Being a mom comes with a surprising amount of judgment from others. It's important to know how to react to people who judge your parenting and essentially 'mom-shame' you. Sadly it will happen to almost every parent and can present in many ways. Judgment to your parenting can be unsolicited advice, questioning your parenting strategies, open disapproval of your parenting, or another person stepping in to parent without permission.
A survey from the University of Michigan found that the vast majority of moms have felt judged. Six out of ten moms in a 475 mom survey with women with kids between the ages 0-5, reported feeling judged. Maybe your kid is throwing a whopper of tantrums in public or another parent overheard how much TV you allow. Or maybe your child is wearing something another mom disapproves of...Whatever you're being judged for, it's annoying and hurtful.
Parents consistently judge other parents and there seems to be no end in sight. Getting judged is easy, but how we deal with it is the important part. There are many ways to react to people who judge your parenting. We'll go through a couple of ways to handle this situation so you can switch up your reactions to this common parenting issue.
Don't React At All
It can be hard but not reacting to any judgment on your parenting is the best way to react. A non-reaction deescalates the situation and puts it to an end. A quick reaction will be based on emotions and you may regret what you may say, you'll be going off of your emotions. Your lack of reaction may surprise the person who shamed you too. Don't let their words or actions affect you negatively. It isn't worth the time or energy. Just say, "Ok," and go about your day. If they keep pressing, ignore and change the subject.
Start A Conversation
Perhaps one of these days when someone decides to offer some unsolicited parenting advice, ask them some questions back. Stay calm and question why they feel the need to interject. By starting a conversation you can explore the perspective of the person who judged you and maybe change their mind about sticking their nose in someone else's business.
Think Of Your Child
Before you respond to the parenting judgment you received, think about your child. You can't react to parental judgment without being a parent so think of how you should respond in front of them. If they're present when you're being judged,which they may be, you can focus on your child's needs instead. For example, if your child is having a tantrum at the grocery store and someone says something to you, instead of arguing with a stranger, put your focus back on getting your kid to calm down.
Laugh It Off
Being judged sucks so laugh about it when this happens to you. Don't take the criticism too seriously and know that it isn't a negative reflection on you. When a person takes the time to judge you for your own choices, its' because if their own thoughts and really has nothing to do with you. It's done because they feel their way is best and their opinions on your parenting are important. This is the funny part, because their opinion doesn't actually matter.
Tell Them How You Feel
If you're just not in the mood for being mom-shamed that day, say what you're feeling. Tell whoever that their comment isn't needed and you'd prefer they not make any more. Consider coming up with a few go-to sayings to tell someone just how you feel about being judged. Some suggestions: "Thanks for your opinion but it's not needed." "This is how I do things." "Thanks, but no thanks."
Don't Do It Back
Once you're judged for your parenting, you know how it feels and it's safe to assume you don't want another mom to feel that way...even one who judged you. So take the high road, and don't throw back another parenting insult. Two wrong don't make a right and if you were to judge a fellow mom right back, you're part of the problem.
Photo: Getty Images