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Judge not lest ye find yourself pummeled with a neighbor's gavel

July 2, 2010 - Betsy Bethel

It is so easy to judge.

It is so easy to sit smugly in judgment of the parents of the 16-year-old sailor who failed in her attempt to solo-sail around the world, the old women having babies in India and Europe, even the annoying mom at the local playground who is the self-proclaimed teeter-totter police.

After all, to be a mommy judge, you don't have to have an advanced degree; you don't have to go through the third degree by a congressional panel before assuming your seat; you don't even have to wear a black robe — although some of us wouldn't mind having a gavel to wave around!

Are you judging me already for picking on mommy judges? Read on.

I actually think moms are born to judge. To help our kids survive we must make judicious decisions every day. But I think when it comes to how we treat other moms, maybe we can tone it down a bit and keep it to "assessing" rather than taking it so far as judging.

Consider: If we didn't "assess" the decisions of other moms around us and make up our minds how we feel about those decisions, we might not ever discover our own sense of mommyhood.

I think our reactions to people like Octomom and Kate Gosselin and the snarky mom at the bus stop help polarize our own opinions and give us a better idea of who we are as moms ... if only by getting us to recognize who we DON'T want to be.

It can go too far, though. Forming an opinion is one thing. I say it's healthy to make up your mind about how you want to parent based on your experiences and the experiences of others. It's even great to discuss your feelings with your husband and/or close friends.

But gossiping and putting other people down is just another pail of diapers altogether.






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