Can You Judge A Book By Its Cover?


“Maa ke laad pyaar ne bigaada hai!!”

I am sure most of us have heard this comment or passed it on someone. What annoys me the most is is when people ask or discuss – “Is she a GOOD mother?” I want to ask everyone, what are the parameters of being a good mother? I mean who is the judge here? Is anyone eligible to do that? It is so easy for people to become judgmental. Had I been in such a situation, I would have done this and that and what not! If a mother is strict, people would comment how harsh she is and if she is lenient, the same people would blame her for all the bad habits in the child. If she leaves the baby at home with her grandparents or support staff, she is irresponsible and carefree and if she takes the child everywhere along, she is making him/her too clingy. In every phase of life, there are people who are ever ready to judge a mother as spectators!

I have been thinking about no longer judging a person lately and was wondering what a wonderful, freeing, improbable yet possible concept it is. ‘Improbable’ because judging others seems to be just human nature. Because snap judgments and negative thoughts seem like they are here to stay. I say ‘possible’ because we can totally choose to train ourselves toward empathy, kindness, and understanding towards all moms. At least we as mothers should stop being a critic!

Here are some reasons I can think about why we judge other moms:

-We have specific morals and values that others violate.
-We want to belong to a group or want to be accepted.
-We are insecure about our own parenting choices.
-We are human, and it is in our nature. To some extent, anyway.

I guess judging others deflects how we feel about our own mothering. It makes us feel better to put someone else down because if we put them down, then we become bigger. Plus, judging others can feel good. It’s easy and entertaining, creating a sense of belonging (think about how much easier it would have been to just smile on looking at a perfect mother-child pair).

If we’re honest – and this is hard for everyone, including me – most of us have done it at one time or another, even if it was done subconsciously. Even if we haven’t, then we’ve probably found ourselves judging the judges. I think there’s a big difference between judging and criticizing. Being helpful or supportive or suggesting other ways of doing something is always welcome. But as we know, every child is different, every situation is different, and so is every mother!

So I feel every mother is special. No mother would want to inculcate bad habits or negativity in her child. So, whether she is breastfeeding or formula feeding, if she is a cloth diapering mom or a disposable diapering one, a stay at home mom or a mom who works, a mother who gives her child home cooked breakfast or a mom who is busy someday and gives the child readymade healthy stuff, whether she is strict about late night parties and outings or cool about it, no one has the right to judge her. She knows the BEST and would always do her best, hoping for the best in her child.
And, to the moms or people who judge other moms for ANY of the above? Glass houses, friend. Glass houses!

I am Nitika Sipani, an interior designer by profession, full-time job as of now is that of a mother of a 2-year-old daughter (Myra) whom I dearly call ‘Little Miss M’! Of all the jobs till date, this one is the most challenging and every day is a new learning experience!! I enjoy writing and have developed it as a hobby, would like to become a freelance writer someday! You can connect with me on my blog: Juss lik dat.