Don’t roll your eyes, you know exactly what I am talking about; you know when you’re out at a cafe or a restaurant and you’re shaking your head and talking under your breath about the table next to yours because those ridiculous parents thought it would be a good idea to bring their children out for a meal. We would spend so much of our time sighing and getting bothered, making comments like “Why would they come here, with their kids?” closely followed by “When I have children there is no way I would take them to a place like this” or “When I have children, I will never let them behave that way” … I know I laugh about it now too.
One of the more recent (before children) comments I remember blatantly standing by was about the times you see kids throwing a tantrum in the shopping centre, you just know this ‘Awesome Mum with NO kids’ had an opinion on that, “Oh wow, they obviously let their child get away with a lot at home.” You know exactly what I mean, you’ve thought something along the lines of “When I have kids they’ll never…” It’s something we say with no understanding of what it’s really like to be a parent.
I remember making so many remarks about my imaginary children and their imaginary manners, I was going to own this (at the time) imaginary parenting role.
Oh how the tables have turned, my toddler is the first to throw a tantrum in the shops because I won’t let her have another Kinder Surprise and god forbid we drive past a McDonalds (I swear she has an inbuilt radar for the place) of course if we don’t stop I hear about it until I’m able to distract her with something else.
Recently we went out for dinner for my partner’s birthday and our toddler was dancing in the walk way getting in people’s way, she was climbing under the table, throwing pencils, wanting to hold her own apple juice that was filled to the brim and of course getting louder with each passing episode. Now I have to admit I was being a little bit of a helicopter parent and at least trying to rein in the behavior but when it came down to it, apparently she just didn’t care what I had to say. So welcome to the world of “eat your own words, you jerk”.
I was so much better at this parenting gig before I actually become employed by it.
How about technology, oh boy I shake my head just thinking about it.
“I will never use an iPad/iPhone to keep my child entertained” yeah, let’s all just take a second to laugh at my own stupidity.
Okay now that we’ve composed ourselves, I was quick to take that one back.
I think my judgements on this one were pretty quick to turn around and adjust themselves, If a parent has a child sitting with them at a doctors appointment and said child has an iPad in front of them, don’t judge. Just nod and smile and know that they need 5 minutes of silence and this is giving them that and while you’re at it appreciate the fact that you’re also getting 5 minutes of silence instead of tears and tantrums.
What I’m trying to point out is that we are all ‘outstanding parents’ before we become parents, because we have no idea what we are about to be dealing with.
Even once you become a parent it’s quite easy to still think these little remarks here and there about how we think a parent is doing something ‘wrong’ purely because it’s different to how we are doing something. But I have a new mantra that I desperately try to follow when I catch myself in the moment, “Is my judgement helping anyone? Is it helping myself?” that answer has yet to be a yes, so I’ve moved on and am happier that I am one less person on the bandwagon of judging other parents for their decisions.
I would love to hear about your awesome ‘parenting before parenting’ stories – head over to our Social media pages to join the conversation.
Click here to go to our Facebook.
Click here to go to our Twitter.
Click here to go to our Instagram.