I have to admit, I don't think there is any worse occupation out there for receiving all sorts of critical judgment than being a parent.
I'm not sure why. You'd think being thrown head first into this overwhelming, thankless job called parenting, we would all bond together and support each other. You'd think we'd pat each other on the back, lift each other up.
Nope. Instead, we have judgment. We have criticism. We have pointing fingers and mommy wars.
A friend posted a parenting link on Facebook, and another sweet mama friend commented on it. "I worry that you more experienced mamas are secretly judging my parenting."
Now, this particular mama friend is the sweetest, patient, most kind and loving parent I've ever met. Every single interaction with her son is respectful and patient. She truly has nothing to fear of being judged as lacking in the parental department - yet she still occasionally feels this way.
Here's the thing. I've got some radical parenting ideas. Zero screen time, no spanking or time outs, no praise, never ever directing Cole's play... a lot of these things make people in contact with me roll their eyes or show their disagreement in some other way. Yes, its different. Yes, its unusual. Does that mean I'm judging you for parenting different than we do? Nope. This sort of parenting WORKS for us. It fits in with our personal beliefs of respectful parenting, of "Do unto others", of tolerance, independence, and fostering creativity. Maybe your values are different.
I like to compare parenting styles to religion. My personal beliefs about religion are tolerance: MY beliefs don't have to be YOUR beliefs. There's more than one right answer. I think the big picture is more important and valuable than getting hung up on the details. The same goes with parenting. Let's look at the big picture - there's more than one way to raise an amazing child.
Let's lift each other up in the long-haul marathon that is parenting, instead of tearing each other down.