When you use the word “judging” and mom in the same sentence it generally has a negative connotation. There is an idea that being judgement free means for better parenting or or that somehow we are bad people if we judge others. Judging does not inherently mean to demean or to look down upon. It means to form an opinion or to draw conclusions.
I judge your parenting skills when I see your kid throwing a tantrum at the store, when I see you yell at your child, or when I see you standing on your helicopter pad on the side of the playground. When I see these things I evaluate the situation and decide whether I would do the same thing or not, and why.
I take into account that your child might be tired, or sick. I keep in mind that this may be the third time that your child has been rude to you today. Maybe you are the helicopter mom because your child has a weakened immune system. I get that. I understand there are a lot of things going on in your life that I am not aware of.
I also get that whether your child is tired or not, it is your obligation to teach him he can’t always get what he wants. I get that it is your job as a parent to show them how to speak to others with respect. I know that children learn about love when you let them fall and then come over to give them special mommy kisses.
Seeing how you handle your child in public in various situations reinforces how I parent, but also can provide me with ideas for new techniques. I envy the mom who can remain totally calm while her child is being defiant. It shows me that it can be done, and that I can do it, too.
Knowing that others will judge my parenting skills in public also makes me be a better parent. It forces me to pull patience out of thin air, or to treat my child with respect when they are being rude and I am really stressed out. In a time when we are so removed from the village we desperately need to raise our children, I learn from this village through observation and judgement. I’m hoping maybe one time I will be that mom you see with endless amounts of patience just when you are at your wits end, and you can judge me.
By Rebecca M.