Friday, November 30, 2012

Parenting opinions all over the place

So here are the thoughts that have been marinating over the last few weeks.

Parenting. There are a million ways to talk about parenting. The bottom line is that it is hard. Like really hard. Like hard in that you cry about it's difficulty and find joy in it in a matter of minutes. Having children isn't really for the children. It's for you as a parent. Boy, do you learn a lot.

Lately, I have had some experiences that have made my hyperaware that parenting is just hard. Hard for everyone. Different for everyone, but hard nonetheless.

A couple of weeks ago, a group of friends of mine were together and we were talking kids, because that is just what you do. Diapers, parent teach conferences, Christmas gifts. The conversation started to turn to how so and so's child is so violent and the parents really aren't doing anything about it and they don't care. And then there was mention of how so and so's kid is so lazy and disrespectful.

I kept quiet, thinking about how I have had "that kid" that hits and fights. "That kid" who is rude to adults sometimes. And I was thinking about how I don't try to suck, I really don't. I try really hard to do my best. I never had a kid so I could ruin it. And I would venture to say that most of the world doesn't. But that fact is, kids are gonna be kids. "I gonna be me". And you know what, all ya'll talking about each other's kids has just got to stop. Let's just acknowledge that parenting is hard and that no one is trying to do a crappy job.

You people talking about so and so's crappy kid and their crappy parenting- guess what- bad news, your kid isn't perfect. And someone probably thinks you are doing a crappy job and that your kid sucks. It's true. Someone does. It's best you keep your thoughts to yourself. And instead of wasting time jawing about someone else, take a good look at yourself as a parent. You probably aren't the parent you think the other person should be.

We need some more teamwork. Some more support for one another. Less judging and more understanding. And love. We can love other people's children and see them for who they are. Just children. No child deserves to be talked about in a negative way, assuming the worst. Am I guilty of this? Absolutely. But I am grateful for some recent perspective that has taught me how to behave. I will be better. And you should too if needs be.


  1. I had this thought the other day. I found myself quickly judging another mom and then it hit me - this is hard and there are days where I completely fail, so who am I to judge? We should be building each other up because parenting is hard enough, so hard that some days I want to quit. Thank you for this!

  2. Thank you for this Whitney.... Yes it is hard. I have that thought at least once a day :)

  3. Whitney, thank you so much for this post. My oldest is "that kid" too. The one that fights you on everything, throws monster tantrums, yells, won't share well, etc.. and more than once I have felt the judgement from others around me, even close friends and it hurts. I don't try to suck at parenting either, and I am sure I have failed in many ways to get control of my oldest, but I am trying so hard to teach her and love her.
    What others don't see are those precious moments at home when its just you and "that kid" sitting on the couch having funny conversations or when they try so hard to be helpful because they want some of that positive praise which may be hard for them to get sometimes. So yes to all you said and thank you for all you said. :) No good has ever come from dwelling on the negative.

  4. Well said. I think it's a great reminder that we don't get to judge anyone or anything by spending a mere afternoon with anyone.

    (Did that make sense?)

    Remind me to tell you about the kid in my boy's class who can't read and how I was judging his parents and whatnot for not reading to him. Then, during a conversation with this kid, I learned that this non-reading kid knows how to fish. FISH, I SAY! So, while my kid can read, that kid can actually feed himself. True story.