Let me start off by letting you all know that I'm not writing this post looking for reassurance that I'm a good mother. I'm not writing this to attack anyone, because I'm talking about myself as well. My hopes are to open all of our eyes to how easily we judge each other and how easily it can hurt - especially when it's parents against parents.
So, this post is for all the people who have judged me without even knowing me.
A couple of weeks ago, you saw my family and complimented how beautiful my three children were. After getting a good look at our faces, I knew you immediately noticed how young we are - your mood completely shifted without you even noticing. You were selling a vacation getaway to Branson, Missouri - which you then assumed I had no idea where it was, just by the way you asked me. After telling you that I did know where Branson was, and how I've been there - you brightened. I decided to talk to you even after you clearly didn't think I was worthy of the time, and that's when you started to ask me more personal questions. How old I was, if we owned a home - nothing that had to do with what you were selling - and once you realized how young we really are, and how we rent not own a home.. You hurt me. Hurt me so much that I'm still thinking about your words to me.
This person was judging us by the way we looked and a basic conversation.
How did they come up with the fact that we probably didn't have any money to take our children on a vacation? How did she come up with the assumption that we would never visit this place with our kids? Just because I'm 25 and we rent our home?
A part of me realizes where all these assumptions led to that conclusion in their mind.
I was a hairstylist. I've cut a huge diverse of client's hair.
I'm just naturally a nice person, so I was nice to everyone who sat in my chair. One thing I taught myself as a hairstylist was to never judge anyone by the way they looked, or even the way they responded to your conversation. I never assumed if they had/didn't have money based on their dirty clothes or nice suit. This method worked well for me, because most of the people who only appeared to be standoffish ended up being friendly and tipping me a lot.. while the others who, on the outside, appeared to be worth the extra time on their hair for a big tip ended up tipping me $1. So, it doesn't matter how someone looks or how they converse with you. You can never know someone's story based on the basics. So why do we spend our time judging each other so easily?
Especially as parents..
The judging never stops - from social media to walking our kids to school.
We can never catch a break.
I make a lot of mistakes - I'm not perfect.
I might send my kid in shorts to school because I didn't check the weather on time.
I might pack my kids chips and ham for lunch all week because we ran out of fruit.
I'm still learning how to be a parent every day.. & learning how to be a parent is hard.
It doesn't matter if you are old or young. Last year, I wrote a post about the struggles I face as a young mother, and the response I got was mind blowing. My eyes were open to all the struggles parents face - whether they are young or old, whether they have one child or more, whether they were single or married. Writing that post taught me how different all of us are, too.
We are all so different as individuals, which makes us different when it comes to parenting our children. So, why does everyone expect us to parent our children the exact way?
Isn't the fact that we are so different the beauty of our world?
We need to learn and grow from each other.
Maybe the way your potty training technique isn't working for your child and your fed up, well guess what? There's so many other parents with different techniques in this world, that you are bound to find at least one person to help you out with a new method.
I hope one day we can all stop judging each other so much, even for myself.
When you see another parent having a hard time with their screaming child at a restaurant - don't roll your eyes, just give them a hopeful smile because I know we've all been there one way or another.
Let's stick together.
Our children can only gain from it, right?