Don’t we shame ourselves enough? Can we stop shaming other parents for stupid stuff please?
Saturday afternoon we took our kids to the local park. We happily played with our children and watched them make friends. There was sun, a cool breeze and a lot of laughter. Near the end of our time there, I happened to notice a mom who was desperately trying to get her kid to stop humping a pole. Kudos to her too, she stayed calm and didn’t shame him for his behavior and gently reminded him that he couldn’t do that at the park. The thought occurred to me that if other parents had seen this, it would have been so easy for them to judge this poor woman. Of course, I was quickly reminded of how I came to have this perspective when my four year old screamed “OWEN LOOKS LIKE A TWISTY PENIS!” at the top of his lungs five minutes later. Oy.
When my first was born, I was 17 years old. The pressure I felt to parent this kid was at least quadrupled since everyone thought I was a fuck-up already and it was my job to make sure I proved that I was capable. This lead to over parenting to make society think I knew was I was doing. Sorry kid, I know I wasn’t always the best. I was judged CONSTANTLY. Not silently either, sometimes directly to my face.
I recently came across a post in a local community group where a woman posted negative comments about a mom whose child was screaming, accusing her of forcing him to do something he didn’t want to do. To my absolute delight, nearly every comment called out this mom shaming nightmare and took the side of the woman with the screaming child. What makes people think this behavior is ok? Don’t we as parents put enough pressure on ourselves? Do we really need others making snap decisions based on incomplete information? I certainly don’t.
My husband and I nearly had to carry our child out to the car again due to school refusal. This was after my poor husband attempted to drop our youngest off at pre-school only to be told it was not his day to attend in-person (yep, we both forgot). We were already 2/2 this morning on not awesome parenting. You know what we don’t need after a morning like that? ANYONE ELSE TO TELL US WE AREN’T DOING IT RIGHT. Keep it to yourself, Nancy. Some of us are human.