Saturday, June 4, 2016

This Judging a Parent Thing Is Bullsh!t.

It's a harsh title but it's true.

Image result for judging does not defineWhat's with all the judgement? And for those that do it, who are you to think you have a right to express it?

I chose to write this post because I get sick and tired of the endless judgement that goes on of parents.  I've seen it this week in the news and I hear of it often when speaking with other parents.  And I just don't get it.  

Personally, the most judged I have ever felt has been since becoming a parent. I am sure you feel the same way.  

To me, you just never know a person's entire story.  So making a judgement can be completely unfair.

I am very lucky that I have learned to mentally block judgements that are coming my way.  If what I do doesn't please you, I don't give a right royal toss. Your thoughts are exactly that. Yours. Not mine.  I feel quite secure in what and how I am doing my gig as a parent.  And for the times I don't, I have my husband and family to check in with for honest feedback.

To give you an example, just earlier this week I was challenged on what I pack for my sons school lunches.  I was told it should contain less sugar, that a sprinkle sandwich should be reserved for fairy bread at a party not a school lunch.  

Yes, that is true.  And I agree 100%.   

It is a sandwich people.  Let's not get carried away.  He will not be doing sprinkle sandwiches in high school.  He probably won't do them next term. But for now, when he has refused all other healthier options, my priority is that he eats.  Something.

I know I am not the only parent who feels like this.

In an ideal world, I would pack the healthiest of lunches and snacks and my scholastically brilliant, athletically brilliant, perfect-all-round children would eat every last bite.  

In an ideal world, I would have the figure of Heidi Klum and get 8 hours of unbroken sleep a night too. Every night.  

I am just stoked that my children eat!  Is it unhealthy?  No. What 'treats' they have, they have in moderation.  They are a healthy weight, with healthy energy levels and are of good mind, body and spirit.

But, we don't live every day in an ideal world!  Some days can feel like they come close, other days couldn't be further away!

I was chatting to a mum at school today.  I felt for her so much. Regardless of how many children you have, parenting is a tough gig.  And she was really feeling it.

The expectations that are either there or that we believe are there from society can be insurmountable, especially on those tough days.

There is endless housework, school work, work work, spending time, quality time with your kids, and the list goes on and on.  In a perfect world we would be on top of everything ALL THE TIME. 

I believe the hardest thing about parenting is copping the judgement we never asked for. The opinion or advice we are offered because really, a judgement has already been cast upon our efforts.  

The irony is, in parenting we judge ourselves the hardest.

Are we good parents?  Are our children ok?  Are they behaving in public?  Are we behaving in public?  

We can send ourselves around the twist hoping that we are doing a good job as a mother.

These days, social media makes it so easy to cast aspersions on someone.

We all know what happened in the news earlier this week when a person's parenting came into question after a beautiful animal had to lose its life.  Who knows how that situation could have played out differently.  But a lot of people have jumped on the band wagon of attacking the parents for not watching their child more closely.

For those of you with children, you will know that those little tackers can move at the speed of light if they really want to.  Yes, sometimes it can be a case of not watching your child, but it can also often be a case of watching your child and a situation still going pear shaped. For those of you with more than one, you will know too well that whilst attending to one child your other(s) will take advantage of the situation and either get into something they shouldn't or go somewhere they shouldn't.  As a parent, we have to be prepared for these sorts of things but we cannot always be prepared for which option the unattended child will take! So hold off on your judgements if you do not know all the facts or more so, if you weren't there.

By judging, what you are doing is expecting parents to effectively be perfect parents in that situation.  That is like asking a brain surgeon to do his best work ALL THE TIME when he has had months on end of broken sleep.  As much as we'd like to, we cannot have laser focus ALL THE TIME.  

Yes, there are times we drop the ball.  Don't you think we know that? Do you honestly think we need you to remind us?

I am aware we live in a world where the blame is often shifted and accountability for our own actions seems to occur less and less. But we know ourselves when we have not done our best work in a parenting situation so ease up.

Some days we can only give 100% of the 80% we have to give.

Whether in your mind we are doing our best or not, whether we meet your expectations or not, your judgement does not necessarily help the situation. Because you may not truly know the situation.

When my son came third in his race at the athletics carnival today, his response to my congratulations was priceless.  "I tried my best Mum."  

That is all we ever ask of our boys - to try their best.  And if that is what you are doing as a mum, as a parent, trying your very best, then that is all you can ask of yourself.  

Even on the days you can only give 100% of 80%.  It is still 100%.  And I for one, withhold any judgement of your efforts.

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