregnant, everyone I knew was advising me to put my daughter on a preschool list. They said that it was crucial not only to ensure a space for her, but also so she would get the best preschool education. My husband and I weren’t too keen on Arya attending any preschool. Why? Because apart from the socialization process, we did not feel it was that critical. Besides we both believe in play as a form of learning and I was not sure I would find a preschool that encouraged that [instead of some strict curriculum].
Finally, we did find a preschool that met our family’s needs and budget. We heard a lot from everyone how we were depriving Arya and keeping her from learning by enrolling her in preschool/day care so late [she started at 3.5years😊], but honestly, I did not care. Arya is a very social, outgoing, sporty, and curious little girl. She is outspoken, smart, witty, and very caring towards everyone. And these qualities are noticed by all those who meet her. So, I don’t think that “delaying” preschool made any major impact on her, however, I did get judged for my timing choices.
4. Carrying my kids
Several of my girlfriends told me that I was spoiling them by carrying my girls or picking them up too frequently. They said that by letting them cry and be on their own would boost their independence. I so do not believe this!!!
Babies and even children communicate through crying. When they can not say it as a baby, they cry; and when they can not express it as a young toddler/infant/preschooler, they throw tantrums and whine. But all they are doing is communicating with you; telling you what they need, or what the matter is. That is the reason I never found the courage to sleep train my girls. I could never leave them crying to self-soothe themselves to sleep.
And speaking of that, my oldest Arya was a self-soother from the time she was born. She sucked her thumb and touched her face to soothe herself even when I was holding her. I believe in touch, comfort, hugs, and carrying my kids as long as they WANT and NEED me to do it.
5. Less outings
I am NOT one those moms who has a planner filled with birthday parties, dinner, play-dates, and sports participation. I don’t think it is bad for children to be active but I choose to keep my kids less busy. We go to play-dates, parks, zoo, or family gatherings, but I make sure not to over-exert them. Weekend for us means family time; not hopping from one outing to another. But that’s just my opinion.
I say no when I feel that my girls are tapped out or are about to get sick or have had an already busy week. And for this reason, I have been judged on too many occasions! Deprivation– that’s the word I get to hear from other moms; they say that I am depriving my kids from experiencing.
But it’s okay because I believe in having 1-2 meaningful outings per week rather exhausting them with a week plus weekend full of activities that they will not fully experience or enjoy.
Okay guys, I only shared my experience and my beliefs. And the reasons why I have been judged as a mom. My purpose is to share my experiences; not put anyone down, or point fingers. A mother is one person who does the work of twenty, for free 😉 so I know better than to judge or question another mother trying to make it happen daily. It is all about supporting one another; whether we have different parent styles, opinions, or techniques of raising our kids.
And I think that the best kind of parenting is when we act on our instincts instead of listening to others or the social media. Only we know what’s best for our kids no matter what anyone else says; good or bad, and that includes everything that I have shared here! Just because it works for me and my girls, does not mean they will work for your family.
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Hi! I am Ashna. I am a working mom of 2 little girls, and I love organizing, writing and learning new ways to balance work and family life. If you like what you read, please do comment and share 🙂 !