Monday, July 16, 2007

Critical Mamas

Why are moms so critical of other moms?

I was shopping at a consignment sale on Saturday. It was the early consignor's shopping time and this particular sale has a rule that no kids under 10 are allowed at the pre-sales. So I was digging through the clothes in Mara's size. The next aisle over was a baby just wailing. I couldn't see the baby over the rack but could definitely tell from the cry that is was a tiny one. I felt so sorry for the mom...I know how stressful it is to hear your little one not happy. I had no further gotten this thought through my head when I hear two ladies shopping beside me comment very rudely and loudly to each other, "So much for the no kids under 10 rule." "Guess she can't read." And I saw several other moms looking totally annoyed that this tiny baby was bothering them so much.

I don't know but can only speculate the circumstances for this mom having to bring her baby to the sale. Maybe she's a single mom and didn't have any family close to watch the baby. Maybe she's nursing and couldn't leave that baby for very long. Maybe her husband is in the military on a deployment to protect those ladies' right to sit in judgement of his wife.

I totally understand the rule of no children under 10 because there were hundreds of ladies in a pretty small space trying to sort through tons of stuff. It would be an absolute mad house if there were kids there running around, playing with the toys, or even sitting in strollers that clog the already cramped space. But a newborn baby in a sling is not going to change any one's shopping experience.

So back to my original question...why are moms so critical of other moms? I've caught myself several times thinking...."I can't believe she's feeding her baby that."...or "Why in the world did she dress her baby that way."...or "I can't believe that she's nursing her baby right there."....or even "That child is acting like a total animal, doesn't she have any control."

The same time I'm thinking these things my girls are eating cake for breakfast, wearing rain boots with their dresses (and it's not raining), and sometimes acting like total hoodlums in public. Oh ya, and I've nursed babies just about everywhere.

I think we can all agree that being a mom is not easy, no in fact it's down right hard and that's without any criticism. Add criticism and it can be nearly impossible.

I'm not sure why moms are so critical of each other, but this mom is definitely going to make a conscious effort to exchange my critical attitude for an understanding, merciful, and encouraging heart.



Lesley said...

I agree with you -- women can be the hardest on other women.

After yesterday's, sermon, I have decided to use my tongue for good, to uplift, and not tear down. Basically, give other people the grace I need. Something else to work on . . .

AutumnFawn said...

Very good word! We are critical for one b/c we are sinners, and two while we are tearing someone else down we are puffing ourselves up. Don't we all like to think we are better than someone else. I think in Hebrews it says something like... "And let us spur one another on toward love and good deeds." I remind my boys of that when they aren't doing a very good job of encouraging each other.

quanie said...

We moms need to cut each other some slack. It's tough raising children because we're all perfectly imperfect!

quanie said...

Yes, I've noticed the same where I live. As mothers, I think we all need to cut each other some slack. We don't know what someone's background has been or how they were raised nor do we know what someone's current situation is. It's sad and disheartening to know that we think that our was is the right way. It takes a sensitive heart to give every one the benefit of the doubt. It's hard to find other moms who aren't so harsh and critical of each other.