One of the earliest lessons that you’ll learn after having a baby is that moms are a judgey bunch.
It seems to me though, that the worst of us are the ones [like me]who do everything the Natural Way.Which sucks, because I really don’t judge. I might disagree passionately, but I’m not going to judge someone or think less of them because they make different choices than I would. But I feel like people think that I judge them because I’m one of Those Moms, and it makes me kind of sad.
Recently a friend asked me if I had given Lucy formula. Which, so far, no, I haven’t given Lucy formula. Instead of just saying no, though, I was falling all over myself saying that she hadn’t had formula YET, but I was certainly not opposed, and LOOK RIGHT HERE! in the pantry we have FORMULA just in case! Seriously, just saying no would have been fine. But I was so afraid she was going to think I was judging people who use formula that I got all freaked out and weird about it.
And then there was also a brief conversation about vaccinating, and I was asked if we even vaccinate. Which is totally a valid question for anyone who knows us. As soon as the topic came up I was mentally rehearsing my “Why We Do What We Do” speech, but the way she asked it felt so much more like an acknowledgment of the fact that we tend to not do things the ‘traditional’ way rather than her thinking we were weirdos. It is amazing how someone who knows how to use some tact and grace in a conversation about a potentially touchy topic can pretty much eliminate the risk of controversy or hurt feelings. It also reminded me that I need to make sure I’m listening VERY CAREFULLY to people and instead of automatically assuming the worst, realize that they might just be asking a genuine question because they’re curious, not because they want to talk me out of whatever it is I do. Huh, now that I think about it, it is all just a ridiculous circle. I assume people are judging me, which means I over-explain, which makes people feel like I’m judging them.
I don’t know. I just love talking about babies and having babies, and raising babies. I’m very lucky in that the people I know are very open and kind and able to have discussions about all things baby without being judgey. I know there are people out there who aren’t so nice, but I hope that eventually we can all learn to get along. Because I want to know why someone does something differently than I do because what if I never thought of that and their way is BETTER? And I’ve been doing it the hard way all along? Or, maybe no one is judging anyone but we’re not able to communicate ourselves effectively to prevent assumptions from being made.