Taking a second look.
Yeah, we’ve all done it. You see something either in person or online and you take another look at the situation before you pass judgment. When people say they don’t judge, bullshit! They do judge! It’s how we elect state officials. It’s how we test drive cars. It’s how we choose schools, either for us or for our children. It’s how we decide who we want to marry and have children with. It’s how we decide what restaurant is good or what Netflix addiction we want to succumb to.
Sometimes, it’s good. Sometimes, however…
Now, to make this blog post easier, I’m not talking about the times where we pass judgment when it’s for good use. If you see a beautiful woman wearing a tight dress and a face full of makeup, your first instinct (I hope!) is to compliment her. No, this blog post is when you see the same woman and your first instinct is to ask what her rates are?
This past weekend, I felt myself becoming a bit of an asshole. I was side-eying left and right as I passed other parents on the street. And it wasn’t everyone but the ones we all judge: the parent who has a child who might be too big for the stroller. The parent who’s giving their child something that’s definitely not milk or water. The parent who gives their kid french fries…
When you’re a parent, it’s real easy to pass judgment onto other parents. While you like to think you’re coming from a place of common sense, sometimes, you’re really coming from a place of Mean Girls.
And as I calmed down my inner Regina George, I began to wonder…when did I become a Douche Parent?
To clarify this post, I’m not talking about parents who have obese children or those who don’t vaccinate (I’ve written my strong opinion about it here). I’m not talking about the ones who are abusive and are otherwise absent from their child’s life. Those people deserve all the judgment they can get.
I’m talking about those parents who probably are good ones but for some reason, we might think they don’t have their shit together. Yeah, you know which ones I’m talking about. In fact, you could probably think of a few right now. Hell, you’re probably reading a blog of one of those people (smile!).
Nowadays, you’re going to run into different parents on the playground, playgroups, and at school. The Hipster Parent who feeds their child nothing but natural and probably lets their child bark like a dog at dinner because they think it’s another way of expression. The Old-School/Type A Parent who has a strict regime and even you wonder if they can sit down with that stick up their asses so tight. The Show-Off Parent who doesn’t hold back on their child’s accomplishments, making you feel inadequate and you’re adulting and shit.
See what I did there? I judged. But it’s okay because you’re about to do it again. Yes, again.
Bear is a Night Owl. He was like that in the womb and my OB told me he would be like that outside. And he’s right. I would love for my son to go to sleep at 8 and wake up at 8, yet his average bedtime is around midnight. He wakes up anywhere between 9-10 AM and is ret-ta-go!
Now, you’re probably thinking, ‘Well, that’s not bad because he’s getting plenty of sleep.’ And you’re right, it’s not bad at all. But I’m pretty sure there are some of you thinking, ‘How dare she let her child be up so late?’
Just a sec…I need to double-check my subscribers and add them to this book right here…
I would like to think we’re all in this struggle together. Some of it have it easier than others. Some of us are doing the best we can. As we’re still learning what it means to be a parent, we’re also raising fantastic and wonderful kids who have their own personality and identity.
It’s okay to judge as long as you’re not an asshole about it. But then, you have to ask yourself – why are you judging? Are you biblical with your judgment, meaning holding someone accountable? Or, are you just being mean for no reason? Are you trying to make yourself feel better about your shortcomings as an adult or a parent? Are you trying to understand what would possess someone else to do something you would never do? Who knows?
In short, before you pass that judgment off about another parent, ask yourself is it going to help or hurt? Then ask yourself if it’s really any of your business? More than likely, it’s not and honestly, you probably don’t care that much. As much people love to have faux outrage and participate in the group think that society has become, no one really cares about how you’re raising your child as long as you’re not abusive or subjecting them to any danger. I have yet to see a news story about someone calling CPS on a mother because she gave her child almond milk.
Finally, live life! Seriously, old age is not a guarantee, anymore. Who wants to be a snobby stuck-up all the time? (Yes, that’s another judgment but hey, I owned up to it! 🙂 )