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You don’t need to be judged with words, you can also be judged with a very simple glance. As a mother I think I am judged all of the time. Prior to having my kids, I was judged on what I wore, how I wore it and what hairstyle I had. Now I am judged on how I am raising my kids
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my path, if you haven’t walked my journey”.
This quote really sums up what I am going to write about. We all make judgments about others every
day. We like to think that we don’t, but the fact is, we do. It comes very
naturally to us. One great thing about motherhood is that it's made me less judgmental of others.
I think that being judgmental and
pass remarkable are identical sisters.
Both are not nice traits. I was shopping
in Walmart a few months back and I kept running into the same family along each
aisle. A father, mother, a couple of
children which included a small baby. The
father, from what I seen and heard, wasn’t a nice character and was talking
down to his wife. See I already have
made a judgement. Their baby began to
wail pretty loudly, as babies do so well.
An older Lady passed and I heard her say to her companion very loudly so
the mother could hear “she should feed that baby.” Number one - who are you? Number two – it's none of your business and
number three – why do you feel the need to say something? Sometimes people should just keep their
thoughts to themselves. The mother was
having a hard enough time with her husband, trying to shop and having all her
kids with her including an unsettled baby.
Perhaps the child was teething or had wind? My point is it wasn’t appropriate for the
stranger to interfere.
Last summer, myself, my husband
and our three kids went to Jasper for the weekend. We had spent a wonderful afternoon on one of
the Lakes. Our youngest was around the
18 month mark at the time and suddenly got very tired and unsettled. He was in his stroller and basically had a
major meltdown. He inhaled a large
breath and exhaled a HUGE LONG WAIL. He
was loud. We were on the waterfront and
there were a few wedding ceremonies taking place. Luckily he didn’t seem to have had any impact
on the vows. I continued to walk in
order to settle him down and aide him to sleep.
He fought loudly. One lady
sitting on a plastic sun chair gazing out at the lake, turned and stared, not
pleasantly. She was put out by a baby’s
scream. I thought her head was going to
do a 360 degree turn. I used my filter
and ignored her. I continued in my
plight to pacify Ryan. Further down the
walking trail, Ryan still making noise, another lady, around the same age as
the previous lady, looked at me and gave an encouraging smile. It was the "been there and done that” smile
with a sprinkling of sympathy in her eyes.
Two very different experiences in a very short time frame.
We live in a very cold climate
which reminds me of Arondale in the movie Frozen. Sometimes you have to make decisions that
others may judge not to be sensible.
When it is -20 out and I need to get a basic item like bread, am I going
to drag all three of my children out of the minivan and in to the bakery? No I am not.
I ensure I park right outside and can see my van through the glass
front. They are safe and I have a full
visual. I am not a bad parent. When my two kids were in preschool last year,
I left my sleeping baby in a warm car on
occasions for the short time it was going to take me to drop them off. I weighed the pros and cons of the
situation. Was it fair for me to wake up
a sleeping baby when I didn’t really need to and I was leaving him for a short
time in a safe warm environment? Did I
want to have to make this decision, no, I had to. Big difference.
friend of mine whom has 2 young boys was recently judged harshly by a complete
stranger. Our local library has a number
of short term parking spots to allow customers to return their books to the drop
off box located in a chute outside the facility. It was a miserable day weather wise and she
made the sensible decision to leave the boys in the car for the sixty seconds it
was going to take her to run (because we always do) to the drop off box. Her car is in her line of sight. On her way back to her car, an elderly lady accosts
her and asks her “did you leave your children alone in your car?” When she told me this story I was
horrified. I would have done the same
thing. She made a judgement call and
ensured her kids were safe. She is a
wonderful mother who puts her heart and soul into raising her kids. Her boys couldn’t have asked for a better
mother but again some stranger felt the need to make a judgment according to……
herself. My friend is not one for
arguing or confrontation so she walked away hurt by this event. I was also hurt for her.
I also have
a friend who has two young children aged three and two. A few months ago the whole family went
grocery shopping on a Saturday afternoon.
Her daughter was misbehaving (she kept running away from her parents)
and had been given her final warning. My
friend continued shopping with the youngest and her husband brought their
daughter out to the car where they would wait.
On the way to the car, their daughter had a meltdown and was kicking and
screaming in her father’s arms. He
didn’t want to let her down in a car park as he feared she would run into a
car. When he got his daughter to the
car, she was obviously going to refuse to get into the car seat and she turned
into a child contortionist and fought him tooth and nail by arching her back
and making it very difficult for him to strap her in. Unbeknownst to him he was been watched. Suddenly a police officer was at the car and
asking him to step out as he had been accused of shaking the child and taking
her. Up to the police element this story is not
uncommon to my own life. I am still
horrified at what took place. The
outcome is that my friend’s husband was told to be careful in public
places. It didn’t stop there. Child services then called and asked if they
needed any parenting help and they were asked how they discipline their children. My friend feels this might never have
happened if she was carrying her daughter out in the exact same manner and
perhaps she is right. There are lots of
angles to look at this story from. I am
looking at it from a mother. I am sorry
that my friend had to endure this. If
this was my story, it would have scarred me for life, no bones about it. You would need to have very thick skin to
bounce back from this one. People are so
quick to judge. I have three small kids
so I have numerous public meltdown stories, but I hope to never have one as
extreme and painful as this one.
friend recently told me this story. She
was in a store on a busy Saturday & there was a lady with a crying
baby. The baby had being crying for a
while as babies do. A lady approached
the mother and told her that she should basically bring her baby home. This person’s retail experience was being
affected. This poor mother probably just
wanted to feel “normal” again for a few minutes and go shopping. An unkind stranger shattered her little bit
of sanity. Did she need to
interfere? Absolutely not. However, this is becoming a very worrying
trend in our society.
Let’s not be so quick to judge others. Everybody has a different story to tell. As a mother it is important to develop a
thick skin, use your judgement filter and believe in yourself. Some people just love to see the negative
side of things. A few months back, I was
in Costco with my three kids and as I left, this stranger came up to me and told
me I was a wonderful mother and doing a great job. I was been watched but I was positively
judged. We need more of that. Next time you see a mother or father doing an
awesome job, tell them.
As always: -
Never a dull moment in this house.
What a wonderful story. I loved the way you started out by saying, "See? I have made a judgment already."
This is a great reminder that we all judge, each and every day. We judge favorably and unfavorably, accurately and inaccurately. My heart goes out to everyone, no matter what side they're on. In the case of the police approaching that poor daddy, I'm sure that a lot of mothers would have been overjoyed if observers had called the police when their children were taken. No matter what side you're on, life is hard and we're all going to go through a lot.
Just today, I was thinking about some of the stupid things I said, did, and thought. I hope that when I speak up about anything, it is 99% out of concern and compassion. Even if a mom is being really nasty to a kid, and I don't approve the behavior, I can sure identify with the horrifying day she must have been having! Sometimes just a smile or a look, as you describe, can communicate compassion.
This is a great reminder that we all judge, every day, whether for better or worse. I appreciate your reaching out and reminding people that they don't have all the details and that things are not always what they seem.
Posted by Andrea R on Oct 19, 6:41 p.m. |
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