How Not Worrying About Being Judged Helps Me Parent Better

Yesterday we all headed to town for various appointments and errands.  When we got home our grocery shopping for the week (which is pretty significant for a family of 6) was spread out across the counter.  There were two baskets of unfolded laundry on one of the living room couches and general chaos was starting to break out around me.


Small children have very little ability to assess a situation before they demand that their basic needs are met.

Once the baby was fed and tucked in for a nap and the 5 year old was sufficiently occupied, I dove into the laundry.  Feeling heavy from the disorder around me I let out an irksome groan.

The 11 year old, miraculously picking up on the fact that I needed some help with disaster relief, joined me in folding.  He looked at me with his precious smile and said “It’s not THAT bad.”

He was right 

I suffer from overwhelm often enough that it is a burden. If my house has that extra lived in appearance (like where crap is piled on every surface, the dishes are all dirty, and the floor looks like there was a toy store plus mud explosion and maybe some honey and soup decided they wanted to join the party too) I start to meltdown in the wax crayon being attacked by a blow dryer sorta way.

These nasty voices ambush me from all sides.  They say things like:

“Other people have it waaay more together than you do.”

“What would someone think if they came knocking at your door right now?”

“If people knew the truth about you, they would think you were gross.”

The voices shame all over me.  They make me panic.  What if someone did come to the door?  They make me forget that my house being a disaster isn’t an always thing.  And then they wage war on other tender areas of my life.

“Your kids haven’t practiced piano in 3 days.”

“Have you even fed them a vegetable this week?”

“What kind of mother are you?”

For the love I’m doing the best I can right now!  Just give me a chance to prove myself to you and I will!

But wait I don’t have to prove myself ! I am enough! I am totally 100% enough. And I’ve spoken the truth. I really am doing the best I can.

It’s hard.  So hard.  But I need to remember that there are no judges lurking in the shadows waiting to condemn me.  Anyone who might come to my door has probably had days where their lives have totally gone to pot too.

There are no judges lurking in the shadows.

It’s something I have been learning to say to myself when I feel like an utter failure.

We all do once in a while don’t we?

It’s not a problem that we feel this way, as long as we learn to bounce back and be resilient to the voice of B.S.

I need to listen to the wisdom of my first born.  A messy house is not that bad.  I even have tools for tackling all of the disorder.  I just need to remember to use them.

When I pause for a moment, I can look around and remember, my children’s hearts (and healthy brain development) are more important than being able to see the carpet.

I am able to remind myself that this is a solvable problem and each of us has skills and ideas to offer.

My family is for me not against me.  We want to see each other be happy, healthy and encouraged.

The messes don’t need to cause stresses.

Honestly if there is anyone out there who might be obsessing over my messes, STOP. Not for my sake but for your own.  Don’t let it have so much power over you.

For now I am going to assume that nobody is thinking about my laundry piles and dirty dishes so I can convince my lizard brain that there are no critics waiting to pounce on me.

There are no judges lurking in the shadows.

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