There is a woman I can't help but judge.
It's the way she raises her voice and lets her short-temperedness show. It's they way she scowls and screws up her face when she's irritated by little things. It's the way she snaps orders when she's in a rush.
There's a woman who I can't help but think could do things better.
It's the way she doesn't really finish one job before starting the next. It's they way she never has time for anything and is always doing too many things at once. It's the way she's too forgetful.
There's a woman who I watch with her children.
She struggles to find enough one-on-one time with them. She lets little things get to her, like when they dawdle on the school run or don't listen to her instructions for them to get their shoes for the tenth time. She sighs at them when they won't eat their lunch and bribes them with chocolates in the supermarket queue. She leaves her toddler to watch YouTube while she feeds her baby dinner, she sits him in front of the TV while she settles her baby at nap time.
It doesn't matter that on some days there's not a harsh word spoken. It doesn't matter that on some days she's not late for the nursery drop-off. It doesn't matter that on some days both kids have a balanced diet. It doesn't matter that on some days everything goes to plan.
This woman still doesn't escape my judgement.
It doesn't matter that her children are happiest when they are with their mummy. It doesn't matter that she can wipe away her children's tears with her smile. It doesn't matter that by holding them in her arms she can soothe them and calm them. It doesn't matter that her cuddles and kisses are sometimes the only thing in the world her children need.
I still judge the woman in the mirror.
Which doesn't make sense does it? Because I look at other mothers and watch them in awe. Because I know that every one of us who is trying our best for our kids is doing the right thing. Because I believe that judgements are harmful and unhelpful. Because I know not everyone gets it right all the time.
But that doesn't change that the one woman I always judge is me.
Why? I know that my babies are happy. I know they are stimulated and entertained and brilliantly looked after and content and constantly offered new experiences and given so much attention and offered a balanced diet almost every day.
Yet I still find fault. I don't give myself a break.
I think we all do this a little don't we? We believe vehemently in not judging others. We know how tough this is and that we are all only human. Yet we still continue to find faults in ourselves.
I judge myself harshest when it comes to mothering. What I need to do though, is try to recognise the good things too.
To constantly strive to be a better mother isn't a bad thing. I want to frown less. I want to smile more during a day with my children. I want to have more patience. I want to say no less. I want to give them my undivided attention and not be distracted when we play. I want to do all of this thing that is motherhood better. Why? Because above all I want to be the best I can be for them. They are the ones who this is all for.
But at the same time, I need to see the good things that happen to us every day. I need to see the happiness in my daughter's smile and know it is there because of me. I need to feel my son's complete unconditional love when he holds his arms tightly around me, and know that it is there for me. I need to recognise all of the things I am doing well, and know that the other things will come.
I will always judge myself harshest when it comes to what I do with and for my children. It's time though to start seeing the good as well.
Kiran Chug blogs at Mummy Says.Suggest a correction