Tuesday, August 19, 2008


"Judge not, lest ye be judged" - Matthew 7:1

Oh, how I hate venturing out into public sometimes. Everyone has an opinion. Especially about how you're raising your kids.

Ever experienced this?

You're in the grocery store. Your 4 month old is contentedly watching you shop from the confines of her car seat when someone comments from behind you, "Aww, you're such a sweet baby! Why doesn't mommy take that silly pacifier out so we can see your pretty smile?"

Because I truly value the sound of silence, lady... so could you put a sock in it too?

Or you're making small talk with the woman standing in line with you at the bank. She looks down at your toddler who is eating goldfish, and says, "I read that non-genetically modified, organic, natural, humble, fell from the tree fruit is what we should be feeding our kids. It's all I feed my Kip and he's never been sick a day in his life."

OK, so when you start funding my food budget, I'll start buying the best of the best.

I'm sure most moms have heard something like these:

"You're going to breastfeed for that long?!"
"You're going to give her formula?!"
"You don't have her on a schedule?"
"You don't rock your kid to sleep?"
"You let her watch TV?"
"You feed her on demand?"
"You're going back to work?"
"You don't work?" (That one makes me laugh and laugh... not work. *snort*)

I think I've been on the receiving end of most of those in some variation. And boy, nothing can deflate the already fragile ego of a parent than someone judging your choices.

Granted, I don't expect people to agree with everything I do. That'd be dumb. And presumptuous. And wrong. But to look at someone with disdain for the choices that they make? That's worse.

It's so very easy to get all riled up about this. "Don't judge me! YEAH! I can do what I want! YEAH!"

Right. That's fairly true.

And yet, when I look back over my day, sometimes I just want to kick myself because I'm no different than those judging me.

Granted, I'm a lot less verbal, but still...

In the grocery store, I'm watching a mom get completely exasperated with her screaming child as she tries to find a specific box of pasta.

I judge and think to myself, "Get control of your kid or leave... I have a headache."

I don't know this lady's situation. I don't know a thing about her.

Or, I see a lady with a four year old in diapers.

Easy to assume I know her deal, "Why is he not potty trained? She must be lazy about it."

Or he might have a disability. Or be ridiculously stubborn. But, it doesn't matter.

Neither of them are hurting me... why am I so quick to judge them? Even if it's in my head. No one needs that negativity coming at them all day. And I'm sure that if I thought it? Someone has probably said it.

I'm so sick of the "Parenting Wars." Who the heck cares what Jimmy's Mommy does in her parenting? So long as it's not hurting anyone and it's working for them, why do we judge it?

Don't get me wrong, we can disagree with each other. And better yet, we can learn from each other. And we have the freedom to change. But we don't have the freedom to make someone else feel like dirt because they're not like us...

Do me a favor: stop focusing on the bad. Start focusing on the good.

And the next time you're out and you see some frazzled parent doing their best? Give them a hand or a smile or a kind word.

Both of your days will be better because of it.

That much I know is true.


  1. Mmmhmmm...Amen...my blog post today is JUST a link to this one. That's how much I "Amen" it :-)

  2. This is an issue that every parent deals with, and we all fall on one side or the other on a daily basis.

    The pacifier one is really obnoxious.

    What has bothered me the most is the use of names. We chose the name Abigail with the explicit purpose of calling her Abby, but we're reminded almost once a month by a particular woman at church that we should call her by her real name. I have gotten to the point at 14 months to tell her that we all make choices, and this is our choice not hers.

    Argh. I'm going over to read Corrine's blog post now...

  3. Amen! (Linked from Corinne's blog) For me, working and breastfeeding are the big ones. I feel like I have to defend my choices.

    I think a lot of it is our own insecurities (nobody has criticized me about going back to work) but I have sometimes been shocked at what people think should be public information. I couldn't BELIEVE how many people asked if I was breastfeeding. Is it normal to ask people about their breasts?!

  4. Thanks for the reminder, Jen. And I need it more often than I'd like.


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