Wednesday, December 14, 2011

To Protect and Judge

I think two of the top basic traits of Moms are to (1) Protect their children and (2) To judge other mothers. I don’t think we plan on judging or even notice that we are doing it sometimes.Recently, I was at a play space where there was a young child who was very physical. Now there is the usual play space roughness of fighting over shared toys, aggressive bouncy house action, but this was beyond that. Now I have no problem disciplining other people’s children when it is obviously needed but this child didn’t care and continued his behavior the entire time. His mother was actively watching him but he would just act out randomly and frequently. His mother and I started talking (after he had pushed Daniel down for no reason) and she expressed how she’s having a really hard time with him and she was clearly feeling very overwhelmed. She talked about how she knows that other mothers think that she is a bad mom. I can’t imagine being in her position. It’s actually tough on both ends though. We both brought our kids there to have a good time. I don’t want to spend my time watching where her child is and if he is going to act out against one of my kids. She wants to get out of the house and perhaps have an adult conversation for a few minutes without having to stand guard over her child to make sure he behaves. I honestly felt bad for the woman but immediately was thinking things like, “Well if you just did XYZ maybe he wouldn’t do it.” I suddenly had a mental laundry list of things that she should and should not be doing to “fix” her son. Now for all I know, she could have already tried hundreds of things and nothing worked. Perhaps, they have things going on in their home life that I can’t even imagine. I’m glad she opened up to me about her frustrations because it opened my eyes to the other side of the situation. Will it prevent me from judging in the future? Honesty, probably not but it will at least give me some food for thought. I think the bottom line is that it’s hard being a mom and it’s especially hard being a mom who is in the spotlight.
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