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AIBU to resent others judging me?

(87 Posts)
oxymomon Sat 13-Jun-20 02:42:08

People judge me. Every day. Some overtly make sly / passive aggressive / judgmental comments. Some don't but I can tell by their body language.

I'm different. I am in a senior position in a multinational company and am married without children. The two are unrelated facts. The reasons we don't have children are many and complex... I desperately wanted to be a mother but that wasn't my destiny. It's also nobodies business but ours so we don't discuss.

I've always been hard working and ambitious. I am judged as a female leader. I am labelled a "career woman" and judged for that. I am judged for having an opinion on topics like politics and the economy. And I am constantly judged for not being a Mum ... perhaps all the more so for daring to have a career AND not be a Mum.

I've been hit by too many slings and arrows and my defences are getting weak. The snide comments no longer bounce off me. They hit me. They hurt me. I feel like a punching bag. I resent the judgment of others. My lifestyle is different but is that a crime?

Do you judge married women who don't have children? Do you judge "career women" (a term I despise by the way)?

How about married men without children... do you hold them to the same standard? Do you judge them? How about "career men" (I know, it's not a term you ever hear used ... they're just men who happen to have a career) .. do you judge them?

AIBU to resent being judged? And how can I better deal with the constant judgment of others, of society?

OP’s posts: |
Waveysnail Sat 13-Jun-20 04:25:30

If you were married with kids in same position, would sky digs and comments not just be about how you must never see your children, how can you bare to work ft etc. Woman at the top get shit no matter what their lifestyle

Aquamarine1029 Sat 13-Jun-20 04:29:02

How, exactly, are you being judged?

Puds11 Sat 13-Jun-20 04:39:18

I think you definitely get judged more for being a woman with kids in a senior position. Or being a woman with a baby working full time.

crumpet Sat 13-Jun-20 04:39:28

I work in a reasonably senior position in a large multinational. I have never heard gossip about who does/doesnt have children. I guess it may come up if relevant to a particular coversation, but not as “gossip”.

The only time I recall it being a topic of conversation was years ago when a senior partner had 2 nannies to cover her long working hours which was unusual enough to cause comment. My SIL Is in an even more senior position than I am, in another large multinational. She and my brother dont have children. And it’s never been a massive topic of conversation in the family. I still don’t know whether it’s 100% by choice or not. It’s their business not mine. I’ve also just remembered that a previous boss of mine never had children, but it’s not what comes to mind when I think about her generally.

So my experience it that it’s not a focus of work place conversation at all. I’m sorry if your experience is different,

Mixedandproud Sat 13-Jun-20 04:47:23

Some people can be so judgemental. Often thinking nothing of asking such personal questions that have nothing to do with them whatsoever!
I am sorry to hear you have been unable to have children and that you really wanted them. I am 40 and worry that will also be my situation so I know some of what you are feeling.
I admire women like yourself who have a career and are in senior positions. I don’t know why some people feel the need to judge women in particular for not having children and if they happen to have a successful career too. You should not have to justify your life or career achievements.
I don’t understand why men are generally judged by different standards and often don’t seem to be ‘interrogated’ with the same questions you describe!
I try my best not to judge anyone, everybody has different life experiences and we don’t all have the same opportunities. Why should we be judged if we don’t comply to some kind of ‘standard’ life?
I don’t think you are wrong to feel resentful about being judged. I only wish I could offer some kind of advice on how to deal with it. Apart from asking if you feel counselling might be helpful because it sounds like it is making you unhappy?
I applaud you for your career success and only wish I had your ambition and was in a position to feel I have done something worthwhile with my life so far. I am trying to focus on the positives in my life and urge you to do the same.
I wish you luck for the future, the only other thing I can say is don’t let the judges win.

Beatingthisthing Sat 13-Jun-20 07:03:22

Do you have any examples?

sleepydragons Sat 13-Jun-20 07:07:24

If you are a decent person I won't judge you, if you aren't then I will. Having children or not has nothing to do with it.

Zfactorstar Sat 13-Jun-20 07:09:20

I'm sorry, but you're post just reads of deep insecurity and a bit of paranoia. I think you will be very surprised how little other people actually think about you. Most people are way to wrapped up in their own world to care about others.

formerbabe Sat 13-Jun-20 07:13:27

Yes you need to give examples of how they're judging you.

IndecentFeminist Sat 13-Jun-20 07:16:50

How are you 'different' and to whom?

FirTree31 Sat 13-Jun-20 07:17:07

I don't see what there is to judge, why is your specific circumstance so worthy of judgement. People judge other people sometimes, regardless of circumstance. I don't think people are thinking or talking about you as much as you think

SonEtLumiere Sat 13-Jun-20 07:17:18


I'm sorry, but you're post just reads of deep insecurity and a bit of paranoia. I think you will be very surprised how little other people actually think about you. Most people are way to wrapped up in their own world to care about others.

I agree with this.

You seem to be in a very unhappy place and have fixated on this issue, and ascribing motives to other’s actions.

Some organizations are toxic, and any weapon is OK to be used in the name of ambition. It appears you have no one that you trust to speak to about this which indicates a mixture of (a) toxic environment and/or (b) paranoia.

What about outside work? Is it the same?

ukgift2016 Sat 13-Jun-20 07:25:11

Who do you work for?

Women get judged for working full time with kids, women get judged for not working with kids, women get judged for not having kids...list goes on.

To me it appears the people making comments are just trying to bring you down.

Spanishcove Sat 13-Jun-20 07:26:01

I don’t want to dismiss your evident pain, OP, but I think you’re stigmatising yourself. A lot of people who are married or in committed relationships don’t have children and work in senior professional jobs. I have three very successful siblings who don’t have children, two by choice, one not. Several close friends are childfree. I had my one child at 40, Being happily childfree before that, and other than the occasional (admittedly annoying) remark from strangers I met socially, it wasn’t an issue, certainly not at work. I’m a senior academic, and other than my actual work friends and women I remember going on maternity leave, I have no idea who has children or who doesn’t. We’re on work mode — it’s irrelevant.

And who on earth are you hanging around with who, in 2020, is judging ‘career women’? If these are people you see socially, I’d get myself a new circle pronto.

I’d be the last one to deny that the ‘chilly careerist’ childfree stereotype hasn’t died off yet, but by definition everyone in your workplace has a career. Isn’t it possible you’re misreading people’s body language? Maybe they just don’t like you?

copycopypaste Sat 13-Jun-20 07:35:17

I'm afraid if you had kids and the same career you'd be judged for not seeing your kids, if you were a sahm you'd get judged for this, the list goes on. Maybe you could look at sorting some councilling to talk this through with a professional.

alittlelower Sat 13-Jun-20 07:36:00

I think you will be very surprised how little other people actually think about you. Most people are way to wrapped up in their own world to care about others

Yes. Even if people say something arsey, to them they've said it as a comment and moved on with their thoughts. The rest of their life they are thinking about stuff that isn't you.

I mean that helpfully. I made a terrible decision partly because I feared others reactions if I made the choice I really wanted to. I can now see that I was misreading others reactions when I told them about the decision I had to make, and even if some had judged me, they would have raised their eyebrows, then moved on with their other thoughts about their own lives. I however, still leave every second of every day with the shattering ramifications of that decision and will for the rest of my life.

And if it helps, I was not a career woman, but when I never wanted kids, people commonly questioned that decision. It irritated me and I did feel judged, but really, those people weren't really thinking about me out of those conversations.

I think if you are a woman you get judged a lot more than men. If you really hate the comments, call them out. Most people probably aren't even aware of how they make you feel, because they are only interested in their opinions and not in you at all.

SteelyPanther Sat 13-Jun-20 07:41:47

I wonder if the problem is that you think people are judging you when they’re not ?
Yes, you say that some make comments, but others don’t and you assume what they are thinking by the way you perceive their body language.
Are people really that interested in you when they’ve got their own job and home life to think about ?

Sandybval Sat 13-Jun-20 07:48:54

You get judged anyway, as people have said, if you have children you often get criticised because of course you should be at home with them hmm

MiniatureHero Sat 13-Jun-20 07:51:01

Funnily enough, I’ve had the opposite experience of being judged by a ‘career woman’ (also hate that phrase!) with no kids. She interviewed me alongside my now line manager. After the interview she turned to my line manager and said ‘she’s very good, but you know she will just go and get pregnant, don’t you?’. Luckily my line manager stuck up for me (and then got drunk a year later and told me all about it). It rang a bit hollow when she congratulated me when I did then get pregnant, but they had had three years out of me by that point so I didn’t feel bad about it (not that I should have regardless of when I got pregnant).

It’s not fair that you’re being judged OP. Women can’t do right for doing wrong on this issue. If you’re young and at the start of your career people will assume you’re going to have babies before long and judge you for that. If you’re working and a mother people will judge you for not being constantly available at work, or for not being constantly available to your children. And if you don’t have kids people will judge you for being heartless and caring more about wealth and status than family.

I don’t have any advice on how not to be hurt by it, because I find it hurtful too. I think all you can do is pull people up in the moment when they make snide comments, but that can be hard and intimidating to do. Sadly I think that as a society we are a long way from women not being judged for every decision they make when it comes to career and children.

LuluBellaBlue Sat 13-Jun-20 08:01:47

Today 07:09 Zfactorstar

I'm sorry, but you're post just reads of deep insecurity and a bit of paranoia. I think you will be very surprised how little other people actually think about you. Most people are way to wrapped up in their own world to care about others.

This ^

JellyfishandShells Sat 13-Jun-20 08:09:14


I'm sorry, but you're post just reads of deep insecurity and a bit of paranoia. I think you will be very surprised how little other people actually think about you. Most people are way to wrapped up in their own world to care about others.

Struck me that way, too

ooooohbetty Sat 13-Jun-20 08:12:37

My suggestion is to get over yourself and stop thinking that everyone is bothered about your life and career. I'm sure less people than you think give them a second thought.

Ragwort Sat 13-Jun-20 08:15:26

Who on earth is 'judging you', you need to give examples.

We can all say we get 'judged' ... I probably get 'judged' for going to church, having a baby when I was 42, working in a job considered 'below' my educational standards, being overweight, letting my hair go grey .... all sorts of ridiculous reasons.

But I am happy and confident in my choices in life ... it sounds as though you are doubting yourself and have low self esteem, nothing to do with being judged.

TabbyMumz Sat 13-Jun-20 08:20:43

Are you sure a lot of this isnt in your head? I work with hundreds of women who are career women, noone turns a hair anymore about women working. Some have children,some dont. Noone judges anyone. Unless it's your family judging? Some older members of my family said a few comments to me, but I easily brushed them off.

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