It took me years to build up an immunity and to not give a crap about what others say or think about me. My friend's mom once said to me: People that don't like you will always have something negative to say about you. Since they already don't like you, why do you like them or care? Good point. I don't have time or mental space for these people.
Then, I had Grace and met a new stream of people that judged you as a mom. I was no longer immune from this new "virus." People, not just other moms, would actually come up to you and tell you what you are doing WRONG as a MOM. Seriously?! Who are you to say something to me? You don't even know me.
The two most memorable occasions are:
1) When I was paying for soothers at a store and the lady behind me started to lecture me about how bad soothers are for children and it didn't even crossed her mind to buy them. I told her that I don't have a child. I have a baby. It crossed my mind to buy them because it soothes her and keep her quiet for my sanity. She was shocked that her advice was not welcomed.
2) I was told that I shouldn't say no to Grace because it affects her confidence and it doesn't really help her understand the situation. I told this friend that I don't say no to her. I YELL no to her because I need her to stop whatever the heck she is doing. There is no other word that can be said faster and be more effective when your child is licking a mirror at a Winner's store.
I'm sharing these experiences because it sucked for me. I spoke a big game but I was scarred and questioned myself afterwards on whether I was doing the right thing. I also questioned whether I was being a good mom. No one should ever feel like they are not a good mom based on what someone else said. No one should ever make another mom feel like they are not a good mom either. We are all raising our children to the best of our ability and with best intentions. That is good enough.
So, when you feel like judging another mom, either with your inside voice or out loud, stop and think:
1) You have no idea what that mom is going through. She might not have had a good night's rest in seven freaking months. Can you imagine how you would be not sleeping for that long?! Actually, if you are a mom, you know. Remind yourself how you felt at that time.
2) You have no idea what her child is going through. Some illnesses or disabilities are visible but some are not. The child might have something serious going on or might have lost his favorite soother. Obviously, kids are kids and you just never know what ticked them off at that moment.
3) You don't have all the answers. Yeah, what worked for you and your child is great but it might not work for another mom and child. Actually, I take back the might. It is likely not going to work because we are all different individuals! You child might love eating his dinner on a white plate, but mine will only eat on an orange plate that is sectioned so that none of her foods touch each other.
4) You aren't RIGHT all the time. Nobody is. This is a fact.
5) You need to mind your own business. Seriously, don't you have enough going on in your life? Mind what your own child is doing or licking.