Remember the adage...something about the things that annoy you the most about others are probably things that you're guilty of yourself? (I think it's an adage, if not, it's a Jane-ism compliments of my mother.) Anyway, I've been thinking about this a lot lately mostly because I can't seem to get away from judgment.
I'll start by fessing up. My name is Betty and I can be INCREDIBLY judgmental. I know this about myself--I'm not necessarily ok with it, nor to I accept it as who I will be forever, but I know that my natural tendency is to assume that my way it right/best. With that in mind, I will also say that I've come a long way. If you can believe it (and some of you can because you've known me for most of my life), I used to be even more judgmental than I am now. For much of my life I wrote it off as being opinionated, but I now realize it's more than that.
With motherhood looming in front of me, I'm working on being a woman that Clark will be proud to have as his mother, and no part of me believes that being judgmental is part of the job description. I'm also realizing that this club of mothers that I'm about to join is not much different than a lot of other clubs or societies that I've been a part of or witnessed. My friend Sarah blogged just last week about mean girls. There's little value in me re-hashing what she said, so go read her post (and follow her blog while you're there) then head back here.
Sarah's observation about mothers being just as horrible to one another as the "Plastics" in the movie Mean Girls isn't a unique one this week. Just yesterday my sister-in-law/best friend Becky posted this article about women judging other women for staying home...or not staying home (because although we women may be bitches, at least we're equal opportunity bitches).
My point is this. While my child is still in utero, I've seen others judged for their choices (What?! You're ok with breastfeeding...in PUBLIC?!), and I'm sorry to say, I've even been the one judging. But what I'm realizing is what you might call another Jane-ism, we're all just doing the best that we can with what we have where we're at. It's possible that the mother sitting in front of me at church feeding her baby formula tried desperately for months to breast feed, but finally, finally was able to move past her own hang-ups and supplement or switch to formula for the health of her baby. Or maybe she never tried to breast feed. The thing is, it's not my business. And while I don't understand it and hope I'm never in that position, judging her doesn't help promote the greater good. It doesn't recognize that this woman has taken on what I already view as the most difficult job in the world. And it definitely doesn't make me the woman I want my children's mother to be.
I don't believe I'll ever stop being opinionated. I have very specific beliefs about most things, and I won't apologize for believing that breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and non-processed foods are what's best for my baby. However, I'm done being judgmental about others who don't believe the same thing because if mothers can't get love from other mothers--women who have literally been there--then where can they get the love and appreciation they deserve?
Finally, the more I read about delivery and postpartum recovery the more love I have for all of you mothers because I'm seriously beginning to freak about this giving birth thing that's going to happen in a few months...but I'll leave that for my next post.