You get pregnant, or get someone pregnant, and now suddenly everyone and their mother wants to give you advice. The one thing they leave out might just surprise you.
If I counted every time someone gave me unrequested advice about parenting… let’s just say it’s a BIG number. There was the first pregnancy scares where I was told two million times how hard it would be, all the dirty diapers, the lack of sleep, the cracked nipples (yea, people went there) and so much more. Then the second and third where people mostly just dropped their jaw at the sheer thought of me continuing to reproduce, and reminded me of the difficulty ahead as if I wouldn’t figure that part out on my own. My fiancé and I have been pooped on and peed on more than I care to count. Food has been flung, smeared, rubbed and tucked into diapers and couch cushions. We’ve gone days without sleeping well and we’ve gone hours without a second of silence. Yet none of that was nearly as hard as the underlying problem, the sneaky, hushed, behind closed doors nonsense that no one cares to share with you.
The never ending, no matter what you do, judgement that slinks it’s way into every room and spies on you just when you’re feeling confident. The uncomfortable “someone is watching you” feeling and you think you must just be paranoid but THERE they are. Watching, wishing, waiting and judging your every move. The perfect parents, the perfect grandparents, the perfect neighbors and teachers and passerby people who could raise your little loves better than you. They wouldn’t yell, or they would, depending on what it is you are doing. They would give in for the $2.00 toy, after all it’s only $2.00 and who cares that Little Billy already has eighteen of them at home.
I could run at the mouth about a thousand varying circumstances where you will be judged but what’s the point? It’s everything you do or don’t do, say or don’t say.
The point is:
So long as you are doing your very best and doing it with love, there is no one in this world who could do it better than you. The love from a parent to a child is immeasurable and that love is the most important thing. No one can see it or touch it to judge that there is enough or tell you that you are loving them all wrong. When you do something for your child with the best of intent and someone looks at you with their bulging eyes and you can feel the contempt rolling off their skin in heat waves hoping to melt you at their feet…stand up a little taller. Someone did not teach that person to behave any different, but we are all walking different roads. Some of our shoes are brand new and some of us are barefoot standing on glass and you cannot know how that person got to where they are, even if they share it with you, because life changes how you perceive things and treat people in tiny, inconceivable moments.
Just do what you feel is right. Try your very best and ask for help when you need it. Do what makes you happy and makes your children happy. Teach them the basics like respect, love and compassion by showing them examples in their day to day lives. Tell them that you love them. And when someone judges you and voices it, shut them out because someone judged them too one day. Someone showed them that judging parents was a normal thing to do even though it’s unhelpful and biased. Them and you. You were brought up different. A million little moments made you into completely different people who don’t view the world exactly the same. If their voice is too loud and too rough and you can’t shut them out, turn to someone who knows what you are really all about and let them remind you how amazing you are.
Because you are amazing.
And I don’t mean to sound like a self help book for mommies and daddies right now but I’m so tired of seeing people I know get down about the judgement they’re facing. It’s not fair and they are good people doing what they think is right.