Those words ring all too familiar. Some of us have thought it, some have said it and others have even been the target of it.
The thing is, regardless of that particular woman’s actions prior to pregnancy, you have no clue what kind of mother she’ll be. That goes both ways. You can be a wonderful human being and not be the world’s greatest mom. You can also be a less than par human being and turn your whole world around for the sake of your child.
I live in a small town and around here almost every pregnancy becomes a big deal. Almost instantly you hear people spewing things about the woman’s age, relationship, past actions, current job, home life, etc. Then the inevitable, someone says it..maybe it’s even you, “she’ll be a horrible mother.” Based on what? Based on who she was in high school three or five or ten years ago? Based on the last time you saw her out at a bar? It’s all nonsense.
Just a few months ago I found out that someone I’m not very fond of is expecting and throughout a few conversations myself and others agreed she would be a bad parent. Last night, in the shower (where I do all of my best thinking and was questioning my own mommy skills) I realized that people probably had the same thing to say about me four, five years ago. I liked to party in high school, graduated but never went to college, worked in a pizza shop and lived with my parents. I wasn’t even in a steady (or real) relationship. People blindly took what they thought about me in high school and turned it into who they “knew” I would be as a mother.
Personally, I think that being a mom is something that I am very good at. I lose my temper sometimes and need a moment alone to collect myself. Once in a while I’m too tired for tubby time at the end of the day. My baby went to the baby sitter’s with mismatched socks today and my toddler sneaked a candy bar before breakfast yesterday. I’m not perfect but my kids come first and I have done and will continue to put my best foot forward for them every day for the rest of my life.
Thinking about how bad people made me feel with their judgement made me realize something. It’s never right to judge someone’s parenting before they’ve even held their child. I already try daily not to judge what other people do for their children, but it never really clicked that this was the same. In the moment that you first hold your brand new baby, everything changes for you. You change everything for that tiny, precious life. So to anyone I have judged (out loud or in my head) whether you know or you don’t, I’m sorry.