I used to be a judgmental twit.
There-I said it. Back before I had kids, I knew just how I would parent. I knew what every parent was doing wrong, how to fix all their problems, what technique that mom on he playground should use to bring her five year old back to listening. I was a know it all; a sanctimommy before I was even a mommy.
Then I grew up and had kids and realized I never really had any clue what I was talking about before. I would love to say I’ve completely dismissed my judge-y ways, but alas that would be a lie. While I work very hard at not casting mommy shame or guilt over differences in parenting or those who are unaware of safety concerns**, sometimes I fail.
Just the other day, my husband and I were walking on the main road and passed by a child in a stroller who I thought had no business being in the stroller. I glanced at my husband after we sat down for lunch and giggled, “Don’t you think that little girl was a little big to be pushed for her walk?” My husband halfway nodded and pointed out if Monkey wasn’t so small for his age, they would be about the same size…so maybe that was a bad side to stand on.
Oh. Right. My son is still pushed in a stroller because I worry about him walking on his own somedays.
So this isn’t a “Wow,look how good I am now” kind of post. The events this past week have really reminded me how terrible our society is towards parents, especially moms. Heck, if this had been five years ago, I would be among those scoffing and putting down the mother whose son fell into the gorilla pit. That would have never happened to me. Except…it has. I’ve had my children run into the road after snatching their hand out of mine.
This is simply a raw apology note to all the mothers I’ve judged before now, from the heart.
To all the moms I judged before-I am sorry. I’m sorry for the women who I scoffed at, running into parties or events late, their hair in a messy bun and make up still not finished. I don’t know why I never appreciated how hard it is to get ready with one child on your hip and another hanging onto your leg, begging for cereal.
To the moms who put their kids in harnesses-I now understand the need. I don’t know why I rolled my eyes at your safety precautions. I’m sorry I questioned why your kids who were deemed “too old” in my eyes to be riding in your strollers.
I’m sorry for the women who were desperately feeding their toddler a bag of cereal at a recital, attempting to stop it from ending up on the floor. When you stopped at McDonald’s on the way to a soccer game. When you were bribing a your kiddo with dessert to just not scream at a restaurant.
I’m sorry for all the times I judged y’all for your toddler. For any part of your toddler; because I judged a lot of people for their toddlers. For them not being potty trained early enough, their meals and snacks, for every and anything. Having so many toddlers…I get it. I so get it now.
As a mom, I’ve learned so much about judging other moms. I always thought I would know best, do best, be the best mom ever. And I won’t lie-I’m a darn good mom. I know that as a truth; I hope other moms out there know that too. We are all just mama’s giving it our all and trying our hardest to raise kids who aren’t serial killers and that don’t need years of therapy for how we decided to raise them.
So, to all the moms I’ve judged before-I am sorry. To the ones I will have a fleeting judgmental thought about even after writing this; I am sorry. I will continue to remind myself I don’t know your life, I don’t know your kids, and we are all just giving it what we can with the tools we have.
**I maintain the right to judge and hold accountable parents who are told WHY what they are doing is unsafe yet continue to do it.**