A few weeks ago, Hubby and I were stopped at a stop sign when I looked over to the right and the car next to us had antlers and a red nose. I was prepared to laugh at the Christmas decorations, up to the point I noticed there was a toddler standing on the back seat. Really... she was standing up. I glanced up to the front seat and noticed the mom and friend were busy talking and smoking. Now before you start labeling me a nosy, judgmental, bee-atch, I'll just throw it out there that I usually try not to judge how people deal with their children. In that instance, though, I was nearly ready to follow this chick home and bitch slap her. I know...I know...not my business. I can only hope that this mom was right around the corner from her house and the little girl was about to get some fresh air on solid ground.
So in my defense and not wanting to appear overly judgmental, I am going to share a few of my basic rules regarding how I try NOT to stick my nose into other parents' business. These guidelines were created in part because I have walked in their shoes and I know parenting can be really hard.
Here are just a few of my guidelines:
1. I avoid telling other parents how to deal with their children. (While most people wouldn't hit an older lady, I am not willing to take the chance.)
2. I never state emphatically to other parents that my kids are/were 100 percent perfect. (this does NOT pertain to grandchildren..I AM TOTALLY ALLOWED to say my grandkids are perfect. If by some horrible happenstance they don't remain perfect, their parents are the ones that will get blamed, anyway. Win-win for me.....but again...I am sure they are and will remain perfect.)
3. I try to never imply that I have or ever had all the answers and that I was a perfect parent.
There are two points to be made with this guideline:
- A. The word "perfect" is subjective.Mediocre and average are fine words as well.
- B. There is always the chance that someone will remember one of my "mommy fail" moments then I will look like a lying hypocrite.
4. When I see a mom losing her mind with a child, I try to show compassion. Sometimes dipping into my sympathy bank is really difficult depending on how the mom is handling things but still....mommy meltdowns usually mean the child is winning the battle. Score 10 for child, zip for mommy.
5. I would NEVER in a million years say that my child would have never done something or would never do something...because the minute it left my lips they would prove me wrong. Egg on one's face is never attractive.
6. While I am prepared to say there are a LOT of great moms out there...it seems the ones that laud their perfection over the rest of us mortals aren't always among that group. You might recognize some of the self-proclaimed wonder-moms by the length and quality of their Christmas letters. For those moms, I am fine to let them delude themselves. Why burst their bubble? More than likely their day is coming when the picture of perfection gets a crack or two.
Thought Number Two: Parenting's auspicious start..The story of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel.
When you think about it, the very first parents...ever...had their hands full and things didn't go exactly as they hoped. Of course, that's just a theory as I wasn't around at the time. I am assuming that some errors in judgement were made.
It was one thing for Eve to talk Adam into eating forbidden fruit and getting them kicked out of paradise but just think about the fact, Eve's family became the very first dysfunctional family.
Technically, these people are my ancestors, so I feel a certain amount of sympathy for Eve having to deal with Cain becoming the world's first felon...AND if that wasn't bad enough, she also would have been the mother of the first person to experience a violent crime.
Did you notice the family resemblance?
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