I'm a pretty neutral person. There's very little that riles me up, and I usually keep my opinions to myself. When it comes to parenting, I've been on both sides of the judgmental fence - being the judg-ee and being the judg-er. There was the time before I had kids where I passed out judgment like Halloween candy. I'm sure you did it too. I would watch a mother with a screaming child (to my horror) and think, "I would never allow my child to behave that way in public!" Or listen to a child whittle down a mother's will with constant begging, and think, "How can she let her child rule the roost like that! Have some backbone! You're the adult, here!" Then I had my own kids. And everything changed. I've had my share of judgment-deserving parenting encounters in public (and in private, too, if you must know). Then the mantra of my household became, "We do what's best for our family." That can mean that we give in to a whining child, or allow someone to do a lap around the restaurant. Go ahead and stare...judge if you must. But you're not in my shoes, and you don't know what the circumstances leading up to the questionable parental decisions are.
With all of this said, I said some things yesterday, amongst a group of dear friends, that came off sounding judgmental and unsupportive. I'm writing this post to say I'm sorry. Having faced my share of judgment, the last thing I want to do is alienate a friend, and have her think that I am judging her. I can assure all of you that I am not. What is this thing that I said? Well, let's just say it has to do with a touchy subject: sleep. Yeah. That was me. Making a stupid comment. Who am I to say anything about anything? First, this mom is an incredible mom. She has more patience in her pinky finger than I possess in my entire body. She does fun, creative things with her kids. She writes about them (in non-complaining ways), she takes their pictures! (All of them! Not just the oldest kid!) And the list goes on. Second, it's not my place to say anything. Period. It's not even my place to think anything! We all make the best decisions we can for our families. Please accept my heartfelt apology, and know that I meant no judgment by what I said.
Finally, I would like to offer up for judgment this list of things I do or have done:
- I let Buggy brush her own teeth. I always (and I do mean always) forget to have her brush them in the morning. That means my kid brushes her own teeth once-a-day. She's on the orthodontist fast track.
- I swaddled Buggy until she was about six months old - way past the time when you are supposed to stop. I guess there's a danger of them rolling over and smothering. I couldn't risk the chance of her waking up a million times a night. So she was swaddled so I could sleep.
- I let Buggy go barefoot. Everywhere.
- I've said no to the treasure box at Trader Joe's even if she found the rabbit(s) as punishment for bad behavior during the shopping trip.
- I've thrown away toys before. Out of anger or punishment.
- Neither of my kids gets their vitamins. They sit on the windowsill collecting dust.
- I don't make them eat their vegetables. And snacks at our house are usually salty, fatty, processed foods.
- I say no to playing with my kids. A lot. In fact, I just did it about seven times so I could type this post. As if a blog is more important than my kids.
- I have a favorite kid. I won't say who, though.
Well, there it is. Judge away!