Remember how random people started touching your stomach when you got pregnant?
I certainly do. Little did I know, this was just the tip of the iceberg as far as my personal space being invaded as a mom. As soon as I had my daughter, everyone had an opinion: about how to diaper my child, about what foods my child should eat and about what type of formula I should use.
Did you experience this?
For the first six months of my daughter’s life, I felt suffocated by the millions of conflicting and passionately held opinions that everyone freely shared with me. (How nice of them).
To be fair, I should mention that during this time, I had the MOST AMAZING people in my life who helped me through some of my darkest days of the postpartum process. I will never forget what they did for me. It truly wasn’t all bad.
Even so, as I continue on this journey as a mom, I still struggle with this issue. I often feel judged and questioned as a mom, which makes me feel angry, insecure and petty– none of which are character traits I seek.
Here are 4 Steps To Take When You’re Feeling Criticized:
1.Lower your defensiveness.
Let’s be honest– this is nearly impossible sometimes, especially ‘in the moment.’ There’s something fierce inside of us that emerges when people criticize us as moms– or heaven forbid– criticize our children. However, if you are able to step back for a moment when you are feeling this way, it will help you gain perspective and react appropriately.
2.Listen & evaluate.
Once you’ve calmed down a bit, think about the criticism. Is there any truth in it? Do they have a point or are they off base? Draw out the truths and drop the rest.
Remember: you have insight into your child– unlike any other person in the world, but you are also biased when it comes to your child too. Keep both perspectives as you evaluate. Consider the comments others make as just that– opinions. Carefully and humbly evaluate the situation.
3.Repeat after me: “I am the mom.”
If you’re a sensitive person like me, it’s easy to forget who’s really in charge. Just in case you forgot– it’s YOU.
4.Now, do what you believe is best.
Now that you’ve calmed down, separated the truth from the lies and established who’s the boss, raise your child how you believe is best for them! Remember what we learned in ‘Simple Mama’– you have the right to choose your own life.
If you harbor bitterness towards the criticizer, try to let that go; bitterness doesn’t look good on anyone. This will be a process that will take considerable work in your heart, but is worth the effort– especially for people you care about!
Remember to be kind, but don’t let people bulldoze you when it comes to your parenting.
Can you relate to this? If I’m being honest, I sometimes get stuck at #1! How about you? Do you ever feel this way? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for dealing with this in the comments below!
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