J is for Judging and Being Judged: A Mother’s View
“O my word, can he not keep his child under control? …. ‘Sorry about this, he’s screaming because he can’t have what he wants.’ Can you relate?
Judgement is all that came to mind when I considered my motherhood J. It’s so easy to judge others, isn’t it? It doesn’t take much to come to conclusions about people whose shoes we are not walking in; those whose lives we are not living.
The issue of judging others has especially been on my mind since Precious Sparkle started toddling. I remember the day he staggered towards a friend’s child in our church’s library and lunged for his lunch; all the food ended up on the floor. He just stood there looking, as I rushed forward, took his hand, and started talking sternly to him about how that wasn’t the right way to behave.
My friends assured me that it was okay and that Precious Sparkle’s behaviour was within the realm of expected behaviour from little children. They sorted out the food on the floor whilst I took Precious Sparkle away. I know he didn’t have a clue why I got cross with him and I was quite surprised by my reaction too.
Why did I feel so cross and react so strongly? Why did I expect Precious Sparkle with his developing coordination, improving mobility, limited speech, and growing understanding to know what was right or wrong in that situation?
I suppose I didn’t want my friends to think poorly of me; not that they would. I unconsciously assumed that they will see Precious Sparkle as poorly behaved. and this would reflect badly on me.
On reflection, I know this doesn’t make sense.
I wonder if it’s because I’ve consciously and unconsciously judged other parents and their children before I put on the parenting shoes. I remember hearing stories about parents giving in to their children’s screams for e.g. a McDonald’s Happy Meal etc and thinking, “I’ll not be ONE OF THOSE PARENTS”. I remember seeing children run around in a way that I considered to be unruly and wondering about why their parents couldn’t curtail them.
I admit that I have judged others’ ability to discipline their children and I don’t want others to judge me as ‘one of those parents who don’t …’.
I now know that parenting is one of the (if not the) most difficult job in the whole wide world; I found out the hard way by having a child of my own. It is so much more difficult than I could ever have imagined, and I look at parents with so much more respect than I used.
So, I’m learning to let go of the burden of feeling judged by others because it’s usually not the case. And you know what, even if it is, I don’t have the luxury of being bothered by it.
I also take a lot more care to avoid making judgements about others; I’m not living their lives and I have more than enough on my own plate.
Do you ever feel judged by others, even when they are clearly not judging you? Why ?
My April 2015 #AtoZChallenge: Considering my Motherhood journey from A – Z
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