Are you a judgey mom? Do you judge other moms? Ever indulge in judgey judgitude on the playground or at school drop-off or when you watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo? Well, as Clairee put it in Steel Magnolias, if you can't say anything nice about anybody, come sit by me!
No, I'm kidding. I'm not that bad -- I think. But the parents on Coffee Shop Confessions say almost all moms judge others, and dads judge, too! About sugary drinks, kid leashes, parents going bananas, you name it. We hate being judged. So why do we do it? Should we stop?
I liked Tia Dionne Hodges-Jones' explanation: "Because we're trying to be perfect. And if I can't be perfect, I don't want you to be perfect, either." Ooh, the truth hurts!
I would put it more this way, though. I think moms judge because we want to feel better about our own parenting. If we can spot the FAIL moms, that means we're doing okay compared to them.
So ... is judging ever okay? Kristen Chase says judge away, just don't say it out loud. But Tia and Simon McLane think we shouldn't judge at all. "Judging doesn't get you anywhere. It just makes you more upset," Tia says. And I agree (except of course in cases where a child'd actual life is in danger -- and then you do more than just judge).
I think we almost can't help judging. We can't help seeing behavior and having an immediate emotional response. But when I notice myself having an emotional reaction to someone, I try to check myself. It's an exercise in self awareness. Why glom onto more negativity? It's easier to just give that parent the benefit of the doubt -- especially because I'm not perfect, so I can't expect anyone else to be perfect, either.
Do you get anything out of judging other parents?
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