Feeling Judged As A Mom

The weather is getting warmer, and the clothing is getting scarce. When the weather reaches 70 degrees, my kids shed their cotton exterior like it’s their moulting season. They ditch the shoes, they unravel the garden hose, and they begin making the signature dish of summer. Mud soup. Water and dirt are lovingly mixed in a yellow plastic bowl, with sticks and leaves added only after the consistency is just so.

I love this time of year, but it also makes me apprehensive. Is this the year? Has the time come for me to tell my daughter that she’s finally too old to run around with her shirt off like the boys do?

I don’t want to have that conversation. She’s turning four, and is still a little girl. From waist to shoulders she looks just like the boys do, and if it’s fine for them to be shirtless, it should be fine for her, too. But what will other people say? I like to believe I don’t care what other people think about my parenting choices, but when it comes down to it, that simply isn’t true.

I do care. I want people to look at my children and my choices and approve. I want my parenting style to be validated, so I seek out friendships with women who support me and support my lifestyle. Because when it comes down to it, while I will make concessions to accommodate the comfort and sensibilities if we have house guests, or we are house guests, I cannot and will not raise my children in a way that isn’t right for our family, just because someone else thinks that that I should.

If this means a friend, family member, or neighbor thinks it’s wrong for my four-year-old daughter to play in the front yard with her shirt off, or to not wear a coat at the park; or for my son to swim in some puddles back when he was two, or still take his favorite stuffed owl to the store when he’s six, then that’s on them.

Families can be different and still be okay, and I have enough people surrounding me who make me feel supported.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.