I've been blogging about my life as parent since 2007, so I'm pretty immune to all the mom shaming at this point. You kind of have to be, when haters show up on the daily to take you to task for everything from the fact that you gave your kids cake for breakfast and bought your 10-year-old a cell phone, to the fact that you named your son after a character on 90210. Oh, and apparently I also have fat fingers. Oooh, burn!
Turns out, I'm far from alone in feeling the critical wrath of random strangers. Because according to Tuning In: Parents of Young Children Tell Us What They Think, Know and Need, a national survey of 2,200 parents with kids ages 5 and under conducted by the Zero to Three Organization and the Bezos Family Foundation, almost all parents feel judged, all the time.
You heard me. A staggering 90 percent of moms and 85 percent dads reported feeling judged—and almost half of them said they feel like their parenting skills are being critiqued nearly all the time!
So where is all this judgment coming from?
Strangers in the community top the list of judgy people for moms, followed by other parents, other family members, and then in-laws. (Gotta admit, I'm kind of surprised that last one there didn't rank higher, aren't you?)
Interestingly enough, the only time the dads admitted to feeling more scrutinized than then moms, was when that judgment was coming from mom herself!
Which basically means we're all a bunch of hypocrites.
I know I'm guilty of being all judgy sometimes, even as I complain about being unfairly raked over the coals myself. And that brings up a good point: If we hate the feeling of being sized up, why are we so quick to condemn other parents whose opinion and practices are different from our own?
It shouldn't really matter how another mom or dad chooses to, say, feed their kid or what their bedtime is, should it? I mean, we're all just trying to do our best here to make it through the day. Do we all make mistakes from time to time? Of course! We should remember that other parents are a lot like us. In fact, the survey revealed that parents are in agreement about a lot of the same struggles.
Interestingly enough, despite the perpetual feeling of being assessed, the vast majority of those surveyed still reported feeling like they're somehow getting this whole raising kids thing right. Eight out of 10 parents agreed with the statement: "I feel as if I'm a really good parent," and nine out of 10 said parenting is their greatest joy.
Take that, haters!