Much as we like to say we don’t do it, we all sort of silently judge each other in some form or another… and ourselves too by the way!
Unfortunately, judgement is in-built into us and it’s one of our more unpleasant human qualities. When I was a teenager, I was quite 'judgey' and I now hate to think back about the ways in which I would have judged people... Yes sure, I think on some level all teenagers can be judgemental arseholes and it’s sort of a phase we all have to go through.
Today, I make a conscious effort to try not to judge people, because I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of judgement and it can be devastating to a persons mental health. It can really undermine your confidence and leave you feeling incredibly down on yourself.
I was in the supermarket the other day and I heard the tell-tale roars of a toddler tantrum behind me. I looked over at the mum very briefly with nothing but empathy and a smile that said, I know what you’re going through and it will pass, hang in there mama!
Pre-kid me may not have been so compassionate however, because when I started to think about it, there was tonnes of things I would have tut-tutted to myself about parents before I became one.
Now that I’m on the other side of the parenting glass however, I finally see just how unhelpful and hurtful those judgements are. Parents are often stressed out, tired and absolutely winging it, all day every day. They are 100% doing the absolute best they can and judging them for their kid having a meltdown in a supermarket is so far into the realm of utterly shitty there is almost no way back from it.
So look with all that in mind, I want to get these five things, I have in the past judged parents for, off my chest!
1. My Kid Won’t Have Tantrums In Public … … … Sorry I couldn’t actually type there I was laughing so much at that ridiculous statement. When I’d see a small child or toddler having a full scale on-the-floor tantrum in a supermarket I would think so myself, if I ever have kid they’ll never do that.
Oh how wrong I was.
Kids will have tantrums and they don’t care when and where they do it. Tantrums are hell, so cut a stressed out tired mama a break if you see her trying to tackle her ‘tantruming’ toddler. Flash her a sympathetic smile not an angry glare and instead of throwing your two cents in, just keep rolling that trolley.
2. My Child Will Have A Varied Diet Again, no. If by varied you mean different flavours of yogurt and sausages of many brands, then yes… he has a rich and full diet. I never really thought feeding my toddler would be so difficult, but sadly my lad is a very fussy eater and some days I find myself really at my wits end with him. The days when I can get him to eat something healthy are the days when I find myself secretly punching the air in delight… sad, but true.
3. No Screen Time Until He’s At Least Three Yeah, no… that didn’t really work out either. While I try and keep a limit on how much screen time he has a week, he and the iPad are more than just acquainted at this stage and some days I just cannot deal with the meltdown of him not having it, so I cave.
4. I’ll Never Use One Of Those Toddler Leads! He’s a Child, Not A Dog! While I didn’t actually end up using one of these, I gave it some serious thought and on the one hand I wish I had used one. The horse has very much bolted on that choice now however, but I can understand the attraction of them.
My 20 month old is like Usain Bolt, he runs everywhere and is not keen on holding my hand at all. It’s really like herding a sheep most of the time, so a lead would have been very, very handy.
5. I’m Not Going to Let Our Lives Be Ruled By Naptime. Think again, because in our house, we are all ruled by the almighty nap time Gods... when the clock get close to said nap time, you cannot see my tire tracks for dust as I race to get the child home and in bed before it’s too late. Now lets all get down on our knees and pray to this hallowed ritual that let’s mummy have a bit of time to herself to work!