Do You Know Who Is Judging You?

Three-time Olympic gold medalist explains how to handle your critics.

Posted Jun 04, 2013

Jennings, who was the keynote speaker at a Strong Moms Empower conference in New York City, reflected on competition this way, “As an athlete, I remember having a turning point when I did stop comparing myself to everyone else. I still want to beat you! But I want to do it because I’m pushing myself to be the best. I don’t want to be better than you. I want to be better than I was yesterday. That’s how I look at motherhood, too.

“As a mom you’re faced with so many decisions every single day. I know that when I’m on the field and someone is loud and they’re aggressive I know they’re nervous and they’re insecure. So, when I have a mother who is coming at me I know where she is coming from. I know she’s insecure in herself and I will not allow her to put her issues onto me. Again, it serves a purpose, it absolutely helps me to take another look at what I’m doing but it doesn’t mean that I’m going to change what I’m doing. Maybe I’ll adjust it if I think she has a point, but I won’t let her shrink me by her judgments.”

95% of Mothers Feel Judged

Quite often, we feel insecure when we are being judged.A national study conducted by Mom Central assessed women’s experiences with motherhood. Ninety-five percent of them, all with children under the age of five, felt judged in some way. That is a startling number. The survey, although sponsored by Similac, looked way beyond the breast- vs. bottle-feeding debate.

The study found:

Of the 95 percent of moms who have felt judged or criticized for their parenting decisions: Moms feel most judged on decisions related to parenting approaches (79 percent), work (71 percent) and infant feeding (67 percent).

  • Parenting Approaches: Strict or Lenient – Moms Can’t Win


In regard to parenting approaches, moms felt most judged on: How they discipline their kids (56 percent); sleeping strategy decisions (53 percent); being too strict (33 percent), and spoiling (33 percent).

  • Breastfeeding and Formula Feeding Moms: Both Sense Judgment

Nearly nine in 10 moms (86 percent) have felt criticized for using infant formula while more than seven in 10 moms (75 percent) have felt criticism for breastfeeding.

  • Who is Judging Mom? Other Women.


77 percent of moms report feeling judged by fellow moms in person while 60 percent feel judged by other moms online. Additionally, 72 percent agree that women without children are also guilty of judging them.

Perhaps we should all adapt “a live and let live” attitude and practice it to become champions in our own right. Even pledge to do so.

Do you feel judged or criticized about your parenting decisions? Tell us which ones and by whom in the comment section below.

Copyright 2013 by Susan Newman