Monday, August 29

Lesson #131 - Parents Understand Other Parents

My neighbor and I were sitting outside talking yesterday about those leashes that some parents put on their kids (I use one with Lulu)...and I recalled being very judgmental when I saw parents in public - being "bad" parents - that was before I had kids.

You've seen them:

- The Mom who sits on the sidelines of the play-place at the mall, almost asleep, while Little Jimmy runs around the place making the other kids miserable;

- The Dad who is sitting at a table stuffing fries down Julie Mae's throat;

- The Mom AND Dad who are pushing Suzy and Johnny in a stroller and not even paying attention to where they are going (almost hitting other people).

Heck, you might have even BEEN that parent at one point or another...and that is OKAY! I didn't understand that concept before having children. I could only look at them and say to myself, "Good grief, I will NEVER be that parent...ever!"

Oh, was I wrong.

What I didn't understand was that Little Jimmy's mom has been dealing with her son's ADHD for days on end, with no break, no vacation, and no sleep. She has been doing everything she can to keep him occupied while trying to get him accustomed to socializing with other children. She hasn't done anything for herself in years because she isn't able to sit down...ever. She would love to take a nap while Little Jimmy naps - but his mind is so incredibly active that he can't take a nap during the day

What I couldn't have known is Julie Mae had refused to eat any real food for the last week. She has a new little sibling - who was back home with mom - and decided to only drink from her sippy cup, just like the baby. When her parents can get her to eat, it might be as much as a 1/2 piece of cheese or 1 chicken nugget. This is the first time that she has had any interest in eating solid food - so dad jumped at the chance and bought her a large order of fries.

What I failed to notice about Suzy and Johnny was that they are twins. The joy of having children was multiplied by 2 for this family...and with 2 children comes 2 times the work. Mom and Dad haven't slept in weeks because as soon as one baby calms down - the other gets all revved up. They both get fed at the same time, and get changed at the same time, and skip naps at the same time, and scream at the same time. Both are colic-y, so neither parent has had a wink of sleep - literally - for months. This is the first time they've all ventured out of the house and the mall seemed like a great choice. Unfortunately their lack of sleep means they can't focus as well as I could - without kids.

I get it now and I feel their pain.

I see the looks I get when Lulu is running around like a crazy girl - I know I' m being judged when I buy 2 large fries at McDonald's (oh my gawd - is she going eat all that herself?!) - and when I raise my voice on occasion while Bubba screams in my ear, I can only imagine what Single Sally Homemaker is whispering to her girlfriends...

The one thing that I don't do anymore - is jump to a judgmental conclusion...because I have been there...and now, I understand.


Anonymous said...

We bought the leash, but only because we didn't want to lose The Boy at DisneyWorld. That was the only day we've used it.

Camilleta said...

I know what you mean hahah! Yesterday I was at the store and my daughter was running around crazy, taking things off the shelves. I was like, wow I always feel sorry for moms with kids who act like this, whoever thought it would happen to me! I always try to smile understandingly at distressed moms now because on another day that was me.

Camilleta said...

By the way, nothing wrong with a baby leash! It cuts down on the chance of your kid getting lost in a crowd or hit by a car or something. It's great for kids who dart off unexpectedly, or for any kid when you're in a busy place like Disneyland or the mall on Black Friday etc. I used to think they were sort of abusive too but now I love it, and my daughter calls it her puppy backpack and even asks to wear it.

Daffy said...

Amen Amen Amen! And the advice.... if I want your opinion I'll give it to you! Heh...just kidding...sort of. Funny how quickly people forget that all children are different and what worked for one or even three quite likely won't work for yours (or mine).

Usually the ones (parents) who appear and pretend to be perfect while in public have the most out of control lives in private. I've discovered that nugget too.

(Florida) Girl said...

People are always gonna judge regardless. All of my mommy bloggers have taught me, that when my day comes, I'm just going to do the best I can. Period. And if that means two orders of fries, so be it. ;)

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

I have been using the dreaded baby leash since hayley was walking. Honestly, to me it is not different than being confined in a stroller. I have some guest bloggers this week if you get a chance to check out:) have a great week.

TanyasTreasureTrove said...

Hi! Following you from a blog hop!:0) Hope you visit me and return the follow!

Btw if you like please join the Treasure Trove Tribune! I think you will enjoy it!:0)

Blue Eyed Blessings said...

i'm trying not to be judgmental's hard!!

blueviolet said...

You are so right! There's no way we can see the big picture, but we do rush to judgment, don't we?

Baby Sweetness said...

Dude, I totally know what you mean and have seriously eased back on my judgemental-ness. I mean, it's not gone. We all need hobbies...

Now where do I buy a leash?

Merrie said...

Great blog!

Nobody ever knows the life of a mom until they put on their mom shoes -- the really worn out ones with a few holes around the edges. :)

I always thought the leashes were a good idea -- I'm sure they've saved countless children from being lost or hurt. I'll never understand people finding fault with them.

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