Let’s be honest, we have all looked at another mom and judged in one way or another. It just happens. Sometimes we keep those unfriendly thoughts to ourselves and other times we share them out loud with other moms or people.
I used to do this a lot and I have no problem admitting it because I have learned a valuable lesson that has made me stop judging, and start caring and having compassion for moms who are struggling.
When our son Charlie was born, he was the perfect baby, literally.
He was adorable, healthy, a good eater, good sleeper and always happy.
He still is this way, he is just a happy little camper. People used to always tell me that I am lucky to have such a low maintenance child. I don’t call it luck, I call it a blessing because that is exactly what it is.
Charlie always napped without a fuss and always went to bed at night without a fight. This kid loves to sleep and at almost four years old, he still takes a 2-3 hour nap every single day. Same scenario – usually without a fight or struggle.
Many of my mom friends had a hard time with their children’s sleep. They had toddlers that still woke up several times a night, refused to nap and threw tantrums at the sight of a bed.
Guess what I did when they would tell me about their sleep struggles? I judged them.
I used to say to myself that Charlie is a good sleeper because I got him on a schedule from the beginning.
The truth is, I was strict with his schedule. I never missed a nap – it didn’t matter what I was doing, our entire days were planned around naps and bedtime.
Because I was so strict, I thought that this must be the reason he is such a great sleeper. I also used to say he is happy because he isn’t tired and if other moms would do the same and make sure their kids get enough sleep, then they will be better behaved.
See the judgmental thinking here? Not only was I putting my mom friends down in my mind, but I was basically lifting myself up and thinking I was just a better mom. How unattractive is that? Yuck.
I rarely shared my judgmental thoughts with others, it’s just not my style to spread rumors or cause drama but just because I was not saying them out loud, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t wrong.
You don’t have to share rude thoughts with others to make it ok. It’s just not a healthy and friendly way to be. It makes you think you are better than others and it makes you less open to advice – because you think you are the best mom ever, so why would you accept advice from people who don’t know what they are doing?
Anyways, fast forward a few years and I got pregnant with our second, a daughter named Claire. This is where I began being truly humbled and changed.
Claire was a gorgeous baby. Long lashes, beautiful white skin, pink cheeks and just enough hair. However, she never wanted to sleep. When I say never, I truly mean never.
Naps and bedtime were a wreck. I couldn’t get her on a routine. I tried every sleep method imaginable and had no luck at all.
For an entire year, she woke up every hour throughout the night. I am not exaggerating here, she woke up every. single. hour on the dot.
Some nights she would go back to sleep, other nights she wanted to stay awake and so I was awake with her. I was an emotional, tired mess but I was humbled.
Rather than judging me, my closest friends and family encouraged me.
They gave me advice and they simply just felt my pain when I complained about it.
If they were judging my abilities as a mom, I would have never guessed because they never acted better than me.
God knows how to bless us and he surely knows how to humble us when we need it!
She is a little over a year now and is finally napping like a champ and sleeping through the night. Thank God, because I was tired for an entire year!
Being tired to the point of physical and mental exhaustion is no joke. It is bad for your health and your sanity!
Moral of the story here; we all have struggles. We all have good and bad days and we all need to be encouraged and loved.
Rather than judging each others as moms, why not be real and authentic with each other.
Instead of judging and turning our backs, let’s offer valuable and useful advice, prayer and an ear for someone to speak into.
A shoulder to cry on when necessary and true, authentic friendships.
Don’t hate on and discourage, but lift up and be happy for each other.
I am still growing and learning, not only as an individual, but as a mom.
We are all striving to be the best we can!
Although having a child who didn’t want to sleep was a huge challenge, I am humbled and thankful that it changed me for the good.
If you are reading this, I want to challenge you to catch yourself next time you start judging and change your thinking. Make your thoughts and words positive and encouraging and you will see how it will not only impact those around you in a good way, but how much it will impact you!
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