No matter what you do as a parent, one thing is certain: Someone, somewhere, is judging you for it.
The TODAY Parenting Team has been talking about mom judging all week long; on Tuesday morning, we brought that conversation to New York City with a parenting team breakfast discussion, moderated by TODAY’s Sheinelle Jones and featuring panelists Hilary and Haylie Duff, partners with Similac’s Sisterhood of Motherhood, which sponsored the event; TODAY anchor Jenna Wolfe; TODAY Parenting Team editor Rebecca Dube; and psychologist Dr. Shefali Tsabary, author of the best-seller “The Conscious Parent.”
We all agreed that mom judging hurts and we want to end it — but how?
1. Recognize what it's really about.
"Don’t use your children to fill your inner lack. This is not their war. Don’t use them to finish your unfinished inner business. I think this mommy judgment comes from a place of inner scarcity, inner lack." Dr. Shefali Tsabary, clinical psychologist, author and mother of a 12-year-old daughter.
2. Have compassion for the judger.
"The person who is judging you is really coming from a real place of lack." Dr. Shefali.
3. Have compassion for yourself!
"My harshest mommy judge is me... If I can be kinder to myself, that gives me the strength to be kinder to others." Rebecca Dube, TODAY Parenting Team editor and mom of Elijah, 5, and Joseph, 2.
3. Dads: Here's how you can help
"He let me be right for a little bit. It was the best thing he could have done for me. However you feel, whatever you want to try, he was just on my team. I think for me, that was the best way he could support me." Actress and "The Real Girl's Kitchen" host Haylie Duff, mom of 4-month-old Ryan, on her fiancé Matt Rosenberg.
4. Listen to your heart... not the haters.
"We are all a work in progress! No one has it figured out, no one has all the right answers, no one ever has and no one ever will. So if you can go to sleep at night knowing you did the best you can, you loved your kid with everything you’ve got in your heart, regardless of what every other human says, writes or thinks about you, then guess what? You’re doing it right. And who cares what anyone else thinks?" TODAY Lifestyle and Fitness Correspondent Jenna Wolfe, mom of 2-year-old Harper and 7-month-old Quinn.
5. Understand that mom judging hurts...
“We’re tough as nails, but we’re soft inside and it hurts.” Actress and singer Hilary Duff, mom to 3-year-old Luca.
6. And take responsibility for your own part.
"I'm going to leave here today taking responsibility for what I put out into the world, what comes out of my mouth, and the way that I judge people." Haylie Duff.
7. Use social media wisely.
“Social media can be the poison, but it can also be the antidote because it has the power to connect us.” Rebecca Dube.
8. And remember, life is a highway
“We are in different lanes, but we are all on the same highway.” TODAY weekend anchor Sheinelle Jones, mother of 3-year-old twins and a 6-year-old son.
Want to share your own thoughts on mom judging, and more? Join the TODAY Parenting Team community... because we're all in this together.