Aaah yes, the dreaded mummy judgement… We’ve all been there, whether it’s an online stoush with a sanctimommy, a sly jab from one of your in-laws or a verbal slapdown from a sprightly octogenerian when your three year old is screaming down the supermarket because you won’t buy him a Kinder fucking Surprise.
Being a mother is kind of like being a ninja, but rather than dodging nunchucks you’re constantly deflecting personal slurs and put-downs instead. The SWAGGER method demonstrates how you can defend yourself against mummy judgement:
S is for “Stop giving a shit what other people think”
If you’ve already mastered this step, then kudos: you have officially reached peak-SWAGGER. If – like the rest of us mere mortals – you have not quite reached this elusive level of not-giving-a-fuck, please read on.
As wonderful as it sounds, it’s hard to completely stop giving a shit what other people think of us, ‘cos it’s part of the human condition. We’re essentially herd animals, so that means we still care what Old Mrs Mangyface-Down-the-Road thinks of us, even though we know she hates everyone under the age of 73, votes for the Fred Nile party and believes that migrants are illegally trafficking human organs stolen from aged care facilities to fund terrorist groups in Puerto Rico.
W is for “Wanker. You are a total wanker”
Your first act of SWAGGER is to commit this special mantra to memory. If someone starts judging you, your first line of defense is to reframe the conversation using this jaunty mental refrain: “Wanker. You are a total wanker”.
Close eyes, breath deeply and repeat.
Try it. It feels nice.
A is for “Accept that judgement is inevitable”
Judgement is an inevitable part of life, because unfortunately we don’t live in some happy-clappy utopia with universal back-slapping and beatific hippies breaking into semi-regular rounds of “Kumbayah”. We have to learn how to deal with judgement, because wishing it away doesn’t work.
The trick is to remind yourself that the world is a big place, and it’s full of assholes. Judgemental, angry, stupid, assholes. They are on your computer. They are in your supermarkets. They are on breakfast television. They are in your Facebook feed.
Think about it for a second: if it’s just some random stranger, why do you even care what that idiot thinks of you? They don’t know you. They don’t know your kids. Hell, it’s highly likely they don’t even know how to correctly use the words “their” and “there” in a sentence.
Judgemental people in real life offer a greater challenge – and aren’t as easily despatched with a simple “point and click” like their online equivalents – but it certainly can be done.
G is for “Get some perspective”
People who make a habit of judging others do so because they are angry or unhappy or insecure about their own perceived inadequacies. Judging other people and putting them down makes them feel marginally better about their own shitty lives for a second, so it’s not even about you. It’s about them.
Happy, well-adjusted people don’t go around flinging judgemental crap at others for the brief surge of self-satisfaction it brings, and they certainly don’t feel threatened or invalidated when other people do things differently than they would.
So remember, anyone who judges you is a sad little teddy bear who needs to go straight in the fucking bin. Visualise the slam dunk. Then take out the trash.
And, if the judge-bot is unloading on you in real life, smile and nod and quietly repeat the mantra from step 2. “Wanker. You are a total wanker”. Remember that this is their pathetic little way of feeling better about themselves – IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU .
G is for “Go and give your kids a hug”
If it’s possible to step away from the judgemental circle-jerk, go hunt your kids down and give them a big bear hug. Truly. No one in this life will ever love you more than your children, and if it’s validation you need then the light in their eyes and the love in their snotty little smiles will instantly remind you that you’re doing a pretty bloody bang-up job at parenting, no matter what that other bitch thinks.
E is for “Exude confidence”
The SWAGGER method is all about confidence. People who judge and bully others are textbook cowards, and they don’t tend to target people who are confident and self-assured.
Exude confidence and be your bad-ass self at all times, even if it feels as fake as slapping on inch-thick foundation. Remember: faux-swag is better than no-swag. Judgemental people are like emaciated hyenas, and will pounce at the faintest whiff of vulnerability or weakness. Don’t give them the satisfaction.
R is for “Refuse to engage”
The most powerful act of SWAGGER is the complete refusal to engage. You can’t win against these thick-witted dickheads, and they will only grind you down if you try.
Refusal to engage is not a sign of weakness or cowardice – it’s a sign of strength and maturity.
Click out, walk away, change the subject, cry in the toilet, vent in a blog post, head to the bar or hit up your girlfriends for an immediate debriefing session over cake. Sometimes the smartest thing to do is opt out of the conversation entirely, leaving them alone in their sad little echo chamber of self-righteous moral masturbation.
As a great philosopher once said… If a sanctimommy disses you on Facebook and you’re not around to read it, does anybody really give a fuck?