I’m a closet mummy blogger. It’s such a ridiculous oxymoron. On the one hand I’m working my butt off to get my content seen by people. I’m out there, yelling “Look at me!!” on as many virtual roof tops as I can. On the other hand, in my every day conversations with my friends and family, I never bring up my blog in conversation and I try with all my might to restrain myself from Instagraming that quick pic.
I’m a closet mummy blogger because I love blogging, but I loathe hearing these words from other parents, “You make me feel so guilty.”
A friend of mine so eloquently put it like this: “We all live under judgment. We judge each other and ourselves, with everything we do.”
Add a child into that picture and that sense of judgment, on each other and ourselves is accentuated. With parenting, it’s not just about us, there’s also a dependent life (or several dependent lives) in the equation.
“Am I doing enough? They are doing things differently. Why?! Which way is better? Who’s the better parent?”… and the internal parenting rants go on.
I remember bringing my twin babies home, a month after they were born. (They had spent a month at hospital because they were born premature and were very under weight). Being a first time mum who had just given birth to twins, my hormones were all over the shop and I had no idea what I was doing. All I was fixated on was feeding my babies. To me, being a mum, equated to breastfeeding my twin babies. The struggles I went through to establish breastfeeding – – and twin breastfeeding at that – – was horrendous. I had to build up my supply; learn how to hold and attach my twin babies properly; then when there was an oversupply, there were blocked ducts; not to mention the sleep depravation! To have gone through all that then be told my twins weren’t putting on enough weight, completely demoralised me. I had been told for what seemed an eternity through parenting books, parenting classes, other parents, my own dear parents, that breastfeeding was the best thing we could do for our babies. Other mums can breastfeed their twins. Why can’t I?! Why am I such a failure?
We ended up complimentary feeding our twins. I got more rest, was less stressed, and our twin babies grew.
The parenting situations and parenting topics may have changed, but judgement and that perpetual sense of parenting failure still loom. How do I resolve them? I know and believe that I have a wonderful hope that lifts me out of judgment, but the reality is I’m still here now, living under judgment. Here I am, judging others, judging myself and being judged by others – (especially about parenting matters).
Bottom line is, I’m still growing. As I live this life, as I parent, as I grow, I want to be intentional in my actions, decisions and words.
I heard a talk by Tony Golsby-Smith, which I have found very helpful. He presents a model where to act wisely, all these three characteristics should be present:
1. Will: True to transcendent, unchanging principles.
2. Intellect: Responsive to the changing context of time/space/situation.
3. Emotion: Authentic to my inner self, my emotions, my person as an individual.
Tony makes the point that all three are required for wisdom. Two of three, or one of the three is not enough. So, the next time a parenting issue arises and I feel judged by myself or others, I’m going to try to think through those three parts of me: my will, my intellect and my emotions – where are they and where should they be?
When have you felt judged as a parent? How do you cope with judgment?
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