As mommy's, I know I myself, and lots of others, are guilty of one terrible this: judgement. Not only are we feeling judged by everyone outside of our immediate home, but we are judging. Most surprising is the first person we judge every time we leave the comfort of our own home: ourselves. We try not to do it, we even vow not to before we become a mommy, but it's almost inevitable, like the devil sitting on your shoulder telling you not to eat the extra cookies after the kids go to bed.
I've judged just about everything I once said I wouldn't. It doesn't matter if it's the boy at the playground whose mom is too busy on her Blackberry to watch him across the monkey bars the first time, or the little girl who gets dropped off at soccer because mommy has errands to run, or the mom torn between her infant child and toddler running all around. I used to take too long to realize that it is because each of them have a different story, and I don't know what underlying causes have made it so they are absent in certain aspects, but I seem to take no time wondering what I would do to make the situation better if they were me. It wasn't until Lucy was born that I realized there was so much more to life when you expand your family from one child to multiple children. I suddenly felt like my heart was being torn, and I was stretching myself thin between two beautiful babies that I created myself. I didn't realize before this that it would take time, and probably lots of it, before we adjusted and were used to sharing our love, sharing our time and sharing our space. Joshua had grown so accustomed to having our full attention, but he adjusted the best! So needless to say, the time stretch and share is no longer something I judge on other moms. I no longer wonder why that boy is alone on the slide while mommy feeds the baby, or why mommy (or daddy!) are sitting in the car with their little brother during soccer practice. And a constant thing I have to remind myself as well, is that I am being judged by other moms, and other non-moms too. This was proven to me on my first trip out of the house from having my first child, I remember it like it was yesterday: I was craving ice cream, it was July, so why not drive the 500 feet down the road to the ice cream shop? Sure! So I got in the car (and left my D.S. with my mother) and enjoyed the minute drive in silence, no screaming no diapers no bottles just me and my car. The moment I got out of the car, I was spotted. The prettiest girl from my high school was in front of me, and of course, I had always envied her, maybe even more this day when she was standing there 110 lbs in short shorts and a tight fitting tank top. What was I wearing? My maternity pants that still fit my 165lb baby making body and a loose t-shirt, hair a mess, not remembering the last time I had showered. Pleasantries were made, congratulations on the baby, and for her in her quest for a degree in something Psychology related... and off we went. Did I mention we were best friends from age 8-13. It felt like two strangers meeting in a bar, and I walked away from that moment feeling so little and so judged. I guess that was one of the first moments I vowed to change my point of view.
Another thing I find myself constantly guilty of is exactly that... Guilt. I feel guilty when I do anything for myself that doesn't create a positive outcome for the kids or my significant other. Getting my nails done doesn't make anyone happy but me, so why do I bother? A haircut, why worry, it's just going to grow back! And more recently... a concert with my girlfriends in another town, an hour away. Of course I went anyway, but the amount of guilt I felt leaving the kids at a babysitter (which would be followed by dinner and playtime at Nana's) was unexplainable. My S.O. golfs 2 days a week and works out of the home, so why don't I deserve a day or two away as well? I just can't explain the reasoning for the guilt, but it's there. Even though my kids are happy when they get to enjoy an evening with my mother, why do I still feel guilty for having fun while they are?! This mommy stuff is confusing!