Thursday, November 17, 2011

Parenting Is Not Always Black and White


We are all guilty of this from time to time. We might glare at the parent with the screaming baby in the restaurant. We might have to really fight to hold our tongue when our mommy friend shares a certain parenting theory that just doesn't jive with our own view. We might talk about how a parent handled a certain situation that is clearly not how we would do it.

Parenting is so black and white when you are on the outside.

Then it happens. Your child throws themselves onto the floor in the middle of Target. Your child is the one that was fussy in a public place. Your child is the one that will not stop grabbing every single item off of the coffee table at your friends house. 

You become the one that is feeling judged. Even though no one said anything you feel the need to fight your case, explain your reasons, maybe even address what they may have been thinking. We all want to be right. No one wants to screw up. Parenting is a huge responsibility. We are shaping, molding, and forming someone's precious life. We will be the reason they are in therapy one day if we don't play our cards just right.

One of the hardest things about parenting is all of the uncertainty and grey area that comes with it. There is no one answer. Every single child is different. Every situation is different. With that comes misunderstanding and unfair judgement and unfortunately there are times when we as parents find ourselves on both the giving and receiving ends of this.

And it sucks.

As hard as I try there are times when I can't resist thinking judgmental thoughts. There are also times when I can't resist comparing myself to other moms because I feel uncertainty about my own parenting skills. It's a tricky situation for sure.

I need to do better. We all need to do better. Nothing is black and white in this parenting game. There is a lot of grey area and until we fully understand the situation we probably should keep our parenting advice and judgmental thoughts to ourselves. We are only experts when it comes to our own children. And that's all that matters right?

**This post was written as part of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. Also the Shabby Apple Giveaway ends tonight! Winner will be announced tomorrow.**


  1. So true! Raising a child is the hardest thing so why can't we be more supportive and understanding of each other rather than judging?

  2. Great post. Parenting is no joke and I agree I do think judgmental thoughts often...very often to be honest. I know I shouldnt but I think its just part of it. Learning curve thats for sure.

  3. very true. i think we are all guilty of these feelings.

  4. This is line, "Parenting is so black and white when you are on the outside" is so true. People need to remember its different when you are in it.

  5. Very true! I don't know why mamas judge each other so harshly. It boggles my mind! We should be one large supportive sisterhood...but we aren't. Sad...but true.

  6. So very, VERY true! It's hard to teach ourselves how to only listen to ourselves when it comes to judging our parenting skills. You're doing something right just by saying it all out loud, there is so much gray. But without the gray, there would be no individuality in our children.

  7. I was totally the person who rolled my eyes at moms with screaming children in any public place! HA! And now, I can't believe how judgmental I was. There really is such a grey area when it comes to parenting. That's one thing I love about the bloggy world, different views and opinions! Not always good or bad but certainly gives you something to think about!

  8. Well said! I was in a situation a few months ago where myself, a friend and our 2 children were out to dinner. My child was a nightmare. Her's was an angel. She didn't come right out and say so, but I know she was judging. Especially after she said maybe he was acting this way because we don't eat together as a family so he doesn't know how to act.

    Ummm. Sorry, but we both work full time. My husband doesn't even get home until after 6. Sitting down and having a family meal at this point just isn't possible. I'm pretty sure he's acting this way because he only got one nap instead of two so we could accomodate YOUR kids schedule and now it's also past his bed time. He's exhausted. (Ok so I didn't actually say it out loud, but I was sure thinking it!)

    Being a parent is tough. Being a parent when you feel like you're being judged is even more tough!

  9. I remember those days when my kids were little, and they were tuff for sure. And it stays tuff in a different sense because the judging doesn't stop when the kiddies grow up.

    It just starts again on a different level. What college they went to, if they went, what type of job they have, their adult choices as if they were your choices- I could go on and on.

    It pretty much the same!

  10. I think we were all better parents before we actually had kids!

    Kiddos are hard and everybody has bad mommy moments.

  11. This is all so true...I would have to say moms are the hardest on each other than anyone else. We do need to be moer supportive, and we might not always agree on everything but we're all trying to do the best we can and what works for us.

  12. Great post! I was definitely judgmental before I had kids. Even when I had my first I wanted to be the perfect mother. One time my husband looked at her without smiling and I got after him. But, My first was also my most difficult, so I learned early on that each child and situation is so different.

    I'm sure I still judge at times, but(unless I think it's an abusive situation) I'm hoping to do away with that completely.

  13. I agree - it is easy to judge people, but you never know what had happened for the rest of their day, week... life. I always try to give people a smile when I see them having a hard time to let them know they're not alone.

  14. Truer words could NOT have been said. I struggle with this alot. A friend recently told me that he was being glared at for letting her child scream in target ( she told the child no she could not have a toy) and she told the glaring woman " I am SoOOOO sorry if I am not willing to let my child act like a brat so that i can make these 5 mins of your life more pleasant" I still laugh when I think about that and try to remember it when I hear screaming kids in stores.


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