I think one of the most difficult aspects of parenting is when people appear to question the way you parent and the choices you make. The judgement of other, tis' a terrible thing to bear. I'm very comfortable with the way my partner and I have decided to raise our son, and yet a raised eyebrow or one, perhaps, mistimed comment and I can be left mired in self-doubt and feeling like the worst mum in the world. How does that happen? Perhaps its all in my head, and I've somehow managed to become both confident and self-conscious all at once. I don't think I'm alone. I've encountered other parents who, for example, seem to think that the mere fact my son wear cloth nappies (apart from during the house move when we managed to lose our entire stash!) means I'm somehow denouncing them as terrible parents because they use disposables - when actually I couldn't give a flying fig about what they put on their kid's bum. I just assume that everyone has made the right choice for them, just as we have.
And if it' not in my head - then why do people think they have the right to comment on the way I raise my kid? Parenting is bloody hard, its certainly the hardest thing I've ever done, and yet sometimes I think we forget that, hey, the mum in the supermarket yelling at her kid might be finding it hard too. We forget all about empathy and pull on our judgy-pants. I've done it, I bet you've done it too. If anything should bind people together its being parents, and yet it often seems to do the opposite - up come the defenses, and we're all pitted against each other.
What's the solution? I honestly don't know. Be nicer to each other? Well, sometimes I'm too tired/hormonal/stressed to be nice, and I'm sure you are too. If I see something I don't like, I suppose I must try and remember that everyone does their best, and sometimes it just isn't your day. And if someone offends me? I take a walk, I try and shake it off as I explore the countryside around me. I probably swear and rant about it at my husband too. Sometimes I swear and rant a LOT. When it comes down to it, we're all just trying to get through to bedtime.
This week! It stopped raining and we went outside! Remember outside? Its really nice.