It’s so easy to judge mothers before you are one. So easy to roll your eyes at children misbehaving at the mall. Question why parents would bring an obviously overtired child out to dinner on a Saturday night. Snicker at a horribly mismatched ensemble that some two year old is sporting. Judge the three year old with the pacifier or the diapers or blankie in public. It’s all just so easy.
Until you find yourself a mother. And then things become hard. Really hard. All the energy you spent on judging others seems like a compete waste of time. Suddenly, you begin recognizing yourself in them. You realize that you have become the source of the eye rolls and the snickers and the judgment. And it all seems so silly.
When I leave the house with a daughter dressed in head to toe clashing pink and rain-boots on a sunny day, I hope that other parents just know I let her dress herself. When I need to snag a few wipes from another mom at the airport, I assume that she’s been in the same “blowout diaper with no wipes left” situation. Haven’t we all? When my baby eats a french fry off of the floor, though repulsed, I know it’s not going to kill him. And when the twenty something, child-less girl scowls at me, I’m the one rolling my eyes at her. Soon enough, she’ll be in my shoes.
Life is short– it’s a lesson we bloggers have all learned the hard way in recent weeks. I want my children to feel safe and loved. That’s what parenting is all about, isn’t it? A fight over a t-shirt is not worth it at five o’clock in the morning and sometimes cereal for dinner sounds pretty darn good. Puddles are fun to jump in and a little ingested dirt never really hurt anyone. And that three year old who still needs a paci to sleep? Yup, he’s mine. Go ahead and roll your eyes if you’ve never been there. Someday you might be, and it ain’t easy.
At the end of the day, if my kids are clean, fed and know how much they are loved, I consider that day a success. Most days, I’ll just take loved. That’s my mom logic.