You’ve seen them, those kids throwing tantrums in the store or restaurant and the tired looking mother trying to defuse the situation. You probably even gave the whole situation a head shake or an eye roll.
Or, maybe you’re the in-laws or the friend who can’t understand why a mom never has makeup on and why she’s always late.
Perhaps you’re the spouse who can’t understand why your wife never has time to clean the house or … look sexy anymore.
Even if you don’t say it, moms feel every bit of your judgmental sigh, eye roll, tsk and thought that happens. And, it’s way more harmful to us than you think.
If you’re not a mom–or, if you’re a mom whose kids are grown and may have forgotten–it may be difficult to understand. But, I need you to try for a moment.
When you’re a mother, you feel guilt non-stop. I’m not talking about that fleeting, “Gee, was that the best thing?” thought. No, I’m talking about something that reaches in and clutches you in the gut, twists your insides and doesn’t let go. This happens about 3,722 times each and every day. (Ok, who knows how often, but it feels like that much.)
You see, we don’t need judgment from others because we are programmed to feel that we need to be perfect. We beat ourselves up enough for all of you combined. We spend our day feeling sub par on everything–how we look, how we’re never enough for our spouse or partner, how we suck at work, and, worst of all, how we are the worst mom in the world. Every single day, we stack up our inadequacies like tiny sugar cubes placed one on top of each other–the taller that stack gets, the more it starts to sway. Your judgment may just be the one that makes it completely topple.
You may think this is grossly exaggerated, but I assure you it’s not. (You’ll see from the moms that comment on this post when it’s published.) The majority of moms battle this all day, every day–the feeling that we’re not enough for anyone. Ever. Ask any mom and, if she’s being honest with you, she’ll tell you that she probably hides and cries about it a few times a month, or regularly spends time feeling significantly inadequate in all that she juggles.
So, the next time you want to give an eye roll, or a passive-aggressive snide comment about how the dishes aren’t done AGAIN, you may want to reconsider. We already know we much we suck. We truly don’t need others to validate that for us. Trust us.
Image:David Castillo Dominici