Britt Heath is a long time Stroller Strides client who lives in Bellevue with her husband Stuart and her two daughters Tamryn and Morgan (who have been keeping her extra busy!) She is also a full-time Real Estate Agent in the area doing all her very best to balance motherhood and work. We love her and her girlies and always look forward to having them come out for events. Thanks for contributing to Our Village Britt, you are wise and truthful!
My daughters have taught me a lot about my own judgments and self-worth. When I was younger and before I was a mom, I admit that I judged other people, especially moms, too often. And too harshly. I think that my judgment of others has been a way of protecting myself, making me feel like I was better, albeit artificially, than someone else. Since I had four decades without children, there has been a lot of time to judge moms that I have seen over the years about how they were reacting to, disciplining, protecting and loving their children.
I spent a lot of time judging simple things like, why kids did not know what they were doing in the coming weekend or on a given day. I am a schedule/calendar freak, so to think that a child was not aware of what the plan was for them or that their parents did not respect them enough to let them know what was going on, drove me crazy.
One day, I finally asked a mom why she was not telling her child what we were going to do that afternoon. I was told, that if she did not tell them and left it a surprise, the child would not be disappointed if they were not able to go on this outing.
What I had seen as a lack of respect was an act of compassion and protection.
It was even easier for me to judge larger complex issues such as a child that was abused outside the home. If the parent had only asked me, I would have told them all the things they needed to do and how they should be doing them to "protect" and heal their child and family. Well, I must say that I was never asked, but that did not stop me from thinking they were not doing the "right" things, even though I had no personal experience in this or training on the subject.
Those moms did the right thing by not asking me what I thought.
I was busy judging these moms in what I now perceive as an act of distraction for myself, from a longing that I did not at the time fully understand - to have what these moms had. I knew I would do it so much better, so much more "the right way" than what I was observing.
Well I now have two wonderful little girls of my own and while the judgment has not magically gone away, it has done a little shifting inward. But with this new mommy perspective I have heard myself say many times, "oh, that is why they did such and such!" Now it makes a lot more sense. Sometimes as I have learned, it is just a matter of survival (that was the best advice I was ever given and I found it very freeing) and other times "other moms" are doing the best thing for that particular child at that particular time. I guess if I had followed a mom around 24/7 I would be a better judge of what was going on during the two seconds I had access to her actions for which I was giving such "wanted and valuable" judgments.
Well I no longer feel like I am better than other moms. What I usually feel, is that most other moms I see are AMAZING. They look like they know what they are doing, seem reasonably sane, and are functioning in the world. As opposed to my occasional moments of panic; including not being up to the job, totally incompetency, and being deathly afraid.
I now cherish the periods of no judgment of others as well as myself that come and go in my life. These moments are the most wonderful and truly authentic times in which I enjoy being a mom the most.