Something struck me last week after I put a poll up over on our Twitter page, and shared that across all of our social platforms. The question–which admittedly had a judgmental response as one of the choices–was about whether or not you’d ever use a leash on your kid. One of my friends had posed the question to me after they told me they purchased one for their 1-1/2 year-old child. You can see the tweet below.
Would you ever use a leash with your kid? ASKING FOR A FRIEND #parenting
— Poppin’ Bottles (@PBDadCast) August 31, 2016
For me, I’d never use it. But that isn’t really the point. It got me thinking about just how quickly we snap to judgments about something another parent did. It happens everywhere we go, all the damn time. At the park: “I can NOT believe that parent is on their phone and ignoring their kid!” or “I can NOT believe that parent is playing with their kids like that!”
At the grocery store: “Can you believe they are just letting their kid freak out like that?!” or “Look at the food they’re buying, how dare they feed that to their kids!”
Talking to another parent: “Oh yeah, well I would never do that. You obviously don’t know what you’re doing.”
And don’t even get me started on social media. When the story broke about the kid falling into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, the entire world was so quick to judge that parent’s actions. Guess what? None of us were there. We didn’t know what happened. Eyewitness accounts hadn’t even come out yet and we were all calling for the mother’s head because a beautiful gorilla had to be shot to save the kid. It’s a terrible story. It’s awful. That doesn’t take away from the point. We judged the ever-living shit out of that mother right on the spot. How would you feel if that were you? Pretty fucking terrible, that’s how you’d feel.
I’ve got a little newsflash for you: We’re all really fucking guilty of judging the shit out of every other parent we meet in our life or come across on the internet. I get it, it is human nature. And ya know what? It’s really fucking shitty of all of us. Guess what? I’ve done shitty things as a parent! ::audible gasps:: I know, right?! My kid walked out the door, and down the street when she was 2-1/2. I had no idea where she went. Did I get judged? I don’t know for sure, but it’s a strong probability. Guess what else? I accidentally knocked my other kid down a flight of steps! And it sucked! I felt awful! I wrote about it, too, and I’m pretty damn sure I was judged for it, too.
What’s my point? That we all do terrible shit as parents. Shit we wouldn’t want someone calling us out on, stuff we aren’t proud of. And oftentimes, it’s accidents. They happen. So, maybe next time you see something on the internet or out in public, in your neighborhood, or at your kid’s school that screams out “I MUST JUDGE THEE!”, take a step back, think about your own misgivings, and then kindly shove your judgments up your ass.