I learned a lot when I took the DONA birth doula training 2 years ago. One of the things that really stuck with me was about judgement. Our doula trainer, Evelyn, asked us what our reactions would be to a client who smoked during pregnancy.
Try it: How do you react to a woman sporting a baby belly, smoking outside a store or going out on her coffee breaks to have a cigarette?
Disgust? Surprise? Anger? Think she's negligent? Irresponsible? Abusive?
Now, think on this: What if that smoking habit is replacing a crack addiction? Or that half-pack per day is chopped down from 1 pack per day? Hmmm...that puts a new spin on things, doesn't it?
The truth is, that none of us really know what is going on with other people. We think we do, but we don't. First impressions may be memorable, but they are rarely the full picture.