There’s tonnes of talk going around Facebook and Twitter right now about Mom’s not supporting each other and making judgements on choices that they’ve made. I think it’s all been addressed pretty well by many people, with the general consensus being “just mind your own business”. I would like to take it a bit further …
What I would like to talk about is Mommy judgement in general, and the total lack of support that we give each other. Why is it that when we look at Moms in different situations that we have an instant judgement of what they’re doing or not doing? Why can’t we look at each other with eyes of understanding and grace? Why can’t we just give a reassuring word, a smile or a helping hand? Why can’t we just honor each other as Moms doing the best that we know how?
I’ve been glared at, laughed at, ignored and ridiculed on many ocassions based on the way I parent and the way that I handle certain situations. People always have an opinion and don’t seem to ever be too scared to share it with me. I used to feel like I had to explain my choices or decisions, but have given up. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M GOING THROUGH RIGHT NOW OR WHY I’M MAKING THESE CHOICES, SO EITHER HELP ME OR SHUT-UP.
I’m a foster parent AND the parent of a special needs child. Because of that, I’ve had to work through ALOT of crazy stuff. I’ve taken care of lots of different kids, with lots of different histories … some good and some horrifying. I have to make weird choices and decisions all the time based on what they’re going through or where they came from. Please respect and support me when I parent my kids as I’m quite often saying them to protect you, them and your children.
If I say, please don’t let my kid hold your cat, don’t comment and say “it’s okay, my cat likes being held”. Trust me, it’s not okay. When I say, boys on one couch, girls on the other, there’s a reason. When I say, no movies or TV shoes over PG, even though they’re teenagers, theres a reason. When I say, please don’t jump on my little boy, don’t tell me that all boys need to wrestle. What you don’t know is that one of those kids may have a history of killing pets, and CANNOT help himself. You also don’t know that one of those kids may have been sexually abused since the time she was born, and seeks out inappropriate touch to fulfill a need for affection. And that cute little innocent boy sitting in front of the TV may like to role play and is obsessed with weapons and gang activity, and watches TV to get “ideas”. And finally, the little boy that can’t wrestle just may punch your child in the face because he doesn’t like to be touched. Things are almost never how they appear on the surface, please keep that in mind before you overstep.
I will never forget the day I was shopping in Superstore with my 2 little ones. My son was about 18 months old and my daughter was about 5. I was super tired and my Hubby was on shift work, so I HAD to shop for groceries alone, there were no other options. At this point, I also had no idea that there was something “wrong” with my son so I really didn’t know how to deal with the situation that was about to occur. I entered the canned goods aisles and started putting stuff in my cart. My son immediately started throwing it out on the ground, everything I put in, he threw out. I just assumed he was misbehaving, so I picked it up and put it back. My son was throwing, my daughter was giggling, and I was coping. Suddenly my son started smashing his face on the buggy and screaming. Repeatedly smashing his face while throwing things. I stood there in shock for a second and then I saw blood. I immediately shoved my hand between his head and the cart and tried to figure out what to do next. He’s now screaming and bleeding, my daughter is crying in fear and I’m standing there not knowing what to do.
Now imagine, you come around the corner and spot this scene. A half loaded shopping cart, with groceries strewn all over the floor, a freaked out and sobbing toddler, a baby with blood streaming down his face as he continually smashes his head into his mothers hand, and a Mom standing there dazed and confused. What would you do? If you were like EVERY person that walked by me, you would’ve glared at me, and kept going. Or you would’ve commented, “take your brats home”, like a lovely woman did. Or you would’ve just stared and shuffled by kicking my groceries out of your path. I would’ve killed for someone to stop and say, “Can I help you”? But not one person did. I ended up just taking him out of the cart, taking my daughter by the hand and walking out while he bled everywhere. One wonderful person did yell these thoughtful words to me as I left though, “that’s really nice lady, leaving a mess like that”. I kept walking and crying.
I later learned that my son has a sensory processing disorder and he was way over-stimulated and was reacting the only way that he could. Once I knew that, I was prepared for the grocery store, and that never happened again. But when I took him shopping wearing a weighted superman cape, a pair of sunglasses and a toque with earflaps, people still stared and/or laughed. I can’t even tell you how many times people asked me why I didn’t put anything in the top of my shopping cart when the bottom section was overflowing. I don’t want to explain it anymore, so please stop asking me questions. Just smile and nod and move on….I’m doing the best that I can for my little boy.
Moms that have just recently lost their husbands still have to be Moms and just don’t have the strength to “parent” right now. Some Moms would love to breastfeed but can’t because their cancer treatment drugs can be passed through breastmilk. What about the Mom struggling with depression that’s too embarassed to ask for help? Do you think these Moms need judgement or advice? No, they need compassion and understanding.
I think it’s time we go back and do the things that we’re trying to teach our children. Be patient. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Lend a helping hand. Love one Another. Be kind. BE A GOOD FRIEND.
Common sense has been pushed to the wayside for political correctness and for fear of doing the right thing. Do not judge when you don’t have all the information. Your judgement just may push someone over the edge when they were already barely hanging on.