The parenting process is not always a beautiful one, especially those moments of public tantrums and random disasters. Our friends at Elephant Journal point out that it is not our responsibility to judge or partake in another mother's parenting moment. So let's stop the mom shaming, shall we?
Shopping at Pier One has historically been a precarious adventure with our family of four.
On one such occasion, our toddler, strapped securely in his jogging stroller, toppled a pyramid of glass end tables. He applauded and cheered as chunks of glass and metal rippled through the store. Gracefully, no one was injured and we were kindly excused from the bill.
That time, I left feeling a little sheepish. This time, however, I left scathed.
We had just made it into the store and I was treating my six year old to a monotone round of "stop it" as he happily and repeatedly jabbed me in the back with a straw. Not a soft, bendy straw either. No, a wide, hard Boba Tea straw. My chorus changed into a rapid succession of "don't touch, don't touch" when he went to admire an assortment of stacked dishes — with his hands.
And then it happened. An older woman, standing only a few feet away, stopped and scolded me: "Do you hear yourself? You should enjoy your children, not berate them. All I've heard is you yelling at him."
Bomb. Detonated. In my mom-face.
I should have taken a deep breath, or clenched my lips. The adult part of me knows that we were dealing with her baggage as much as her perception of what was happening. I should have nodded and walked away. But I was tired.
It was the third time that day that a stranger judged and commented on my parenting techniques. The first two took place at the public library that morning when my toddler was having big feelings and taking them out on the carpet. One woman laughed and said, "You've got a rebel there and it looks like he's got your number." Another kind gentleman just stood there watching, snickering and shaking his head. As far as I could recall, they did not purchase tickets to our show.
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