Staff writer Jennifer Dempsey was occupied last week covering for our editor, who was absent. For your enjoyment, we are reprinting a Soapbox column from last summer.

As women, we tend to be extra critical of ourselves and other women. We spend so much time making sure our hair looks great, our make-up is spot on and working our butts off to get those killer six pack abs and booty.

If you are a Mom, we tend to put a ton of effort into being the perfect parent. We make sure our kids are dressed nicely, our houses are spotless, we feed our kids well rounded and healthy meals, we make those awesome Pinterest snacks for school birthdays and we try to cram as much educational content as possible into every day.

Or, we sit around in our PJs and binge watch “Orange Is The New Black.” I mean, everything in moderation right? We can’t always be Superwoman.

But sometimes we want to be and sometimes we judge other women when they aren’t.

We have all muttered comments to ourself when we see a Mom losing her mind on her kids in Kroger. Even though, we pretty much did the same thing last week.

Instead of judging each other, we should be encouraging and lifting up one another.

We need to band together as women. We deal with enough from the rest of the world, we shouldn’t have to deal with the bad vibes from each other.

Our country is so divided by politics, parenting styles and if the voice says Yanni or Laurel. We need to join together as a gender and encourage each other.

We can encourage each other with simple things like a compliment. If you see a woman with a shirt you like, or a really nice hair cut, LET HER KNOW! It’s totally normal to give compliments. It can make a huge difference just by saying a few words. It is something so small, but can make a huge difference.

At the other end of the spectrum, we need to stop talking bad about each other. It’s easy to get sucked into criticizing other women if we see them not doing things how we would do them.

Take parenting for instance. This is such a tender topic between Moms, much like politics and religion. Everyone has their own way to raise their kids and they take offense to people telling them they are wrong. Or even just suggesting other ways to handle situations. So that turns into fights, bashing and just general nastiness.

So woman on both sides of that situation need to listen up. We need to be kind with our words when we offer advice to other Moms. And the Moms who receive the advice need to not lose their mind and assume everyone thinks they are an idiot.

We can agree to disagree about things also. Everyone has the right to their opinion and we need to respect that in each other. Even those people who think Pepsi is the best, when we all know that vanilla Coke is best pop of all time.

The media does a good job of adding to the chaos. You can pick up any magazine at the check out line and it will have articles about how the newest pop star gained 40 pounds or which actresses look bad in bathing suits. What the heck?! Since when do we have the right to judge other people just because they are famous? And honestly, does it really matter what Jennifer Lopez looks like in a bikini? She raises twins and has a career. If that girl carries a few extra pounds, then that’s totally OK. Do we really need to criticize each other like that?

Another thing we can do is congratulate each other! When our gal pal succeeds at something awesome, we need to celebrate! Take that girl out for drinks or blow up her Facebook page with congrats posts. Show the girl some love! This is a great way to uplift our fellow ladies and to showcase our achievements. Women can do amazing things and everyone needs to know!

So next time you feel your crown slip or see another woman’s crown slip, adjust that bad boy and hold your head up high. You got this girl! Yaas Queen!