Not so long ago I read a quote that really shook my perspective on judgment. I guess I was at that point where I was ready for a little shake-up and a dash of an aha moment all wrapped into one. This quote was it for me.
Now I freely admit it, I was her. You know the ‘her’ I’m talking about – Ms Judgy McJudgerson. I was that mumma who wondered how the heck other mothers could leave the house without their nappy bag and why parents would feed their kids take-away for dinner most nights of the week.
Now, before you go running for cover and thanking your lucky stars that you’ve never run into me on the streets, I was never ‘that person’ who is widely inappropriate, dropping judgment bombs and scolding looks wherever they go. Truth is, my friends who will read will be rather surprised (and slightly horrified) to learn this. I never shared these judgments but I sure did think them. I think, if we’re honest, we all have.
Related: 10 Signs You Might Be a Sanctimummy
So, getting back to the simple quote that really hit my core, I want to share it because it’s one that I believe we should all think about every single day.
“You have no idea what the heck is going on behind closed doors.” And boom! Those few words changed me forever. I realised I’d been judging the outtakes, not the full story.
The reason that mum was late and forgot her nappy bag? Her babe probably hadn’t stopped crying all morning and truth is, it was the eighteenth morning in a row she’d woken at 4am to three hours of solid screaming. She’d decided to push herself and go for a walk and was amazed she’d even remembered to put shoes on, let alone grab the baby (and his inherent paraphernalia) and make it outside.
As for the nightly takeaways, well that mumma’s husband might be seriously ill and she’d been picking up some food on the way home so she could get the kids fed, into bed and then help her man. Or maybe she’s a working mother who’d rather spend time playing Yahtzee with her kids than slaving in the kitchen. Or maybe she does a week of takeaways once a year as a special family treat. Or maybe… maybe anything. All I needed to know was that I didn’t get to watch the full movie so I had no right drawing conclusions from the snippet that I saw.
I had no idea what the heck was going on behind closed doors.
Boy did those very few words make me eat my own. I stopped, took stock and gave myself a seriously hard reality check in the face. Now I beg you to do the same. Please, if you catch yourself starting to judge a fellow mum (or father or anyone else for that matter), just stop. Stop and think about what their story might be. Heck, why not remind yourself about closed doors out loud if it helps to turn your internal dialogue off?
This super simple change of mindset will benefit everybody – trust me when I say that your health and happiness will be a WHOLE lot better for turning your big compassion love switch on. It’s not our place to judge others, but it is definitely our place to judge ourselves.
Have you fallen into the trap of judging the outtakes too?
More mum confessions from the frontline:
- Why I Refuse To Be the Perfect Mum
- My Toilet-Trained 2-year-old is Not an Attack on You
- Is it Really That Bad to Yell at Your Kids?