People are judgy. Doesn’t matter where you are, there’s always someone around passing judgment, especially when it comes to parenting. They always seem to know better or they’d never parent that way. But here’s the thing, it’s none of your freaking business. It’s not your kid.
When Rosie was little, I made a bunch of decisions that I’m sure other mothers would’ve had a hey day with if they knew. They’d be judgy but personally, I don’t give a shit. Motherhood is hard. Just ask the mom who’s kid wandered off into the gorilla cage last week. Chances are she looked away for a split-second as her child ran into the cage, yet she’s been skewered all over social media for her parenting. I’m glad there wasn’t social media when my teenager was little because I’m 100% certain social services would’ve been knocking on my door if a judgy mom told them that I did all of these things.
I duct taped my baby. Not intentionally but there was a piece of duct tape seared to my newborn’s back. It’s a long story, one I thought I’d never tell, but I did here. Read it and laugh at me.
When my child was two and biting all the time, I bit her back. Yep, you read that right and I’d tell you I’m going to hell but it worked. She never bit me again.
When she was three, she threw a fit in Target and sat down on the ground screaming and crying. I sat down in the aisle until she calmed down. A lady stopped and said, “aren’t you going to calm her down.” I said, “you can try but then you’ll have to take her to Target from now on.”
At four, she refused to put on tights for the recital dress rehearsal. I turned the car around and drove back home. She was not in the recital that year and she hated me. Oh well.
She had a bad habit of throwing all the contents of her closet over the railing when she was mad. I packed it up in garbage bags and didn’t give it back to her. I also put a lock on the outside of the door to keep her in her room. We never had to use it.
Those are all parenting decisions that I made that others probably would’ve been a little judgy had they known. And, I can give you more.
There were ear infections that went undiagnosed because I thought she was just crabby. She was allowed to run around in the backyard naked so she’d finally learn how to use the potty. Once we sat in a restaurant for hours until she ate a bite of food. My kid was one stubborn Ginger and I had to figure out how to get her to do all the things we needed her to do every day and tame her temper.
One day, it worked. She no longer threw her clothes into the hallway. She wore the itchy, ugly costume for recital. She put herself into time-out in her room when she was crabby. All the things that I did that all the judgy moms would probably bash me for worked.
Motherhood isn’t easy and it’s not science. Each child is different and you have to parent the best way you can. As mothers, we need to support each other instead of passing judgment and giving the stink-eye in Target. We need to build each other up, instead of tearing down. Especially since we have no idea what’s going on in someone else’s house or life.
Could the gorilla mom have kept a closer eye on her child? Sure, but kids are lightning fast. One minute they’re there and the next they’re not. Don’t be so judgy.