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Stop Judging My Parenting Decisions!

Stop Judging My Parenting Decisions!

By Dr. Lisa Kaplin for YourTango.com.

There’s an endless discussion of whether women who are mothers should work outside of the home or not. For many of us, it is a tiresome, useless argument that only serves to make mothers feel insecure regardless of their decision. The argument certainly doesn’t improve the lives of children or their parents. Most women I know find themselves in the unenviable position of either defending their decision, judging someone else’s, or worst of all: a combination of both.

Why are we defending ourselves, anyway? Are we insecure about our decisions? Influenced by the constant media barrage of mixed messages? Are we in a continual state of second-guessing ourselves, thus feeling forced into the position of defending what we hope is right for our family? Is your decision so tenuous, or your confidence so fragile that someone’s silly or cruel comment can throw you into a defensive, angry frenzy? And who are you really hurting when you find yourself in that state?

More from YourTango: Do You Know The Top Parenting Styles?

And one more question: why in the world are we judging other mothers? The most common reason that people judge others is because they don’t feel good about themselves. When we are firm and confident in our own decisions and ourselves, we have no need to criticize or judge others. When we are good with our lives, we are ultimately loving and kind to others. Hating and judging other mamas isn’t about them — it’s about you. So if you find yourself gossiping about other mothers and their decisions, I have to ask you: “Why are you so unhappy with yourself… and what can you do to change that?”

Defending and judging are the ultimate sanity killers for all of us, yet they are also the perfect red flag, indicating that we are struggling internally with our own lives and decisions. I urge you to watch for those signs, and use them to dig deep in order to make decisions for you and your family that are right for you and your family, and absolutely no one else. You owe it to your children to make choices that work for the whole family. That includes you. There is absolutely no solid evidence that working inside or outside the home is right for every family. What is best for your family is unique to you and if it honors your morals, values, and financial needs, then own it with pride and confidence.

More from YourTango: 10 Parenting Secrets To Empower Kids

The one and only way to end the ridiculous mommy wars is for each one of us to live our decision with complete assurance that what we have chosen for our family is unshakeable and right. No judgmental media, other parents, or non-parents can take away what is good for you. Why in the world would you let them? Why would you let someone else’s comments take away from the joy you feel with your family, your career, or both? Why would you waste your precious energy, good will, and self-esteem, on defending a decision that is yours to make?

Surround yourself with people who not only don’t judge, but who support you and your decision completely. A friend who looks down on your decision is no friend — and probably not one you would want to spend a lot of time with. A true friend celebrates your decisions, helps you make them work, and walks with you through the tough times. Parenthood is fleeting, as children grow so quickly; why spend that time second-guessing your decisions, defending them, and judging others? Go do what is best for your family, enjoy every moment of it and quit the mommy wars for good. You are too good for anything else.

More from YourTango: 3 Powerful Parenting Secrets

Lisa Kaplin is the proud mother of three, a psychologist and life coach at www.smartwomeninspiredlives.com

You can reach her at Lisa@smartwomeninspiredlives.com

This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: Stop The Madness & Stop The Mommy Wars.

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47 comments

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2:34PM PST on Jan 5, 2014

It's none of anybody else's business what we do as mothers.

2:23PM PST on Jan 5, 2014

All women feel guilt about their parenting choices. No-one ever feels they have made the right choice - unless they have no imagination that is. We should work as a sisterhood not criticise other mothers. What works for one will not automatically be right for another.
I wish I hadn't had to be a working mum. But it made me try really hard with the time I did have to spend with my children.

1:17AM PST on Jan 3, 2014

Thank you :)

5:48PM PST on Jan 1, 2014

WOW,to each his/her own ! As long as the Children are Safe,Loved,Taken Care of ,it's no one elses business what that Family is doing ! As long as it Works for that family ! When my late Husband and I first got married,I Worked,he took care of my 2 kids from a previous marriage ! When I got Sick ,he worked,and I stayed home,and took care of Everything ! When he got sick, with Lung Cancer,I did Everything for our Family,took care of him our 4 kids,even a part time job! As long as our bills where paid,and we had a home,food,clean clothes,Love it was Good ! We do what we have to do for Our Family ! :)

5:32PM PST on Jan 1, 2014

Wish I could send you 10 Green Stars Kamia. especially like the sentence "We've become a world of voyeurs...". So very, very true and very, very disgusting. It's one of the reasons I can't stomach TV.

In fact there were many good comments - so thank you all!

3:21PM PST on Dec 31, 2013

I like your article. I think we should all openly thank the people around us who don't pass judgments when they relate to other people.

2:00PM PST on Dec 30, 2013

Seems like in general women get mixed messages about what's right to do, says something about our culture in general and how we perceive women, in my opinion. Thanks.

8:28AM PST on Dec 28, 2013

GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3:00AM PST on Dec 28, 2013

Interesting reading. Thank you.

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