“If you say another word about how I run my house and parent my kids, I’m gonna kick you out of my house!” I’m typically the more controlled and tolerant one out of my mother’s three daughters. But that particular day–I’d heard and listened to more than enough correction, criticizing, and critiquing that I was going to allow from my mother. And yes, she was on the first quick train out of Marshall Town and I meant every single word–passionately! Let me be very clear here–I LOVE my mother and have the utmost respect for her. But I am a boundaries girl and I have no problem letting someone know when they have crossed mine–even my beloved mother. As a mother, I was very clear on the how, why, when, what and where when it came down to my children and family. I would listen or ask when I needed help or guidance but was very careful not to allow other’s opinions or advice to completely influence how I wanted to raise my children. It’s not always easy to stand your ground when you’re dealing with women who have raised numerous children but absolutely necessary if you’re going to keep your sanity. I kept what was important and useful information for my family and the rest went in one ear and out the other. Set the boundaries you want for your children and stick to your guns no matter who it is.
I’m sure most parents can relate to the occasional unwanted opinions or advice from the mother and mother-in-law right!? Well these days it seems to be relentless from not only our mothers. But most women are subject to critics from every angle from the moment they decide to become a mother. From the prenatal vitamins to the post-baby aftercare….dammit somebody has something to say! What is this? Why can’t people just be satisfied with their own motherhood journey? Who said I have to follow in your “flawless” motherhood footsteps? I know…they may say “I’m only trying to help!” Sure, if you consider making someone feel that every move they make as a mom is wrong, incorrect or just plain unethical.
It used to be a little easier to escape the in-laws or your mother but nowadays, the mommy judgment is all over the internet, the TV, parenting blogs, social media, magazines–you name it! Mothers can’t seem to catch a break these days and people are more focused on figuring out what they’re doing wrong instead of supporting them and praising them for all of the good they’re doing. There’s all of sudden an abundance of mommy police who obvious expect every other mother to walk around and do everything the way they’re doing it. And who says that your way is the right way and a good way. It may work for your children but maybe not for my children. I’m saying all of this to say……GET A LIFE PEOPLE! If parents aren’t killing, hurting, neglecting, or abusing their children, then why do you care if they raise them vegan or use clothe diapers. No, really! You need to ask yourself “WHY DO I CARE?” In reality, the constant judging, criticizing and critiquing only results in a negative impact on the mother in the long term when she should be finding refuge and support. Mothers will either isolate themselves, cut off the relationship, make decisions out of pressure, become depressed or anxious in response to feeling guilty and judged as a mother for doing their best. We need moms to know that they are appreciated, doing great, are needed today and always so they can be their best them for their children.
Here are 3 tips to empowering mothers and dealing with the mommy police and motherhood joy stealers:
3 Keys to Motherhood Empowerment:
- Accept and Support: Respect others’ decisions to parent their children the way they choose to.
- Be Confident: As a mother, you know what’s best for your family and children like no other person does–you’re the expert.
- Community: Identify a small circle of trusted friends you can go to for support that respect your choices as a mother even if they differ.
Our motherhood journey can be challenging enough without worrying about being the perfect mother for everyone else when our children only expect us to love them to life! This is what The Hotmoms Conference is all about and I will continue to have events, workshops, etc. where we are a beacon of hope, joy, inspiration and empowerment for mothers—we all need it at some time or another!