Are mums too judgemental?

Last Thursday, Peaches Geldof, mum to four month old Astala, was pushing her son in his pram when the uneven pavement caused the pram to tip forwards. Little Astala toppled out before being scooped up by his mum.

Peaches Geldof, Astala, Peaches' pram tips up, Olive and Moss

The first thought that went through my mind when I saw the photos was “Ooh, she’s got an Olive & Moss Louis the Lion blanket – cute!”

The second thought that went through my mind was “Eek, Peaches didn’t even put her phone down while rescuing her baby from the ground?”

And then it got me thinking – judgemental much? Us mums make snap judgements about our friends and about people we don’t know all the time. ALL the time. During today, I heard various mums say things like “She probably wasn’t concentrating – she was chatting on the phone while pushing him”, “The baby wasn’t even strapped into his pram”, “She has one of those trendy flimsy prams” and “She didn’t even drop her phone to pick him up”.

But here’s the thing – all of those things could well be true, but what does it matter? It doesn’t make Peaches a bad mum and it could easily have happened to me or you. In the heat of the moment, we do daft things, and Peaches may well have thought afterwards “I can’t believe I didn’t just drop my phone”.

We’ve all been on the receiving end of judging glances and comments. When my daughter was around 15 months old, I sat her next to me in Pret A Manger, turned away for a split second to grab a toy from the buggy, and she fell head first under the table. She screamed and cried, I picked her up and gave her kisses and cuddles, and the packed-out cafe collectively turned towards me and telepathically said “Bad mother. Everyone knows you don’t even turn your back for a second.”

So if we’ve all been on the receiving end, why are we still so judgemental? Ooh, her child watches too much TV. They both work full time, poor child stuck in nursery so much. Have you seen the designer clothes they dress their baby in? She didn’t breastfeed. They weaned their baby at four months – four months! Have you heard the way she talks to her toddler – she used the ‘naughty’ word.

Enough. Enough with the judging. We’re all just trying to muddle along and do the best we can. Let’s be supportive of each other. *Group hug*



  1. Dean Hayes
    September 10, 2012 / 9:10 pm

    Yes we have all made mistakes when looking after our kids but we hold our hands up and learn from the. She chose to lie about strapping the baby in, check the initial tumbling pic, the groin strap is below that pointlessly expensive blanket and so therefore impossible to be correctly connected to the shoulder straps. She also tried to excuse the phone call stating it was her fiance. So. Why does that mean you should pay more attention to your phone and animal print bags than your now helpless child? She needs to stop making excuses and take responsibility for her own mistakes. Yes she would have still received hateful tweets but she could have held her head high and admitted she was in the wrong. Celebs clearly value their own public image more than that of their children. Sadly the term “celebrity” is now so undervalued that talentless ex-junkies who are able to buy clothes in trendy shops can wear it (and make a living off of it) as a badge of honour. Sad really.

    • notanothermummyblog
      September 11, 2012 / 7:32 am

      Hi Dean, Thanks for your comment – I can tell it’s something you feel strongly about. My post isn’t really about whether Peaches behaved rightly or wrongly, it’s about why we choose to judge mums all the time. Regardless of what she subsequently posted on Twitter, we don’t know what she’s really thinking/what happened and I guess it doesn’t really matter – she’s Astala’s mum and as long as she knows why she reacted in the way she did, that’s all that matters.

      You say: “Celebs clearly value their own public image more than that of their children”
      Obviously I can’t speak for Peaches but I’d be really surprised if this applies to any celeb mum or dad.

  2. September 11, 2012 / 6:29 am

    I must admit that when I saw this story doing the rounds yesterday, the first thing I thought was why was she still on the phone?! But then a split second later my thoughts turned to why on earth was a photographer standing back snapping away and not helping the poor woman?! I was quite shocked by some of the judgmental comments I saw on Twitter I think it’s so sad that so many are quick to judge – and judge so harshly too. Accidents do happen – to all of us! I’m just glad that the baby was okay. That’s all that matters of course 🙂

    • notanothermummyblog
      September 11, 2012 / 7:34 am

      I can’t believe the photographer didn’t help too.

      I know he/she has a job to do and bills to pay but surely the wellbeing of a baby is more important than that?

  3. Emma
    September 11, 2012 / 9:34 am

    But why lie? Why blame the pavement & photographers when she’s clearly the one at fault. I think I would of had more respect for her if she held her hands up and admitted to not strapping him in.

    If she had strapped him in like she said then she should be blaming the pram makers not the rest of the world. She obviously didn’t think her cover story through.

    • notanothermummyblog
      September 11, 2012 / 9:43 am

      Lying about it obviously isn’t the right thing to do – but would she have to even have a cover story if other mums (and everyone else) didn’t judge her in the first place?

      Should mums be able to make mistakes, feel terrible about them, and move on without having to justify what happened to everyone else?

  4. Dan
    September 11, 2012 / 9:57 am

    I think if we all led that level of scrutiny, most would be found guilty of a unpleasant parenting moment.

    Who really would want to be a ‘celeb’?

    • notanothermummyblog
      September 11, 2012 / 12:07 pm

      Agreed. I took my toddler out for a walk last weekend without her reins and she nearly darted out in front of a (slow moving) car. If a pap had been taking photos and they were published in a newspaper, I’d be public enemy number one.

  5. September 11, 2012 / 9:59 am

    I did not see this story yesterday and pleased about it as it should be a non-story. Strapping tightly is one of my thing, but then I’m sure I do a million other things wrong. I agree with Mostly Yummy Mummy, what is the photographer doing instead of helping? and why should this be a story? If only we could all live and let live. wouldn’t that be nice?

    • notanothermummyblog
      September 11, 2012 / 12:10 pm

      It would be so nice. Sadly, as I admitted in my post, I’m as judgemental as the next person, but I think I’ll try hard not to be from now on.

  6. Fiona Murphy
    September 11, 2012 / 10:10 am

    As soon as I saw this photo it made me feel sick. Not just because I saw that poor little bubba on the floor, and my hormones went in to over drive worrying about his safety, but because it reminds me of the time my daughter fell off my bed (we have all been there!) and the rush of guilt and panic that sets in. You don’t think straight, you act quickly and torture yourself afterwards with the “if only I didn’t… I am such a bad mum…” you learn something new every day being a mum and you don’t need people judging you, when you judge yourself all the time.

    • notanothermummyblog
      September 11, 2012 / 12:12 pm

      I think all mums probably had the exact same reaction – that horrible feeling of your stomach dipping – imagining it to be your child.

      And you’re so right, we judge ourselves every day, don’t we? We’re our own worst enemies!

  7. Nic
    September 11, 2012 / 11:15 am

    I don’t think it’s unfair to judge her for not strapping the baby into the seat – I would judge anyone that did that the same way, “celebrity” or not. We all do our very best to care for our children as best we can and you can’t stop accidents happening, but a simple thing like using the restraints provided in a car seat or buggy would save so many accidents happening. It’s the same as when I see children unrestrained in a car, it makes me really angry because it really doesn’t take any time at all to make sure they’re safe and one sharp brake and they’re through the windscreen. I wouldn’t judge mums for many things, God knows I’ve made enough mistakes myself, (I hit my son on the head with the boot of the car and sent him to A&E a couple of months ago…) but this was a bit of a schoolboy error for Peaches really.

    • notanothermummyblog
      September 11, 2012 / 12:15 pm

      I hadn’t realised it was a car seat until you pointed it out. I totally agree and I take safety so seriously (I wouldn’t even let my daughter go in a 6 year old car seat recently) but noting that she could have/should have strapped him in is different to actually judging her for it.

  8. Transatlantic Mom
    September 11, 2012 / 1:17 pm

    It must be horrible to have paparazzi hanging around ready to snap your worst parenting moments.

  9. Emma Clement
    September 12, 2012 / 9:55 pm

    I don’t really follow much celeb gossip and I wouldn’t have recognised her if she passed me by but that’s just since becoming a mum! The pre-mum me relished celeb gossip particularly fashion based gossip!
    I’m sure if there was even the slightest hint of damage to the baby, she would have put that before anything else – it’s surprising what babies can sleep through, I bet he didn’t even notice!
    I think we like to judge – particularly celebs, to make ourselves feel superior and better.
    I bet she wins celeb mum of the year award after this!
    I can’t believe nobody helped her though – celeb or not!

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