Another thought on why we judge each other as moms, as dads, as parents.
I just read this huffingtonpost parents article on the topic. (BTW-Congrats to my bococa neighbor who just launched Huffpo parents as the Managing Editor!).
Having just being criticized for talking about allowing young kids to watch the occasional tv program, the author felt the elusive embrace and the intense wrath of the online comment community. And let me say, whether I like it or not, I am in her camp. Sesame street and coffee help us to get out of the house in the morning.
She decided to look into the reasons for why parents judge each other. Here were some of her main conclusions. We judge because…
- we have too many expectations and responsibilities to juggle
- it’s too hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes
- we are jealous
- it’s easier than dealing with what our kids are doing
- we are terrified we will make big mistakes
All true, and what resonated with me the most was this:
We judge because we are all unsure that we are actually doing this whole parenting thing correctly.
We want to look to others to see how they are doing horribly wrong, or perfectly. Consider the shock and sadness that came up for many with the recent divorce of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore. Many people felt betrayed, that their model for modern parenthood, and of modern marriage had cracked. I was never a huge Sonic Youth fan, but I felt it too.
We want to feel like someone is doing it right, be able to tell which is which and do what they are doing. Meanwhile, we forget that no matter how hard we try none of us can do this whole parenting, living and working thing correctly all the time. The more we talk openly about our challenges and the close the door to idealization and judgement the easier the shift to mutual support.