Sometimes I think the hardest things about parenting is other people. Learning how to deal with and let go of peoples judgements is key to happier, lighter – and more enjoyable motherhood.
Women especially are usually no stranger to judgement, but once motherhood hits it can start to spiral wildly out of control. Suddenly, its everywhere, from the lady at the checkout stand in the supermarket to family members, friends at baby group, teachers, parenting “gurus”, experts, random people online you’ve never met, the list goes on.
The key in changing all this, and not letting those comments get to you – is all in the way you think.
Common subjects of judgement can often include:
*Sleep, or how little of it your children are getting. Not to mention how they get there in the first place. Do they self-settle? Are they a “good sleeper”? Groan.
*Discipline. Not doing enough of it, or too much, or in the wrong way. Being too “soft”.
* Feeding, breast vs bottle, versus pumping, vs mixed.
*School and Nursery choices.
*Comforters, lack of using too much of.
*Potty training, starting too soon or too late.
*Sugar, dairy, additives and the pressure to serve organic kale omelettes with samphire and wheat-grass smoothies.
Need I go on. No wonder mothers are exhausted. Throw a pandemic in for good measure and you’ll see most of us quivering a corner with a leftover Christmas selection box and wondering if it’s too early for a glass or Merlot.
Enough already. If you’re ready to let go of peoples judgements and unwanted advice – I’m here to help show you how.
I’m calling bullshit on this never-ending roller coaster of a shit show and it needs.to. stop.
We forget that we are in fact the woman for the job, it was handed to us. And just in the same way that inner voice tells you that school choice is not quite right, or to call that person you haven’t seen in while or you really should try eating more vegetables… the same guidance system is already within us to help us navigate motherhood and everything it throws at us. We are all different, as are our children. Hell, I have identical twins that are completely different in their emotional and well being needs. If that’s not proof that each child needs a unique way of nurturing that only you can really attune in to, I don’t know what is.
So how can we tune in to our own internal guidance system more, and tune out of the outside judgements of others when it comes to motherhood? (Or anything really). Leaving us feeling lighter and more equipped to enjoy the life we’ve created for ourselves.
Understand that judgement is normally just a projection. It’s someone else’s issue they are projecting onto you as they haven’t dealt with it themselves.
For example, if someone is trying to cast judgement onto you for being a working mum, deep down they may miss their old career and have yet to regain the balance in that part of their life. Once you see it as projection and not criticism – it’s easier to let go. Understanding that its someone’s personal issue, and really nothing to do with you can make it easier to let go.
When teaching yourself and learning how to let go of peoples judgements as a parent ask yourself – why is this bothering me?
Has it brought round a realisation?
Why has this judgement or comment struck a nerve in you? What feelings are you may be holding onto that have yet to be resolved. Get quiet and do a little inner work, is your motherhood in alignment with how you want to fell, be and act?
For instance, if someone has commented about how your child is disruptive and noisy in a restaurant and its rattled you – does it bother you that you can’t sit down and enjoy a family meal out because of this? Does it leave you feeling unrelaxed and anxious when you go out to eat? Is this something you can work with to make a shift? Are they too tired when you go? Or overwhelmed by lots of noise? Could you pick a quieter place? Or visit a park first to tire them out? Or get them to pack a little bag full of activities to do before you leave. Sometimes a simple tweak can give you back some clarity over a situation so next time someone does make an unhelpful comment, you’ve dealt with the issue yourself and can just brush it off and forget about it.
In order to help you easily let go of other peoples judgements when it comes to motherhood, you need to focus on yourself for a little bit. Get quiet, and think about areas to lessen your overwhelm. Chances are if these comments are getting to you, your brain is too overwhelmed at the moment to deal with them.
Mama, when your overwhelmed and scraping through the day until bedtime – that’s when judgements from other people are going to affect you more. Think about it, are you juggling all the things without asking for help – multiple kids, drop offs, homework, businesses, home, diary planning, meal planning, potty training, sleep deprivation, a million and one requests for snacks – all day, with no respite or time for yourself?
If the answer is yes – the moment some random person in the supermarket makes a throwaway comment about your toddler having a tantrum on the floor in aisle 3, or a mum at playgroup questions if you feel bad about going back to work, or a family member comments about your co-sleeping habits – it’s going to spike your cortisol and push you over the edge. You’re going to want to stand in the middle of toddler group screaming at the top of your lungs – “I’m doing my freakin best Karen! We’d all love to be ladies that lunch with non-colicky babies but some of us have to work you ignorant moron!!” *cue silence as everyone looks up from their digestives to stare at you. *
If you are rested, in alignment with how you want to live. Asking for help where you can and not adding unnecessary things to your plate – you will be more confident and equipped to offer a casual “mmm hmmmm”, or better yet state “that sounds wonderful Karen I’ll give it some thought, but doesn’t feel in line with how I chose to live right now” – without so much as a second thought. Hurray, how good does that feel?
Unless you up sticks and move to another planet, there will always be other humans somewhere waiting in the wings wanting to pass comment or judgement on how you choose to live. Specifically in terms of motherhood – it taps into every parent’s worst nightmare – that they might just be “doing it all wrong”.
That thought is too much to carry so it’s projected onto other people so they don’t have to think about it themselves. That’s ok, its not going away. Send them peace and some good vibes and carry on with what you do best – living your life and motherhood how you want to.
Of course there may be a select few that truly want to be helpful, without being asked, but maybe they are getting over their own trauma and haven’t dealt with it in their own way yet (this crops a lot when talking about birth, so many mothers are dealing with birth trauma they haven’t had the time to process – that they make you question your own birthing options.)
Instead of avoiding – training your mindset to let go of these judgements easily is key, and practice makes perfect. Good luck, I’m here cheering you on xo.
Thanks for stopping by at my corner of the internet, I’m Maz – you can read about me here – it’s my mission to lift the lid on motherhood and make your parenting journey easier. Stick around for recipes, hacks and tips and truths on lessening the overwhelm and simplifying motherhood and twin parenting. If you enjoyed this blog pop me a message or comment – I’d love to hear from you!