The most obvious study ever done has just revealed some fascinating new information for moms everywhere. Are you ready for it?
According to a study in Families, Relationships, and Studies, which looked at six mother/grandmother pairs there is one commonality that links all modern mothers everywhere, no matter what they do, who they are, or where they live:
We all feel like we’re being judged all of the time. And especially when it comes to how we feed our babies.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Aimme Grant said, “Our study found that today’s mothers can be subjected to increased surveillance compared to the generation before…The mothers in our study described how this intrusive policing of lifestyle choices began in pregnancy and then continued to impact on their everyday lives, particularly through infant feeding.”
I know, it seems like pretty obvious findings, right? And although seeing this rather small study (and realizing that people took the time to “officially” study it) made me roll my eyes a little bit – like, um, welcome to our lives? – the study does bring some comfort in the knowledge that if you’ve ever felt hopelessly judged as a mother, you are not alone, my friend.
In fact, when I think about it, as a mom, I have felt judged on each and every one of the following things:
- The way my baby has been dressed
- Being a horrible cook
- Cleaning too much
- Not cleaning enough
- Working too much
- Not working enough
- Sleeping too much
- Not sleeping enough
- Having too much “baby weight” hanging around
- Not playing with my children enough
- My children’s behavior out in public
- How many children I have
- My marital status
- My groceries (yes, really, I don’t buy organic everything)
Ridiculous, right? But odds are, you know exactly what I’m talking about, because as moms, we’ve all been there. To the little old ladies judging us at the store for having a grocery cart over-spilling with young kids to the nosy family members who want to ask you why you insist on being “one and done,” judgement seems to lurk everywhere for parents. But there are two things I think we need to remember as moms who feel a bit judged at times:
1) Not everyone cares as much as we think they care.
Sure, strangers and family members may ask us when we’re going to have another baby or point out that it must be “nice” to “get” to stay home or work, but let’s take a step back and realize that they’re not always saying those things to be judgey-Mcjudgey pants, you know? Sometimes they are just falling back on stereotypical cultural statements and have literally nothing else to say. It doesn’t necessarily make it right, but it happens. By stepping back and realizing that, hey, maybe that old man at the grocery store was just making conversation when he commented that I had “my hands full” and not indirectly passing judgement on me.
2) There is one person who is always judging us
You probably know who I’m referring to, right? Yup, it’s us. As mothers, I think we can be our own harshest critics. On a daily basis, although it may feel like there, there really aren’t motherhood police out there, judging our every move, marking down how well we are doing on in an imaginary book in which All Mothers Will Be Evaluated. We are the ones who can dole out the worst judgements, the ones that make us feel inferior and sob in the middle of the night.
So, moms, if you’re feeling judged, just remember: be kind to yourself first and foremost and the rest will all fall into place. I promise.
Also, it may help to remind ourselves that most parents are too freaking exhausted to care what you’re doing anyways. So there’s that, too.