Thou shall not judge

There are many things that I find hard about being a parent. The exhaustion, the guilt, the never-ending worry and trying to juggle ten things at once. But the thing that I perhaps find the hardest to deal with is the constant feeling that, as parents, we are all being judged.

It starts before they are even born. The comments on your bump, “Aren’t you measuring a little small?”, the out-spoken opinions on your name choices, “Well that’s an interesting choice of name!”, the judgement on your birthing plans, “Hospital birth? You wouldn’t catch me giving birth strapped to a bed!!”….

And it gets worse when they are born, “You’re not breast-feeding? Did you even try?”, “You’ve introduced solids at five months? Are you not worried that’s too early?”, “He’s not crawling/walking/talking? Aren’t you concerned that there’s something wrong?”.

And those judgemental implications fuel your worry, guilt and panic and, as a first time mum especially, you do find that you start to question yourself and your choices.

And it’s not always the spoken word. More often than not it’s just a look, a quick glance in your direction that tells you in no un-certain terms, I’ve clocked you, I  see what you’re doing.

Like the times when Megan is having another one of her meltdowns in the supermarket, kicking and screaming and headbutting the trolley. Or the times in the park when she is lay face down in the grass, her little legs pounding the floor as she screams herself hoarse.

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Like the times at playgroup when it’s time for snack and my children tuck into ten thousand biscuits and a gallon of juice whilst the other children happily munch on an apple and a cup of water.

Like the times when I realise half way to nursery that the children are wearing odd socks, their T shirts on inside out and they have dried Weetabix smeared across their little faces.

Like the times in a restaurant when the children have spilled their drinks, tipped over plates full of food and flung their meal across the table. When they have screamed so loudly that other diners have actually asked to move tables, when you can feel the daggers as you eat your meal as fast as possible whilst swearing to only ever eat in fast food restaurants for the next eighteen years.

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Like the time when I lost Eva and even random strangers asked me, “Were you not watching her?”. Or the time when Meggy ended up in A&E with a gash to her forehead and I was interrogated by the doctor and asked, “How did you allow this to happen?”.

Like the time I forgot non-uniform day at school and Lewis sat there, the only one in his red school sweat shirt in a sea of blue denim.

Like the time when I got the term dates wrong and the children were a day late back to school or the time, or admittedly, times when we overslept and made the school bell by the skin of our teeth.

Like the time when I announced that I was pregnant again.

And again.

And again……

And it’s just those split second glances, those brief looks of disdain in your direction which say it all. Can’t you control your child? Why don’t you teach your children to behave properly? Don’t you know that sugar causes tooth decay? Haven’t you heard of contraception???

And as someone who has felt judged my entire life, it has been very hard at times to be the parent that I want to be as opposed to the parent that I feel I should be. I think in all honesty, it has taken me until now to realise that these are my children and I will raise them the best I can. Maybe they wont always look pristine and freshly scrubbed, maybe they wont reach all of their milestones as quickly as others or behave as perfectly as I would like them to. But they are still my children.

I think that we all have to find our own paths, our own ways to cope with the stress of motherhood, making sacrifices and compromise to simply make it through each day. But instead of judging eachother, how about we Mums stick together? How about, instead of tutting when my child lays down and screams blue murder on the frozen food aisle in Tesco, one of you flashes me a smile, a sympathetic face that tells me Its okay, we’ve all been there.

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For none of us are perfect. We are simply doing the very best that we can.

 

 

 

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13 Comments

  1. November 11, 2015 / 10:22 pm

    Oh so YES!!!! It’s that simple eye flutter, isn’t it…I love your term ‘clocked’…boom…so it! We are far from perfect, but perfect for our kids. A great post at #bestandworst

    • November 11, 2015 / 10:26 pm

      Perfect for our kids is good enough for me!! Thanks for reading!! ??

  2. November 11, 2015 / 11:40 pm

    YES! Can totally relate to this. Recently all anybody seems to ask me is if my daughter is talking yet. I say no, she babbles though. Literally the next day…. so is she talking yet? lol. All you can do is lol! #abitofeverything

    • November 12, 2015 / 7:49 am

      There’s always something!! Harry was quite late to walk compared to my others and we had a couple of comments from people asking if we were worried there was something wrong with him! He was 14 months not 4!!! I agree, laughing is the best way to deal with it and let it wash over you. Took me w long time to learn that though!!!! Thanks for reading!! Xx

  3. November 12, 2015 / 12:11 pm

    So true! You’re a great mum, doing your best for your family and that’s what should count. I am far from being perfect mum as well but I feel that I don’t have to justify what I do or every decision I make, right? Hope to see you again at #abitofeverything

  4. The Anxious Dragon
    November 12, 2015 / 5:28 pm

    Oh I am so with you on this. I hated all the unwanted ‘advice’ I had when my boys were little.
    I have to say, I have found sympathy and smiles from people as well, usually other mothers who are thinking thank god its not my kid this time!! #Bestandworst

    • November 12, 2015 / 11:08 pm

      Haha that is very true!! I had a hellish hour at the doctors this afternoon with all of the children with the doctor running an hour late! Afterwards a lovely old lady came up to me and gave me a pat on my arm and said, “I’ve been sat watching you and you deserve a medal!”. Made up for the other twenty people throwing daggers at me!!! Xx

  5. Kayla
    November 13, 2015 / 4:22 pm

    Love this! It’s always a relief when you meet someone else who has been there and completely understands that children are fast and unpredictable, and that sometimes you just have to do what you can to make the kids happy that day. It’s difficult though when you’re surrounded by people who are so judgmental and unhelpful. #abitofeverything

    • November 13, 2015 / 10:16 pm

      Absolutely!! And I guess we are all guilty of having judged someone unfairly at one time or another but I find it surprising that so many of the dirty looks and tuts of disapproval come from other parents. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a child on this planet who hasn’t had a tantrum at some point in their life!! ?
      Thank you for reading!! Xx

      • Kayla
        November 20, 2015 / 7:38 pm

        No kidding! All parents should understand that it’s just another regular part of parenting. Even just a sympathetic smile would be preferable at times.

  6. November 17, 2015 / 9:09 pm

    Absolutely, I wrote something very similar a little while ago, I hate being judged for MY decisions, that’s the point they are my decisions and choices to make and noone elses! Thanks for linking up a great post to the #bestandworst and hope to see you again! x

    • November 17, 2015 / 9:16 pm

      Yes exactly! Our choices, our decisions, there’s really no need for anyone else to comment or judge! If only everyone shared that opinion! Thanks for the link up! Xx

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