Awaiting judgment

One of the hardest things about being a mother, I’ve found, is the certain knowledge that someone somewhere is judging you and finding you wanting. In the age of social media, where our actions and interactions are scrutinised daily by random strangers, there will always be somebody waiting in the wings to tear you down. To tell you that your kids aren’t eating the right things, that they should be sleeping more – or less -, that you shouldn’t let them do this or have that and why the hell are/aren’t you still breastfeeding them? It goes on and on and round and round. They’re sitting at their keyboards right now just itching to make you feel like shit because they don’t like your choices.

And this isn’t confined to the Internet either. This happens in real life too. I’m sure it’s probably happened to every mother at one time or another. It’s the people who tut in your direction when your kids won’t behave themselves in a restaurant. It’s that person who shook their head at you when you stood just a little apart from your toddler and let them have the tantrum they’ve been threatening to have all the way around the supermarket. It’s the mother with older children who tells you, when you dare to confess that you’re tired because your kids just won’t fucking sleep, “oh, my children were such Angels. They slept 12 hours a night right from being a few weeks old.” Especially her, actually. She can piss off.

I know that one day somebody will stop by my blog, read my post and dish out some judgement. I’d like to say that I’m prepared for it because I’d like to think that I am, but I know that I probably won’t feel very prepared on the day it finally happens. But the thing that I’ve discovered is this: Judging people is easy. When you only see a snapshot of somebody’s life, it’s easy to assume that you know what the bigger picture looks like. When a child runs out in front of your car while a mother looks on in terrified horror, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that she hasn’t taught her child how to be safe around roads. Who knows? Maybe she hasn’t. Or maybe, just maybe, she’s having a really fucking awful day and her child is being a total brat (because kids are sometimes, aren’t they?) and made a break for the road out of sheer bloody mindedness. Hell, I’ve spent a lot of time teaching O about not crossing the road without an adult, waiting for the green man and never running off when we’re in a busy car park. Guess what? He hasn’t always listened to me and sometimes I’ve had to run after him. Does that make me a bad mother?

I spend a lot of my time as a mother feeling guilty about stuff. Not taking my kids out enough, losing my temper with them, not being able to persuade O to eat green stuff. That’s just the tip of the guilty iceberg. I judge myself harshly enough that I really don’t need anybody else to throw their judgement into the ring too. In fact, I spend so much time beating myself up for my failures and worrying about how everyone else perceives my parenting that I don’t really dedicate any time to celebrating my successes. Actually, nobody likes it when mothers succeed at stuff. Everybody just loves to tear down a successful mother. We just can’t win sometimes, can we?

But do you know what I’ve found? Since I started blogging I’ve found this wonderful community of parents who DON’T judge each other. These women – and men – have been there with a virtual high five during a particularly shitty morning of pissy children and festering sleep-deprivation. They have given me the strength and confidence to be honest in my writing, to admit to having made huge, glaring mistakes in my parenting and not worry about being judged. Blogging has provided me with a safe space to write about the worst challenges that motherhood has thrown my way with the knowledge that somebody I’ve never even met will nod along in sympathy somewhere and leave an uplifting comment for me.

So do you know what I’ve decided? Thank fuck for the bloggers and the people who stumble on my blog, read a few posts and have something nice to say. Thank fuck for them. Without them, I don’t think I’d still be bothering to put my words out into the world.

A Mum Track Mind
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
R is for Hoppit
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64 comments

  1. bridiebythesea · May 12, 2016

    Aw I love this! Absolutely agree and nodding along with you, it’s so hard to take other people judging you and thinking they understand your life when actually they know very little. I think it’s for the reasons you mention that I love blogging too πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 12, 2016

      Thank you so much for this comment! It’s amazing that people seem to think they know everything about your life just from one tiny little glimpse. My blogging buddies are the best :).

      Like

      • bridiebythesea · May 19, 2016

        Visiting again from #KCACOLS – still love love love this post. And your blog for that matter! This is a fab post and so true – stop the judgies! Xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Motherhood IRL · May 19, 2016

        You’re just about the sweetest human ever! Thank you :). X

        Liked by 1 person

  2. occupation:(m)other · May 12, 2016

    SO true! I haven’t had any judgement yet on my blog, I don’t think I’d like it very much…like you say it’s easy to do if you only see a snapshot. I have a post lingering about judgement,this is a good reminder to get my fingers in gear with it at some point. It’s something I really, really dislike. I think it’s very human to judge but it’s what you then do with that judgement…ie accept you’ve judged, keep quiet and be open to knowing you’re wrong OR shout, tut, be annoying about it and forever think one way. The latter seems small-minded, boring and wrong! Lovely post and I agree, blogging community can be FAB #stayclassy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 12, 2016

      I can’t wait to read your post on the subject; I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for it! I know that I have been guilty of judging, but then I think about the times when I yell at my kids over stupid stuff because I’m stressed or tired and I know that judging people for the things they do wrong isn’t the whole story. Thank you for your lovely comment and for being part of this awesome community!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ljdove23 · May 12, 2016

    I LOVE this!!! It’s crazy how so many, women especially, feel the need to judge eachother as Mothers but I completely agree, as a blogging community I have experienced nothing but support, understanding and encouragement. #stayclassy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 12, 2016

      Thank you! The bloggers are just the best people! I have learnt so much from blogs before I even started blogging myself and always managed to find someone who knows what I’m going through and can make me feel more normal and human about it. I’m so grateful to everyone who stops by and leaves a comment and some encouragement :).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. whitecamellias · May 12, 2016

    I’m sending you a virtual high five right now! I completely agree with you. And as harsh as you are in yourself I’m pretty sure you are doing a fine job. Xxx #stayclassy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 12, 2016

      Not all the time, I assure you. Or even most of it? I don’t know. But I sure can’t stand in judgment of anybody else! X

      Liked by 1 person

  5. catbf79 · May 13, 2016

    Women (and men I guess) have a choice whether to be supportive of other parents or pull them down. Unfortunately many do choose the latter. We have to remember that every parent is different just as every human being is different. Being a mother doesn’t throw you into the exact same category as everyone else, it’s still your own journey and if people help you instead of critisising you’re more likely to thrive at it. Great post! πŸ™‚ xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 13, 2016

      That’s absolutely right. I don’t know why some people choose to be judgmental when they could be supportive and uplifting instead. I know motherhood isn’t necessarily unifying, but the least we can do is respect each other’s parenting and be kind and considerate. Thanks for stopping by! X

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nursery Whines · May 13, 2016

    Here’s another virtual high five for you. It’s so easy to beat yourself up but so comforting when another blogger admits, ‘You know what, I’ve done that too.’ #Stayclassy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 13, 2016

      N’awwww, thanks! And you’re so right; it’s so reassuring to know that we are all messing up every now and again!

      Like

  7. Educating Roversi · May 14, 2016

    Here here! Wise words! Blogger’s are lovely! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Baby Anon · May 14, 2016

    There is so much judgment in parenting out there, Mother felt really awful when I was little that people were judging her, for example, when she had to stop breastfeeding. Now, many months down the line, she couldn’t give a stuff what people think. and you’re absolutely right about bloggers – you’d have to go far and wide to find a nicer bunch of people; I wasn’t expecting that as a benefit but what a lovely one x #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 14, 2016

      Oh, I know. The breastfeeding thing goes for me too. How people tutted when they watched me making up a bottle!
      I know; I didn’t expect it either! It’s amazing how supportive everyone is of each other and how much love everyone dishes out through the community. I feel very privileged to be a part of it :). X

      Liked by 1 person

  9. beautybabyandme · May 15, 2016

    This is a brilliant post! It’s true, the amount of judgement we endure as a mum is ridiculous and I hate the negative stigma with some of the choices us Mums make. We’re all just doing our best and thank god for the blogging community for being supportive – we’re all in it together x #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 15, 2016

      Absolutely! And all doing our best for our individual children. Parenting isn’t one size fits all! Bloggers are the best :). X

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The Speed Bump · May 15, 2016

    Love this post, nodding along as I’m reading! Really well said x #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  11. justsayingmum · May 15, 2016

    well bloody said – love this line ‘Especially her, actually. She can piss off.’ – we all know her! Really brilliant read and I’m so wth you on this blogging community – love it – what a fab bunch?! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 15, 2016

      Don’t we just! It’s all I can’t do not to actually tell her to piss off when I come across her in real life! I love all my blogger buddies; I’ve never met any of them, but they feel like proper friends regardless.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. jeremy@thirstydaddy · May 15, 2016

    One of my very first posts was about the TV shows that my kid liked. One of my first comments was somebody praising my honesty for admitting that I let my daughter watch television. I remember thinking “oh shit, I’m going to get crushed on here if I don’t make myself sound perfect.” Thankfully that never turned out to be the case

    Liked by 1 person

  13. ShoeboxofM · May 15, 2016

    It’s good that you have a community of online bloggers willing to share the pain and swap horror stories and tips.

    It’s a triple threat link up but this is definitely a #StayClassy post!

    #ForTheLoveofBlog
    #StayClassy
    #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 15, 2016

      I feel very lucky to have received so much love from people I’ve never met just for blogging. I hope it’s something that you have experienced too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ShoeboxofM · May 16, 2016

        I’m in a different place given the nature of my experiences I tend to get the kid glove treatment.

        There’s genuine support though and it helps reassure me that I’m not alone in the way that I feel or some of the thoughts I have.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. tammymum · May 16, 2016

    Amen to that! I wrote a post about judgy mums once and I think they should just do one. Being a mum is tough enough without having someone on your back about your choices! We all need our supportive mummy back and I’m pleased to see you have one. #stayclassy xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 16, 2016

      I was inspired by one I came across on Twitter. She was bashing a celebrity mother (one of the girls from Teen Mom) for not having breakfast ready for her kids at 5am. When I asked her if she had to get up at 5am and drive 45 minutes to a school that started at 7:15am she said “no, my daughter gets up at 6am, I have breakfast on the table and then we have a 7 minute walk to school, which starts at 8:45am”. Perfect Mum Award over there, people! X

      Liked by 1 person

  15. thetaleofmummyhood · May 16, 2016

    This post is just brilliant! It’s so true that the blogging community has each others backs, I’m a new blogger and this was apparent straight away.
    Really great post πŸ™‚

    #fortheloveofBLOG
    #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 16, 2016

      Thanks, lovely. It’s great to have that extra support network, isn’t it? Like even if we don’t agree with each other all the time, we still respect and support each other. X

      Like

  16. I am glad you found people you can connect to that help and support you and not judge you…It is important to have that.#fortheloveofBLOG

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Savannah (@HowHesRaised) · May 16, 2016

    TOTALLY nodding along to this one.
    The blogging community truly is an incredible one, isn’t it. I’ve just started discovering the amazing ones out there, and am so happy to have found this love of mine. Those nasty comments, and judgmental glares really kick a momma when she’s down-so yes, thank fuck for all these lovely bloggers-like you! ❀ #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 16, 2016

      It’s amazing. Even though I’ve never met any of the lovely people who have stopped by my blog over the last couple of months, I feel like they’re trusted friends. Hurray for the bloggers and the imperfect mamas! X

      Like

  18. fairyqueen · May 16, 2016

    Straight talking and sassy, I love reading your stuff;) bloggers are great aren’t they, I think it’s a bit about the freedom and not everyone knowing who we are, plus, as you say, we are all in pretty similar situations, sleep deprived, kids doing god knows what, juggling our lives. What makes us different is that we blog about it all, we get it all out, its our kind of therapy. Or something like that!!:) x

    mainy – myrealfairy
    #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 16, 2016

      Haha, thanks! I was thinking about this the other day and I don’t think I actually know any other way to write than to just be brutally honest and a bit blunt force trauma!
      It definitely feels like therapy to me. It’s a bit like sitting down with a cup of tea/glass of wine after a shit day and just decompressing, except that after I’m done, a whole bunch of lovely people stop by and are like “OMFG ME TOO!” and it makes me feel loads better! X

      Liked by 1 person

  19. tinboxtraveller · May 16, 2016

    This is the second post I’ve read in the past week about giving mummy guilt the heave-ho. I’m definitely in support of that! You are very right about the support in the blogging community. Even when people don’t agree with a post the majority will leave constructive criticism #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 16, 2016

      I read one a couple of weeks ago and it made me think about it.
      The blogging community is such a wonderful support network. I’ve had so much love since I started and I’m so grateful for all the lovely comments :).

      Like

  20. Katy (@hotpinkwellies) · May 16, 2016

    I don’t know why it is that as soon as you become a parent it seems to give so many people the opinion that they can judge your choices and wade in with their opinions. I’ve been lucky not to have experienced any negativity on my blog (yet!), but like you, the thought has crossed my mind of it happening. I love how supportive we are as bloggers of each other and I like to think that the vast majority of people are like this – it’s only the odd one or two that ruin it for everyone! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 16, 2016

      I have no idea, but it really irritates me. I don’t tell anyone how to live their life, so why is it okay for them to tell me how to parent? Frustrating!
      The other thing I’ve found is that there is no jealousy in this community; if you read a brilliant blog post, you tell the writer that it’s brilliant and boost them up and I LOVE that.

      Like

  21. prettyinplaydough · May 16, 2016

    YES! I am regularly asked when I am going to stop breastfeeding my one year old. I am also judged because I will let her sleep on me during her naps, and I wear her in a sling, and I even co-sleep sometimes. The people that I have found are the worst for it are people with no children, but who work in childcare so will obviously make the most perfect parents one day, because they know everything. Hahahah.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 16, 2016

      I just feel like we should all feel free to parent in whatever way feels right to us without fear of being judged! If I could have carried on breastfeeding, I would have and I loved carrying my youngest in a Babasling until he got too heavy. I’m not anti-co-sleeping, although it’s not something I’ve done much since my babies were feeding during the night. But we just have to do what feels right to us. It’s not like there’s a manual! I thought I knew what kind of mother I would be and I’m totally different. I thought I would be relaxed and I’m actually really strict. That’s the nature of parenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Kerry-Ann · May 17, 2016

    Virtual high five coming your way!βœ‹πŸΌI remember when my cousin was a new mom to two children under the age of 3. She was just leaving the shopping centre as the kids were both having an absolute meltdown only to be met at the door by a tutting, scowling shopper. My poor cousin was so frazzled by that stage that she lashed out at the woman shouting: ‘If you think you can do a better job, you take them home!’ πŸ˜‚ #passthesauce

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 17, 2016

      Ahahahaha! I would love to give her an actual high five. That is PERFECT!

      Like

  23. lauracharlie1988 · May 17, 2016

    Judgement drives me mad. I’ve had commenters call me a bad mother on my blog over something as simple as feeding or use of a certain product. It drives me mad. If no one is being harmed, just let folk get on with it.
    And as for the old ladies who tut when my daughter “happy squeals” in Costa Coffee, screw you guys! My kid is happy! You’re the problem here.
    #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 17, 2016

      Absolutely 100% with you there! My youngest is really well behaved when we go out for food, but he chatters and is noisy sometimes. It’s just because he’s only a baby really and that’s what babies do. And people glare at me!

      Liked by 1 person

      • lauracharlie1988 · May 17, 2016

        If they don’t want to be near other people they should go home. I admit I have rolled my eyes a few times at parents, but it’s usually when the child is talking to them and they are ignoring them or similar. Not when a parent is just trying their best. Eye rolling and judgement is the last thing needed in that situation

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Lisa Pomerantz · May 18, 2016

    Love your post, love the blogging community and love #PassTheSauce because thats how I found you! Thanks for a great read and marvelous reminder about judgement and the need for a lot less of it! Life is hard enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 18, 2016

      Thank you :). I’ve said this so many times, but bloggers are awesome and just really excellent to each other.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. The Mum Project · May 18, 2016

    Yea f*** that Mom with the kid who sleeps 12 hours lol. Joking. I totally agree that this parenting blogging community is so supportive and understanding of each other, so happy that I’ve joined not only to let stuff off my chest but to feel like other people are there in the same boat with me. It has helped me so much! You’re right, it’s so easy to judge, but I think if we just put ourselves in their shoes (like the Mom with the kid running into the street) then we are less likely to judge and more likely to understand. : ) Thanks for sharing with #StayClassy!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. The Pramshed · May 18, 2016

    A great post lovely and I completely agree with you. Since starting my blog, I have read so many blog posts on so many different ways of parenting, not one of them the same, and I’ve not come across much or any judgement. We care and bring up our children in different ways, and that is no one else’s business. I have too found the blogging community so supportive, giving advice rather than any judgement. I also feel very lucky that I have a really supportive group of NCT friends, and there is no judgement here either which is great. Thanks so much for joining our party at #fortheloveofBLOG, we hope you come back next week. Claire x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 18, 2016

      I only had one class, sadly. That’s just how it is where I live, so I didn’t really build up a group of mummy friends (I always get jealous of the women when I watch In The Club). I have one or two friends with children, but we don’t get to catch up much and otherwise I get all of my mummy interaction from the lovely bloggers I’ve met over the last few months. I’m so super grateful for all of you! X

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Pramshed · May 18, 2016

        The blogging community is brilliant for advice and friendship, and for all the mummy interaction. Sometimes I find it better than “real-life” friends x

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Rachel (Lifeathomewithmrsb) · May 18, 2016

    It so annoys me when i get that ‘look’ from a stranger when my 5 year old throws a strop or even when my 11 year old strops and sulks behind me when we are out. Parenting can be so hard! I love my children but sometimes i just want to curl up in a ball and say i give up just get on with whatever it is your doing! It is very easy for others to think and judge without seeing the whole picture, We are all doing out best and that is all we can do. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 19, 2016

      Ah, THAT LOOK. I hate that look. It’s so unnecessary. Does it really look like we’re not trying? People can be so ridiculous, can’t they? X

      Like

  28. agentspitback · May 19, 2016

    YES! YES! YES! Well said! Good on you for having found your community and your safe space. I honestly think some people are particularly judgey when hiding behind their keyboards. The best thing about being judged online is that we can take a step back and “turn them off”. Thanks for sharing with #PassTheSauce

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 19, 2016

      It’s easy to judge someone remotely. But if you’re going to judge me, at least have the balls to say it to my face. I’ll still think you’re an asshole, but at least I might respect you a little bit!

      Like

  29. Tracey @ One Frazzled Mum · May 19, 2016

    I hate those people who like to judge others either online or across the restaurant, or shopping centre when your kids having an epic meltdown, hate, hate, hate them! This post is brilliant love it #passthesauce

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · May 19, 2016

      Not just me then? Haha. Those people are either too old to remember what children or like or haven’t got/don’t want them, generally!

      Like

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