Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Mother’s Judgments

Before I became a mother I was so naive. My pride would have told you otherwise, I would have proudly told you that I was ready and capable and knew exactly what was about to happen. I knew my children would never be perfect (no child is), but in no way was I ready to have a little being control all aspects of my life. I was determined teach them “right” before they ever got to the disobedience phase in life. Not like all those other mothers I had judged in my past. No, not I… I would have my kids under control and as close to well behaved as possible!

I was convinced that I had this whole mothering thing down and I knew exactly what I was and WASN’T going to do with my children. I would look at other moms with their children and secretly judge them. I even secretly judge my OWN mom and how she raised us and told myself all the things I would never do with my own kids.

For some strange reason at the ripe old age of 25, I thought I was more brilliant than all of the “experienced” mommies out there. Looking back, I can see how some of them may have made the same judgments before they had their own children. I’m ashamed to even admit it! If a child was acting out, I would tell myself I would have done something different to punish that rebellious, annoying child. If I knew a friend that had out spoken child and would be a disturbance while out… I would find some stupid reason to get out of hanging with them that day until they had someone else to watch their kid. I have come to find out that today it appears I’m reaping all my judgments that I placed on all these other mommies who were just doing their best to raise their child.

Lord, I was so wrong! No child comes with a manual and every child comes with their own sets of genetics, temperaments, will and drive. And usually it takes TIME to work those things out and learn who your child really is and will become. You don’t really know your child or who they are going to be after being out of the womb for only 2 months; they are an ever growing person that is learning the ways of the world. It’s hard to see that even at such a young age you can see the sinful nature that we were all born with starting to rear its ugly head.

I didn’t start seeing the effects of my judgments until Jayden turned two. I felt that Jayden was a VERY good baby. He was great at eating, slept through the night at almost 2 ½ months and was pretty calm most of the time. He even took teething and potty training like a champ. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. But as soon as he hit his terrible-two’s, I started to see more and more of an attitude and personality that was telling us that he was ready to show us more about who HE REALLY was. Pushing his boundaries, speaking out with an attitude often using that dreadful word “No”, finding more of his independence that I just wasn’t ready for; nor was I ready for all the dirty looks and questioning mothering techniques that I was so generous enough to give other 3 years earlier.

At times I feel so alone, like no one seems to understand me. I find that friends that use to love hanging out with me… no longer have the desire because it can be too stressful. I find myself in the same boat I placed other mothers in not too long ago. I am the mother of an amazing 2 ½ year old little man who is exerting every ounce of independence as loudly and frequently as possible. From what I have read this behavior is COMPLETELY normal, but I have come to understand how annoying it can be to others at times, especially if they don’t have a little one of their own. There are days that are so tiring and frustrating, but there is always something that God gives me to make it that much better.

So here I am today, pride broken and shattered on the ground. I am not the mother I thought I would one day be… PERFECT. I had no right to judge all of those other mothers. I didn’t understand what all they were dealing with or what was coming my way. They were only doing their best, just as I am today.

Have you seen the same judgments play out in your life as I have?

25 comments:

Emily said...

at least for me, not being judgmental is something I struggle with on a daily basis. And it seems so easy to recognize faults and mistakes when you're on the outside not living the day to day life. From one unperfect mother to another, I'm soooo glad for my Savior's grace!

Jennifer said...

It sounds like this is one of the steps in the journey of motherhood. Messing up and learning from your mistakes. I can't imagine how hard it must be at times, but it's a blessing that you are able to have this attitide about it all! You're a fantasic mother!!!!

SassyTimes said...

I think every mom has been there - esp. before becoming a mother. No one can tell a first-time mom what it's really like. Everyone needs to learn for themselves.

Don't be so hard on yourself. You are a great person and a great mom.

Ashley @ KiwisandCocktails said...

aw, so sorry!
I even fail miserably when I babysit, so I cant imagine how bad of a mother I will be! haha. BUT seriously, 2 is the toughest age isnt it? Dont be so hard on yourself!

Brodricks said...

I have a 2 1/2 y/o bro-in-law so I look at it and say that I will do things differently. And then I think that God will be laughing as mine are doing the same thing! lol Thanks for following me and congrats on the niece! She is beautiful!

Lauren said...

I love how we always think about how we would do things differently when we're on the outside looking in. As not yet a mother, I know there are plenty of things I THINK I know about being a mom...most of them probably won't turn out how I think they should/would/could.

Shannon said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! :)
This is a great post by the way. I think that everyone judges even if they don't mean too. But I understand what you are going through with your 2 1/2 year old and you are NOT alone! Thanks for being so honest.

Mama Dub said...

Funny you say that. I know exactly what you mean. I would look in judgement at many things other moms did and would swear to myself I would never do them. Already I am finding that I have broken my own rule... and I'm ok with that. I have figured out that you just learn as you go. EVERY SINGLE CHILD is different! :)

Eclipsed said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! I was the most amazing mom before I have kids. I'm learning now what it means to feel helpless and what it feels like to be the one who is being judged. I'll never judge another mother, or father, again now that I'm on the other side of it. It's not easy. Hang in there hun...you are most certainly not alone.

Alicia said...

Awww!! Don't be so hard on yourself, my friend. I think at one time or another, all of us moms had that prideful attitude. But, the important thing now is that you know that none of us are perfect, and none of our children are.

morgan823 said...

I couldn't have written this post better myself. You said it all so well. I can remember saying all the things you did and it biting me on the butt now. Now when my girlfriends are pregnant for the first time and say these same things I laugh because I know that it too will pass and they'll see soon enough! You are not alone and Jayden is not anything other then a normal 2 1/2 year old. I promise...Emma pushes us to our limits everyday! :)

Trina said...

Absolutely. I think most of us before we become mommies think we can do better until we're in the middle of it to one degree or another.

JamiLynnKastner said...

Lyryn,

I GET you on this post.... COMPLETELY! I too even judged my OWN mother.... but that woman I judged, she always tells me something VERY wise... She tells me, "Jami, you are not raising successful children. You are raising successful adults." The things that drive us SO nuts in childhood: independence, stubbornness, mischief.... will make our babies SUCCESSFUL adults! Jayden may push boundaries and cure cancer. He may use his adeptness at saying "No!" to say "No!" to sin. His independence (although it may results in carpet stains and odd haircuts right now) will eventually make him a productive member of society.

Hang in their Lyryn and know, most of us you run into aren't judging you, we're looking at you and shoring ourselves up because we know our turn is just a breath away.... we may have the child calmly riding in the shopping cart right now, but ALL of us know that the red-faced child whose head is about to do a 360 is just a fraction of a breath away at any moment....

Love your heart my cyber friend....
Jami

Cara S. said...

Oh Lyr- I just wish I could hug you right now. This post made me so sad. I can tell you a million times over that you are an amazing mom, but you need to believe it more... because you so are. And Jayden is a wonderful, HEALTHY little ball of joy. His spirit is so awesome and his personality was God given and I assure you it will take him VERY far in this world. You need not compare yourself to any other mother, and you need not compare Jayden to ANY other child...boy, girl, 2 years old, or 12 years old. I can tell you that ALL mothers have their breaking moments with their children at some point, and if nobody else sees all the wonderful things you do for Jayden and all the wonderful values you are instilling in him...God does. He sees it all and He has given you the strength to parent Jayden the best way that JAYDEN should be parented...every child is different and their is no one size fits all for anything in regards to parenting! So chin up, and go give that little boy a huge hug, because his smile just melts my heart as I am sure it does to yours too!
Love you,
Cara

Rachel H. said...

I think that we all feel like this sometimes! Keep your head up! By the way, stop by my blog to enter in a baby/kid related giveaway! :)

Becky said...

I LOVE your blog! So glad you found me. The first post I read (this one) hit me right in the stomach! I am the same way! I am too judgemental! Even thought I don't have kids yet, I always comment on how I would do things differently and wouldn't let things happen. I guess I have some things to look forward to! Thanks for posting this and I can't wait to follow your blog.

Amber said...

I am right there with you on this! Jacob will be 3 this month and we still have our moments of outbursts and terrible behavior at the worst times possible. It will get better and just remember that you are doing the best you can and what other's think really doesn't matter. :)

Kameron said...

I think we were all the "perfect" mom before we had kids. If anyone says they never judged other, it would proabbly be a lie! I try to keep others in mind, but I now just parent my soon to be 3 year old to the best of my ability. It may not always be easy, pretty or clean, but I wouldn't trade it for the world!

The Booth Family said...

I think we all did this. I am glad you wrote this. I have had some tough days and I read blogs and think "wow" how do they always keep it together. Even though I wish you didn't have theses little problems it's good to know I am not alone :)

Rob said...

I can relate to everything you have said. Being a mother is the hardest job in the world, period!! Since I have 3 now it is always a event. Right when I think I have it all figured out, I don't!! You are doing a great job, 2 yrs old is the hardest period for me so far through all my kids. My boys are getting easier. Lauren is a complete handful right now, and some days I am just in tears because I am so worn out. You are a great mom!

Katie said...

THat last comment was from me Katie. I was signed in as my husand Rob, sorry (:

Ashley said...

I could have written this post myself! I was (before I became a mother), and sadly still am (now that I am a mother), so judgmental of other mothers. I struggle with this DAILY! I was so smug and sure that I had it all down long before my daughter even began to grow inside of me. Why, I nannied for FOUR kids for years and practically raised them, ONE baby would be a BREEZE... and I had the parenting thing ALL down! Boy was I sorely mistaken and humbled. My judgment of other mothers comes to me automatically, and how I try to catch myself! I think I fear other mothers' judgment so much too and that I feel almost like if I'm on the defense constantly I look like I have it together better. Sounds so silly and stupid now that I actually write it out, but it's true. I appreciate your realness and you are such an encouragement to me, as a mother and as a daughter of Christ!

{Kimber} said...

isn't it funny to think we had it all "figured out" hehe

Jin said...

Before I had kids, I was at McDonald's and saw that they had a special Happy Meal toy for children under 3, and I thought "who in their right mind would let their toddler eat McDonald's?!" Me. That's who.

Not only do you have to deal with different behaviors/moods/discipline styles of one child, it gets more complicated when you have more than one personality to deal with.

I know I've judged mothers on how they handle their kids, but I see people (women) jugding me at times. We are all going to do it. Maybe it's just a learning experience for everybody...

Ashley @ KiwisandCocktails said...

I am reaading through catching up.
AND, I dont have kids yet, but I do judge sometimes. But, not really the child's behavior...other things I see parents do. My friend's son just turned 3. She also has a 5, almost 6 year old. When the younger one was a baby and until he was about 2, we used to get lunch once a week almost every week. She would come meet me in town where I work and bring the 2 kids. Things were easy. THEN, the younger one got naughty in the restaurants. AND, I would get Embarrassed to be with them, but NEVER did I think my friend was doing something wrong or think she was a bad parent. I just assumed it was THAT child or it was EVERY child at that age. It was like one week to the next he got bratty and loud! ha I looked at my friend in awe that she had the patience to deal with it. We dont go to lunch often anymore- maybe once every 2 months and it is because she doesnt like to bring the young one to the restaurants...even if I beg her to come! So, as a non mom- I dont even blame the moms-I just feel for them!