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February 04, 2013


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Ha, ha... I am over apologising! My first child was breast fed for 18 months, she wore cloth nappies and had a sleep routine. Her hair was always done, her socks matched and bla, bla, 'perfection', bla! Fast forward 8 years and my attitude is more like, 'If eating a candy cane for breakfast will stop you whining, then by all means go crazy.' As for judging others? I've have done many things that I swore I would never do. When young people try to give me advice I silently scoff and think, 'never say never.' :)

I have three boys that are 3, 5, and 8. I have had my share of mean glances at stores and libraries. It's amazing how children can annoy others with the simplest of cries and whines. I just want to say, "I'm the mother! How do you think I feel!" If I had the choice I would leave them at home, but many times my husband was gone on deployment. When I see parents struggling with their kids, I don't even look at them or I tell them "Been there." It's really none of my business to judge them.

Once this older lady laid into me for giving my son a sucker in the check out line. It was a cute Halloween sucker and I wanted him to have it. He was behaving great - no crying or whining. I started out being my sweet self when responding back to her that I was going to pay for it, but she just wouldn't stop. She made some comment about her daughter-in-law being just like me. I got the picture and I decided to go off on her. For the sake of her poor daughter-in-law and for all the daughters-in-law out there with bitchy mothers-in-law I went off on her. I basically told her that her unsolicited advice was not welcomed with me and that a true Christian does not judge others.

I'm a longtime reader (since before Drew!) and this is one of my favorite posts of yours ever. :) :)

One humbling realization after another.

how do you know the 'stupid TSA lady' and her 'mean glare' were directed towards 1. your daughter and 2. her use of a bottle?

i've glared at lots of toddlers in airports, usually because they are coughing and sneezing and not covering their mouths.

it's possible her stupid mean glare had nothing to do with you.

It's for God's sake (not for God sakes) just in case the former college professor wanted to know... I know I know, not the point, not nice, blah blah blah who cares

I was in Target a few weeks ago when I met a young mom holding an incredibly squirmy boy, about 18 months. I remember exactly how she felt - my kids were the same. He twisted and squirmed until she was forced to put him down or she would drop him. Once those feet hit tile, he giggled and took off. Mom snagged him and looked me in the eye - she was frazzled and tired. "We're here to buy a kid leash. I always thought they were awful and inhumane before, but now..." I stopped her. "I had two runners. Those kids will take off in a crowd, dodging between 10 strangers legs before you can even say 'Excuse me, I need to grab my kid.' Get the leash. If anyone has anything bad to say to you, send them my way."

And it's true - when a toddler is screaming to get down because they want to WAAAALK!!!, you're just trying to get through a day and you know the exercise will help wear them out, and you know they will run straight under a clothes rack or into a pack of people and scream "you're HURTING ME!!!" when you gently take their hand... for God's sake, don't judge the leash users.

I'm recalling a recent trip to Target - wandering the aisles and hearing a child just flat out yell; loudly and repeatedly. I didn't hear the usual admonishment or SHHH that I would expect to hear from a parent.

Before I had time to even process that thought, I rounded the corner and found myself face-to-face with a young mom and her obviously distressed special needs child who was working up to a big meltdown.

I had a parent give me a sympathetic look once when I was dealing with a store meltdown, "Hey, I throw no stones."

That goes through my head now whenever I see a judgment opening when we're out and about. "Hey, I throw no stones."

We weaned our daughter off the bottle by the time she was 13 months old, BUT she used a pacifier until she was 3 and a half. People would make rude comments, and I felt guilty that I wasn't a "good enough parent" to take away her paci. Now that she's 6, I realize that half her lifetime ago, she was still what my grandma would call a 'little punkin,' and her self-soothing mechanism was not only more or less age appropriate but also none of anybody's damn business. So, like you, I try not to judge because what the hell do I know?

My daughter was thumb-sucker, and somewhere around 18 months people started asking me what I'm doing to stop her. It sounded strange question to me at the time, I could not even get the logic behind it: I always thought that she is going to stop when she is ready to stop. Once I noticed that people are "persuading" my daughter to take out the thumb I clued in to the fact that there is judgement behind it. So I calmly started responding: "I don't have to have a battle with her, as soon as she starts kindergarten/nursery, peer pressure will make it stop". And that is exactly how it happened. Someone her own age told the something about thumb-sucking and it was like flicking the switch.
Honestly, do we really give so much credit to ourselves as parents? That every single thing our child does is consequence of our brilliant (or not-so-brilliant) parenting? I don't k now about you, but one thing that kids thought me is humility - you quickly realize that you are powerless speck of universe dust when you are faced with inconsolable baby or screaming toddler. Kid are not blank canvases that simply reflect our wonderful abilities, they are persons in their own right. And that necessitates some awkward choices to keep them happy.

Sometimes, it is so easy to sit back and judge...out of fear more than anything. Because we don't want to be THAT Mom. We don't want to screw up our kids. I've gotten so much grief over being accidental co-sleepers. But, as I sit here looking at my sweet, SLEEPING daughter, I wouldn't have it any other way. My mom put coke in my bottles when I was 2...she has since apologized. We'll apologize to our kids someday too, but probably for something we thought we were doing right at the time.

You have many blog posts being very judgmental of other parents. Hopefully this was an eye opener for you.

My god how I wish Oliver had taken a bottle.

Ha, that's my top never say never moment right there - "what do you mean, your baby won't take a bottle?" [derisive sniff]

I think rather than growing thicker skin as we parent, we might grow better at giving other parents the benefit of the doubt.

I swear I was just noticing last night that Sage isn't asking for milk before bed anymore. It took that long.

May a bottle of almond milk be the worst thing that ever happens to your kids. Or any kids for that matter.

It's so easy to judge. We all need to stop judging. If its that important, speak up and find out. All the reasons stated for bottle keeping are fine. The coke could have been prune juice for all we know. Some kids like mine have major food issues and constipation is my problem. Thank god for Capri sun v power. But it totally Looks pretty much like beer in a sippy cup, head and all.

My son sucked on a bottle until age 4. (Oddly enough, it was a bit of judgment from his 4-year-old friend that motivated him to leave the bottle behind. So maybe a little judgment can be useful? I dunno.). My mantra was "He won't do it when he's 16." If it makes your little one feel safe and secure, how bad can it be, really?

Oh yeah.. I totally got a few of those faces after giving my third kid a lollipop at her sister's dance class last week. She had already eaten quite a few snacks and I had said no already but when the SPD-induced meltdown began and we still had 20 minutes left of class I just whiped that sucker out and popped in her mouth for everyone's sanity. For my own sanity I ignored the looks of horror at how much crap my kid was ingesting in that one hour window.

"...a collection of moments made up of things we thought we'd never do. Ever. " That was my straight up dose of truth for the day.

I STILL put my kids' drinks in sippy cups if they're taking them out of the kitchen. They're the only things that won't spill at all if they knock them over! I'd probably make a killing if I marketed sippy cups for adults.

I didn't know there was an "acceptable" age to be on or off the bottle. How is it any different than a sippy cup? Mine are almost-2 and almost-4 and they both use sippy cups, except when I work an evening shift and my husband gives the little one breast milk in a bottle. I guess he could put it in a sippy cup, but it's easier to know what beverage is where when they're differentiated that way!

We had moved onto sippy cups when my 8 month old son got RSV and hand, foot and mouth at the same time. The only way he would drink is when we gave him a bottle. So, at the risk of undoing everything we had worked for, we gave in and filled the bottle back up just so he wouldn't get dehydrated. That was a year ago, and during that illness he got spoiled rotten and he still prefers the bottle when he's at home. He'll be 2 in June, and I couldn't care less if he takes the bottle until kindergarten. Yes, I've lied to his pediatrician and dentist about his bottle, but all he gets from it is milk, and he's my baby so I'll do whatever makes it easier on me today, and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow! I'm over the judgement!

If only my smug, single, childless self could see me and my 6 year old and this destroyed sheet cake now ....

Great freaking essay.

saying never is basically jinxing yourself that you are going to do it. I just try never to make parameters for myself - ha!

I guess being oblivious has it's perks, because other than the time I had to carry my son (then 3) out of a movie, screaming "PUT ME DOWN" the whole way, I can honestly say I rarely give a crap about what other parents are thinking about my parenting choices. The way I see it, until my child becomes your child (which, if I have a say in it, is right about never), you don't get a say in how I raise them. Period.

I seem to have perfected my "smiles indulgently and keeps her trap shut" face for new parents when they get started on their "I would NEVER! speeches" or talking about how things are going to go 100% as planned when Baby arrives. Ahh, to be that ignorant and well rested again...
I have not, however, perfected my response to the judgmental SAHMs that frequent the lobby of the child activities du jour. I find myself turning red and hiding in corners when I hear them crucify whichever mom friend has left the room for feeding her child a juice box, or mac n cheese, or for being in...DAYCARE. Meanwhile they are talking on their cell phones in their SUVs as they drive away, slipping their cranky child a pixie stick, and complaining that the nanny wants a day off 4 months from now.
For these lovely ladies, I have only 1 face. I call it: I HAVE A JOB, PLEASE STOP TALKING face.

Never is a total curse word for me. I have done every single thing I have ever sworn I would never do, not only as a parent but as a human being. Over the last 8 or 10 years, I've tried to avoid using the word never, lest it bite me in the ass again. Which, of course, it totally will.

We broke Henry of his bottle a year ago. When he was three. He had it that long for the same reasons you list here, and I was AOK with that. The only reason we took it from him was because he was ruining his bed with leaked milk. No judgment here, lady.

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