(originally written 11/3/2017)
To You, Snarky Reader:
If you didn’t already know, parenthood is a consistent cycle of trying to be the absolute best person you’ve ever been, while endlessly being criticized for your decisions.
Like, yeah, true – I hear you, childless reader, with your snarky, “Well, I’m judged all the time, and I don’t make acrostics and blog posts about it,” attitude.
You know what? I bet you are judged all the time! Pardon me for not knowing your life (because I was, in fact, born with child and have never known the feeling of being childless).
Also, snarky reader, who is ultimately only responsible for your own actions, riddle me this:
How is sleeping from the time you close your eyes until your alarm goes off (or better – until you decide to wake up)? (I realize this has nothing to do with the subject of this post, it’s just annoying and I miss it…)
… And how does it feel to know that if you don’t put something in your mouth, it probably won’t end up there (probably)?
Oh! And! How does it feel to know that if you’re getting groceries out of your car, you generally don’t have to worry about an extension of you wandering off into the street, with said-extension having no understanding s/he could get slammed by the next driver going 10 miles over the speed limit?
Jeez. I could go on with these questions all day.
…You’re lucky I don’t feel like it.
So, back to the point of this post:
Parents = Easily Judged
If you think you are one of the select few who has never, ever judged a parent for his/her parental decisions, I want you to do three things:
- First, think about one friend (or even acquaintance – Facebook will probably do for this exercise) who has a child, and then think long and hard about the decisions they’ve made while being parents. What are your thoughts about those decisions? What decisions immediately popped out at you? Probably not decisions you’d brag about if you were them, right?
- Now, if you’re seriously going to play the Planet Fitness card, then go ahead and try this: think about your own parents. Biased as it may be, you’ve judged the shit out of them once or twice – probably because they wouldn’t let you go out to a party when your best friend Suzie’s parents let her go, or maybe because they fucked you up somehow and now you can never live up to your fullest potential because they made this choice instead of that choice, all while raising your ungrateful ass.
- Alriiiight!! Now that reality has set in, I want you to feel TERRIBLE about it. Don’t, like, lose sleep or anything, but at least realize that you’ve actually been quite the asshole this entire time.
Just kidding on #3!
… Sort of.
And if all your answers to 1 & 2 are legitimately NOs, then congratulations on not knowing any parents!
Honestly? Regardless of your response to 1-3, you’ve more than likely judged a parent, and you’ve probably judged a parent HARD. Suuuuuure, it was just a natural thing, because we all know better than that person over there, who’s kid is obviously going to turn out to be a fuck-up – because what the hell was that parent thinking?
And now for some quickies (you’re welcome), so you can get a glimpse into the life:
A long-ago neighbor adopted a black baby. The adopter’s mother (the baby’s new grandmother) told her friends that the baby was some other ethnicity (Hispanic I think?) …
One of my friends went to the doctor and told the nurse she was breastfeeding her 13-month-old baby. The physician replied, “you’re STILL breastfeeding?”
Quickie #3 (this is more like a one-hour lunch break type of quickie. Hold onto your hats):
When I was in fifth grade, I was super awkward and already going through puberty (yeah, fifth grade – sucked) and probably border-line autistic or something, and my single-parent mom just wanted the best for me… So, she put me into a charter school, where unbeknownst to her, I was thrown in with all the other misfit kids.
We really didn’t learn much (probably because we wouldn’t shut the fuck up – a real problem I’m still dealing with today – shutting the fuck up), but everyone with weirdo kids thought this school was all progressive or whatever (no offense to my weirdo charter school friends, I still love you).
Maybe the school was progressive. Who really knows. Ya know?
Anyway, one day we (me, my mom, and my babysitter) were at my babysitter’s house, and we were all standing in a circle (me, my mom, and my babysitter), and I must have really showed how dumb I was that day, or how big of a misfit I was, because my babysitter said something along the lines of “just send her off to boarding school so they can whip her into shape.”
Can you guess the response of an all-too-tired mother of an all-too-pain-in-the-ass, puberty-struck, 11-year-old?
The lady (my mom) started BALLING (awe, sad). She claimed she was doing the best she could and she didn’t know what else to do. I probably still remember it because I have never felt more uncomfortable leaving someone’s house, ever.
…And I’ve left a lot of houses in a lot of uncomfortable situations, if you know what I mean (like getting rejected with girl scout cookies and shit, obviously)…
To break the awkward tension I’ve just built for everyone still reading, here’s a super cute picture of my baby doing super cute things:
…And, back to the post –
Parenthood, ladies and gentlemen.
We are all doing the best we can. We generally have a reason for why we’re doing what we’re doing (whether you think we’re dumb as doorknobs for doing it or not), and it’s honestly none of your Goddamn business, regardless.
So, next time you decide to make a comment about a parent’s decision, maybe learn some self control and keep it to yourself! (I’m still working on this – much easier said than done, I understand).
Shut the fuck up.