Sunday, October 5, 2008

Judge Not... Unless it's Really Hard Not To

I make it a habit to not judge other moms. You just never know the situation until you've lived it and you can't say "I would never," until you've been there. Back when I was a fairly new mommy with a tiny infant who wasn't mobile and could not talk, I found myself judging plenty of times. "I can't believe that kid's not potty trained!" Or, gasp! "She needs to get that sassiness under control now or else that kids going to give her MAJOR problems." Oh yea, I knew SO much. Only, the thing was I didn't know crap. Three kids later and a little bit of karma biting me in the butt (here I sit with a 3 plus year old who is not potty trained, not to mention an oh so sassy 5 year old) and I am so much less judge-y. It's a good thing. We are all where we are and it seems, at least for me that we could adapt the phrase "Judge not lest ye be judged" (New Testament) into "Judge not lest ye be stuck in the same ugly situation." I mean it. I do.

Ahem... however, I was recently in a situation where I was forced to cast that non-judging policy aside and had a HOLY crap what was that momma thinking moment. I tried not to judge. I tried to smile politely, and say "Really, they aren't bothering me," because really what was bothering me was not her children's behavior, but rather the fact that she was repeatedly yelling at her little girls and telling them to SHUT UP in a very harsh tone in front of me and a whole passel of other parents. I told her I understood. I told her I had four boys and that not much shocks me. What did shock me was her blatant pulling her daughter's hair to get her to come closer to her. I don't think it hurt the girl but it just seemed wrong, and rough. Leaving me to wonder what goes on, you know, at home. I shudder to think.

These girls were young. They were in a situation that was BORING (for me too) and who can expect little girls ages 6 and under to sit still when it's boring. I've been there. My boys can't sit still very long either. It drives me crazy, and I'm sure I've looked the frazzled mom part many a time. I hope with everything I've got, though, that I've never sounded like that. They were just being kids and to be yelled at... IN PUBLIC... repeatedly, just took me aback. For a brief moment I wanted to say, "Hey I'll take them home with me." I'm sure her answer would have been no, and after a teeny bit of logical thought knew that was irrational. I wish I would have said more, but after attempting to let her know that her kids weren't bothering anyone, I just turned the other way and kinda tried not to make it too obvious that I cringed every time she told her 5 year old to shut up. I hope I wasn't the only parent there who was appalled.

I wasn't going to blog this, but it's late, I can't sleep, and it's still on my mind, so I am. Here in all my judgement, which I have probably no right to. I don't know this mom's situation. I hope it was just a really bad day and that there is more affection shown these kids normally. This particular night, however I heard not one positive word uttered and it was always with that sharp tone. The one I use when the boys have crossed a line, only magnified. I will be in the position to see this family again repeatedly throughout the year, so I can only hope to see better things next time.

Taking the judgement hat off now, I don't really like it all that much.

1 comment:

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

oooh... so hard. I'm sure there have been times (umm... yesterday?) when others have judged my bad parenting. But like you said, I've never been THAT bad. How sad for those girls. I really hope it was just a really bad day for their mom.

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