Saturday, March 21, 2009

Judge me...not!

This is one post where the words aren't really flowing.

It's something which I wasn't sure I really wanted to even write about in the first place.

But then I thought I just would.

So the thing is - one of the reasons that I've just not been blogging too much of late, is that I actually have been feeling that we mommy bloggers are a rather judgmental lot.

I can't actually think of all the various things that I've read in the past few weeks that have made me form that impression - but it's there, somewhere.

First of all, this 'judging' thing is very high in general - I think as a society, we probably have this tendency to comment on 'other people' and their life choices, rather a lot.

This post has actually been triggered by Rohini's post on judging and comparing ( it's been so long since I blogged that I can't seem to link it to that particular post, so just linked to her blog) - though hers was a humorous take on this very natural impulse that we all have as far as judging goes.

Some of the things that make me feel judged...

a. The whole working mom versus stay-at-home-mom thing. Sigh. Yes, I don't spend as many hours in the day with Peanut as I would, were I at home. Yes, maybe she would turn out differently if I did spend the whole day with her. But, considering that I might die of boredom of sitting at home or of being her all-day pacifier, and research shows it's difficult to be a good mom when you're dead, this one just works better for me.

b. Yes, my daughter isn't too tough. She's rather delicate and hasn't put on too much weight in the last few months. Her doc says she could have put on another kilo or two by now, but by and large, she's fine. So I guess it's okay. But I don't feel it.

c. No, she isn't talking much at all, although she understands almost everything we say, and makes herself understood through monosyllables, gestures and other amusing expressions. And I know that some, perhaps many, mothers have kids who are younger and speaking more by now. It shouldn't matter. But it does, at least a bit.

d. The whole thing about taking a maid places. Yes, the fact is that my daughter is being looked after by the K, but while I'm home, she doesn't let the K do a single thing for her. However, sometimes, it's just easier to also take the K along for things like shopping, or even when I am visiting someone. And yet, the recent verdict seems to have been that this, too, is somehow wrong, insensitive, so on and so forth, and that I am somehow 'missing out on her childhood' by letting the maid help even when I'm around. Uhh- I don't think so - although some people do.

e. On not wanting to spend every minute of my waking (and non-working) hours with her - yes, I do believe in some time for just me - or just me and my husband. Those opportunities are not many. I remember reading a judgment on a mother who apparently 'sneaked into her own house for an hour's rest' before letting her baby discover she had arrived. This hasn't ever happened to me, but I totally understand the need for some rest after a particularly bad day at work - and hey, perhaps it helped that particular mom be far more engaged after an hour's rest? Just saying.

f. Overall, we seem very quick to judge each other or 'other mothers' and a lot of time, we use phrases like 'I would never do that.....I do it this way...I make sure that in MY case, MY kid is treated such and such way...'...'I NEVER let MY baby watch TV' ...'How could she let her baby 'cry it out'? (maybe it worked for her?)...'You're STILL breastfeeding?' ...(yes, I am and mostly loving it if I don't have to do it every two hours)... Yada, yada, yada.

Now, the thing is, I could totally be over-reacting to this. But I want to hear from the rest of you, and I want your honest opinions, please.

Do YOU think we collectively are too judgmental - as a mommy blogger community, I mean? And would appreciate if we didn't come up with the usual ' judging is normal, we wouldn't be human without it' and all those qualifiers.

Open up and tell me if you've felt judged or uncomfortable about something you've read - either as a post, or people's responses in comments and so on.

And just as a thought - you think we could just give each other a break?

And am I over-reacting? Being terribly defensive because I am unsure of my own parenting? Possibly. But so what? The feeling lingers, though I care a lot less about it than I used to...

Edited to add: The words that weren't flowing in the beginning, certainly flowed later! :-P


  1. I think every mother is entitled to choose what works best for her. No two ways about that. Don't doubt your choices, Y. I'm sure the Peanut is doing fine. I personally miss your 'masti-waala' posts, but I know that you have much less time now. Take care, and enjoy whatever life offers you:)God bless.

  2. The words did flow and pretty well. I feel that stress too. I try not to be judgemental to others. I feel the heat when someone judges me, 'i did like this, its the best thing' ' our kids were never brought up this way'..blah blah. Frankly when someone judges my parenting skills I get too worked up and feel challenged and sometimes I doubt my parenting skills too.

  3. It's been a while since I've said anything here
    And in response to this blog I have nothing to say, I fear
    But I just dropped by
    To say a cheery Hi
    Now I shall leave before you try and kick my rear

  4. y, i think bloggers or not, in general moms are fairly judgmental. and i don't think they do it deliberately, everyone's new at this game and you never really know how everything will turn out, and you just want more people to do things YOUR way for validation. of course, we all live in perpetual fear that everything we do will come back and bite us in the butt and that makes us all a little snippy.
    doncha think?

  5. The important thing is not whether other people are judging you or not. It is whether you are judging yourself. Look, I seriously think that if one is comfortable and confident about the choices that one has made, then it really should not and does not matter what the popular opinion about something is and whether you adhere to the same or not.

    Bloggers are just an online representation of the real world and it helps to deal with them in the same way. I am fairly certain that you face people who are strongly opposed to (and vocal about) your decisions at work/home. If they are significant, you listen to them and point out your reasons but since they are not (most of the time), you just do your thing and move on. The important thing and I am repeating myself here is whether you are confident enough in what you are doing.

    This has to be the longest comment that I have ever left in your blog.

  6. @ganju:Nice to know you're still alive! How about reviving your blog?
    I miss your posts.

  7. Moms or not, I think there is a class of people who post more opinions on their blogs vs. writing about facts and experiences in their everyday life.

    For category 1, yes the judgments tend to be more in the area of "I do this, hence it's probably the right thing to do, how about you learn a lesson or 2 from me, huh?"

    So yes. Moms or not, I think there's many judgmental bloggers out there, but no real reason for you to stop writing.

    Your entire spectrum of writing, from the erstwhile tongue in cheek, to the currently thought provoking reflect more on you as a person and less so as a *mom*. So please to keep at it. :)

  8. Hello Dipali. Glad to know I'm being missed :) I've been hemming and hawing about that for a while now - but I've been too lazy to get around to it. Hopefully I'll get over my laziness soon :)

  9. :)

    oh well! everyone has something to say about everything! which is why blogging started off in the first place me thinks!

    yet, when i read posts that talk about how women quit and sat at home for baby claiming they couldnt afford to miss watching the tooth getting cut, i do get annoyed!

    but by now, i am comfy with the choices i have made! and my reason to work is pretty much same as yours! would have died sitting at home and not just me, would have killed Cubby and hubby too!

    so by now i know i am doing best i can and kid will turn out just fine!

    its all too easy to keep talking. just go with the flow i say!



  10. I get tired (not tired "of", just tired) reading judgemental posts, be they about mommy stuff or non-mommy topics. almost physically tired; drained, really.

    And there're a whole lot out there of the "my way or the highway" sorts who seem to want to run everybody else down.

    whatever happened to "live and let live"? whatever happened to "variety is the spice of life"? whatever happened to being cool and letting things, and people be? whatever happened to acceptance?

    or are we seeing the evolution of a very insecure breed that likes to see its prototypes everywhere? do we need others to follow our way of living to justify our following it?

    thats why i love your blog. oh well, thats just one reason.

    sorry for rambling.

  11. Hi,
    I am with my kid 24 hrs a day and still face many of the comments that you do.Chill and ignore them. You have to live your life and make your choices.So do what makes you happy.
    Reading your post i wanted to tell you a lot of things which would have made too long a comment so I thought i'd do a post on it :-)
    You can read it at:

    and till then Live for the moment!

  12. I get what you are saying...there are some who judge others but do the same thing for their convenience and feel what they are doing is right....

    And there are a whole bunch of people who just nod and cheer for these judgements..

    Am a full time working mom to a 2 yr old and in the US. So do not have the luxury of getting help...but if I had I wold have loved to get some help..

    Take care and dont give too much thought to these what is best for you and enjoy


  13. Darn that Parul! She said just what I wanted to say and much better than I ever could :(

  14. I click 'back' and go away when i come across the 'How can they....' posts. And there are many.

    And I loved Rohini's 'judgemental' post. She was so aware of what she was doing and analysed and mocked it. Self-reflexivity at its best.

    You, keep that wry tone in your posts. Thats why I come for more. Not so I can nod my head in agreement about those 'bad' mothers.

    I love the universe you create in your blog.

  15. Y-love, how does it matter that people you don't know do things differently?

    I'm no mommy blogger but if I ever made you feel judged, I can promise you it wasn't deliberate. I'm too engrossed trying to chart my own course to take issue with anybody else's choices.

    And if somebody else made you feel this way, they are twits!

  16. The best advice I ever got was from a dear family friend who incidently also delivered my baby. She told me that on this journey of motherhood I will have to make choices all the way .And while I'm making those choices, to always remember that my son needs a happy mother more than a perfect mother.

    If you are happy and guilt free your child will sense it and imbibe the same security.

    Since then I actually don't care what people say. Different strokes for different folks. In my life , I call the shots and my decisions are based on my personal experience and in the best interests of my family.

    This statement alone has given me the conviction and strength to make some important and unconventional decisions for my future. And although I'm not sure how things will eventually turn out, I am assured in the knowledge that I'll have done the best.

    And as for what others have to say about this, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!"

  17. I have never really understood why working moms get so worked up when they read about a mom who has given up work and is a SAHM. Everybody has their own reasons for what they are doing, and if a person is happy with her decision then she shouldn't be bothered about what other people have chosen to do. Why should anyone feel guilty or angry?

  18. I could have written this myself, its so true. I feel DITTO. And in a very loser way I go back to the 'Judgmental Mommy Blogs' again and again to check if I am being judged some more for traveling over the weekend, for my girls night out, for my not so perfect house and not so perfect diction...sometimes I get so pissed reading what I do about not being the pin up mommy of the blogworld that I wow never to read those blogs again..until next time. LOL

  19. Wow! I guess all that has to be said has been said and then some more. First off, am glad you are not worried and you shouldn't be. Everybody (child or mother) has their own pace of adjusting to the real world. So, while we do all agree that it is not important for every (read "my") baby to take the first step at 8 months or speak sentences at one year, I do not understand why we (read some) get hyper when a mom does not return to work in the first year. Sack out and fikar nako :)
    - Meera

  20. alright :) my comment was too long so i posted intead!

  21. Y, i think we're judgemental as a society in general. I mean, when was the last time someone in the neighbourhood did something out of the norm and no one commented on it. I think as moms we just feel the burden of all that judging because we're cnstantly judging ourselves...What matters end of the day is how you feel about your choices because it's such an individual thing, the choices and trade-offs we make...As long as you feel fine, or even if you sometimes question your choices, it's all ok.

  22. Hi Y,

    I don't think you should care for what other people are saying or long as your kids are happy....

    I have always taken a stand that I believe in and I think this is what matters. Conviction in one's belief is what matters most. I don't care what other people have to say...... I love that line from the song from film Arjun- "Dunia maney bura to golee maro".......

    Coming back to the post that elicited this response from you, I think no one has any business to make fun of anyone's parenting. It is all about raising the kids in the manner one thinks best for them. If some people are capable of extracting 48 hours in a 24 hours day, its fine.....not all can do that and it won't lessen/increase their role as a parent...

  23. oh u know i was nodding to each point, we are and we do judge a lot much more than its required
    brilliant post

  24. So true and so well written. this is so much concise and easier to read.

    I am a mom and I am judged at all times and heck I judge other moms too...all the time. But I also realized a few months ago that I am a working mom because I cannot afford to give my little one the luxuries I dream of giving her if I stayed at home. As much as I envy the ones that stay at home, now I have made peace with it.

    And I always wonder...WHO IS A PERFECT MOM?

    I think i judge myself more against what other moms do to their kids and what I do not and feel more guilty...i think guilt is ok as long as we resolve it :)

    Nice one...made me rethink.

  25. i think we all make our choices, and we know what our intentions are when we make them. if our choice has not been made keeping the kid first, we know that too. we may not want to accept it, but we know it.

    finally, it comes down to not what anyone else says, but our own guilt at knowing that we are not living up to our own higher self.


Hi there. Go on, say it. Well? WELL?