Alexander

No judgement…

Chatting to some other Mummy friends today, we recalled how judgemental we were before babies. You’ve done it. I’ve done it. We’ve all done and bought the judgemental t-shirt. It’s easy to judge because it’s hard to truly understand life with kids when you don’t have them.

I know I didn’t fully appreciate this often baffling journey of parenthood before my cervix got in gear and part of that blissful ignorance is probably the saviour of mankind as we know it. We need to not know the bad stuff to get doing the good stuff and keep procreating.

My knowledge of kids came from a million gorgeous Greek cousins I loved playing with and mothering since I was a child. I was always a maternal, caring kind of girl but in my late 20’s, as I flicked through endless magazines of Celebs carrying their sailor suited babies in tottering Loubs I like many mothers- to- be questioned naively, “how hard can that be?”

Judgement exists. We judge ourselves, others, a lot, too much; what people wear, do, say, don’t do, want to do, it’s often a futile circle of judgement. Judgement is, of course, important when it comes to the safety of a child but I’m referring to the trivial shizzle, the stuff that in hindsight (that wonderful thing) which now makes me want to punch myself in the face.

Judgements like this:

1. How can that lady let her toddler scream the supermarket down? Couldn’t she intervene/take the toddler outside/ stop ignoring him/her?

2. Why won’t that child say please and thank you? Manners cost nothing surely?

3. Why won’t their child sleep?

And the list goes on…and on and then all the visible evidence of how hard having kids can be, is forgotten or dispelled with these ever repeated bull****  words:

“But our kids won’t be like that“.

Phew. And to bed…

Fast forward  to a 3 year old and 6-month old later and I can safely say some other not -yet- mothers are no doubt judging me right now because:

1. My toddler (and pretty much all toddlers) become Neanderthals around the terrible 2 mark. Screaming in supermarkets is a vital formative right of passage. A bit like getting your first period but MUCH more embarrassing. Sometimes ignoring the craziness is the ONLY way. You know when they’ve lost the plot and no amount of talking/distracting/bribing/trying to get them off the floor and outside will work. I like to call it ‘The Point of No Return’.

Once the episode is over, normality can resume. If normality means millions of eyes glaring at you, judging, a scrambling of items in bags and a quick escape.  Disclaimer: you might have lost your appetite by the time you get the supermarket food home.

2. My child is polite MOST of the time but I hate it when he refuses to apologise . I won’t let him get away with it but I now have a new appreciation of what having a stubborn child can mean. I turn off the TV/ stop the games and have been known to remove toys in to another room/the bin until he says sorry. It’s not fun and I can see why in public, some mothers just let it lie.

3. Oh, sweet sleep. I miss thee. What do 8 hours of undisturbed sleep actually feel like? I can only imagine it to be like a yoga retreat in Thailand with Adrian Grenier on massage duty; blissfully rejuvenating and (hopefully post-coitally) sleepy. O has never slept fantastically well. Colic and co-sleeping whilst breastfeeding along with 2 moves to big cities before the age of 1 along with acute ear infections seriously interfered with his sleep routine. Every time he got into a good routine and slept through, the ugly glue ear returned.

Every time he got into a good routine and slept through, the ugly glue ear returned.

Every time he got into a good routine and slept through, the ugly glue ear returned.

Currently, at 3, he wakes in the night with nightmares/ wanting to play and to make things even better because there’s nothing like being up all night (not raving) my usually tranquil baby is teething so wails a few hours for good measure. My Mum told me I slept in my parent’s bed until I was 4.

There it is, history repeating itself and it’s really time to accept real sleep is a thing of the past.

A bit like being obsessed with Zack from Saved By the Bell. Fun to lust over but never going to be a reality. So this calls for one thing and one thing only: we have to buy a bigger bed and pronto! Truly makes ‘And to bed’ take on a whole new meaning.

Any judgements you’re now regretting?

Photograph ©Vicki Psarias-Broadbent.

 

 

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21 Responses

  1. Phil Refuelled

    “Lord,
    Let my words be tender, pleasant-tasting, and full of goodness. For, tomorrow, I may have to eat them.”
    Phil Refuelled recently posted…My Sunday Photo: 8 November 2015My Profile

    Reply
  2. Richmond Mummy

    Great post and yes, I think I was more than likely one of those judgemental types pre children. Now, with a toddler and a baby, how my views have changed… I now have the utmost respect for all parents out there and will never be judgemental again!! (well, almost never…! 🙂 x

    Reply
  3. Franglaise Mummy

    I LOVE this post! Hubs and I were so superior before having kids, “our kids will never throw tantrums”, “we’ll never give in to bribery”, “our kids won’t know what a TV is” and so many more. Two kids later and we have pretty much every Disney film ever made and our eldest has even been known to have an occasional “Disney day” when Mummy is struggling with hangovers after having a baby and not drinking for pregnancy and most of breast-feeding! Bad Mummy!

    As you say, it’s the only way to ensure the human race continues, so let’s raise a glass to the critical, ignorant, not-yet-parents whose life will change when they get their own 😉

    Reply
  4. Franki

    I think everyone does, not necessarily with malice intended but we all do. I know I did and have learnt from experience it is easier to judge than parent. My two main ones were I said I’d never give him a dummy & never let him watch tv just so I could get something done. I’ve done both and now know sometimes cbeebies is the only way to wash my hair! Xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Franki agree, it’s not malice, just ignorance and lack of experience usually! Totally relate to Cbeebies and dummies! Hehe. Love your comment x

      Reply
  5. I Am Into This

    This is a great post! I used to think, “oh my goodness, that child isn’t wearing mittens and shoes and it is so so cold!” Now, I know why…Zayn tears gloves off, shoes and socks off and insists in waving his bare feet in the air, even when it’s snowing!

    Reply
    • Franki

      This!! Luca never has a hat and gloves on and I feel the need to tell people it’s because I physically cannot get him to wear them unless I glued them on him xx

      Reply
      • honestmum

        @Franki they do change though, as O went from not minding, to hating to loving again! Ah kids!

    • honestmum

      @Iamintothis thank you! We’ve all done it! Beauty about children is they constantly change and the tantrum phase is outgrown..until teenagedom hits!

      Reply
  6. Notmyyearoff

    Yes!!! I used to swear blind we would not get frustrated with tantrums and never give a dummy. I’ve gone back on both those things and I now never ever ever judge any parent looking in despair in a supermarket as their child kicks and screams. I kind of want to just smile and give them a big hug!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Notmyyearoff totally agree; maybe free hugs to parents in despair is the way forward. I often think some people forget quite how hard kids can be (especially if their children are grown up) too.

      Reply
  7. sarahhillwheeler

    Yep, I can identify with all of these. All night negotiations in the City nothing compared to my son. I never thought I would resort to dummies, sweets and bribery so quickly. J seems to be winning….last week he tried to persuad me to take him to town for something he wanted “because you can have a coffee and cake in Costa afterwards.” I am the parent my parents warned me against!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @sarahhillwheeler Wow love the fact your son can be harder than negotiations in the City; I hear you (tougher than negotiating work contracts for me with him)-how did these little people get so clever and manipulative?! Coffee and cake in Costa is a good enough reason for me to go into town; well done the little man!

      Reply
  8. Stay At Home Mum ~ In Training

    I’m guilty of this!! Ha. I was the one who used to be in a supermarket and not be impressed at the mum who went by with the screaming child that she was blatantly ignoring. Now I’m that mum and agree sometimes ignoring is the only way!! Xx

    Reply
  9. The40yearold

    Oh yes. Although we did have a tongue in cheek view on it all, claiming at one point we would write a book “parenting by non parents”. Not a terribly catchy title, but does what it says. The bad behaviour in public was one I didn’t get. Little did I know how impossible it is to deal with. My very good 5 year old did some super tantrums in Tesco when she was 2.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @The40yearold Hehe! That is funny. That could be the first book; the sequel post kids. I actually think you should combine it-write a book about the assumptions and the reality. I’d buy it x

      Reply
  10. Anne G-T

    Oh yes, I can totally relate. My hubby and I swore blind we would never discuss the contents of our baby’s nappies or lift up the baby and sniff it’s bum. Ha, how little did we know 🙂

    Reply

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