I really try not to judge other moms and parents. I've made it a rule not to do this.
But of course, I do this. We all do this. We are Judgey McJudgersons. All of us.
Yes, even you.
In fact, the people that claim "not to judge" are often the most Judgey of all. They come with a black robe, white curls, and a wooden mallet. The Supreme Court Judgers.
Here is the thing: we are all going to judge one another on a certain level because as parents we all think long and hard (presumably) about the decisions we make, and when we meet someone who makes very different decisions, it shocks us. "Why would they do it that way? I certainly wouldn't do it thaaaat wayyyy" (said in a very whiny and annoying tone). And there you go. You just judged. But what is it that parent did that you wouldn't do? Was it something really terrible? Or did they just pick something up off the floor and let their child put it in their mouth without washing it? Because stuff like that…I really don't care about, and you shouldn't either. Yep. I'm telling you how to feel.
I'd be an awful therapist…
But seriously, there are a lot of things that I probably "flash judge" but when I really think about it, I don't care. Like…I don't care if your child used a soother since they were 2 days old. I don't care if your baby was formula or breast-fed. I don't care if you cloth diaper, use attachment parenting, or do baby sign language. All I care about is that you and your child are happy and healthy.
With that said…there are things that you might do as a parent that will make me think, "Yeah, I probably don't want to hang out with this parent one on one."
For example: I was at the park with my son last week, and I got talking to a nice couple who had a son around Cole's age and an older daughter who was almost four. New potential parent friends in the neighbourhood? Maybe! Woo Hoo! We were playing with the kids and chatting, when their daughter went down the slide, and kicked Cole over. He was standing at the bottom of the slide (he's 14 months).
"You shouldn't go down the slide when someone is at the bottom sweetheart!" The mom said.
"Well, he should know not to be standing at the bottom then," said the almost 4-year -old.
"Yes, he shouldn't have been standing there," I said, "But he is little and doesn't know better yet."
"Say you're sorry for knocking Cole over honey." The mom asked her daughter.
"C'mon honey, say you're sorry."
"(pause) No…(walks away)…I don't feel like it."
"Awww, you're making Mommy very sad. That's not nice." Says the mom.
END OF CONVERSATION
Really? Really? You're going to let your four-year-old decide that she doesn't want to apologize for kicking a toddler over when she intentionally saw him at the bottom of the slide?
And that is where I got my wooden mallet and became a Supreme Court Judger myself (and whacked this snotty four year old in the shins. Kidding). Though, I immediately decided that these parents were too laid back for their own good and that their daughter was going to become a narcissistic sociopath.
I know that's extreme, and I know I'm being sensitive and irrational — but it pissed me off.
Don't be a lazy parent. Discipline your child and teach them how to treat other people. Not apologizing and walking away is not an option.
Is this the end of the world? No. Not even close. Would I talk to this couple again at the playground? Of course! Would I have a BBQ with them one afternoon? Probably, because we are that desperate for suburb friends… Sigh
We aren't perfect parents...but some of us are better than others.
Shut-up, it's true. I'm not saying I'm one of the good ones, I'm just making a general comment.
Now I'm going to head over to the park and let Cole ruin some kids sand castle and have those parents secretly hate me.
It all comes around full circle, doesn't it?