Friday, June 3, 2011

Different Kind of Politics

You're at the park and you see one of "those" kids. You know, the ones that are pushing the other kids or hogging the slide or just being unruly. What's the first thing you do? Look around for his mom. What's the next thing you do? Judge. Let's face it, we've all done it and we all assume we've never been the subject of said judgement. Well, that's just not true. No matter how hard we try, at some point our parenting skills fall short of others' expectations.

Now that Jace is getting older and entering various social scenes, I feel like I'm on constant don't-do-that mode for fear of having "that" kids and getting "those" looks. Now, with my close group of friends, we've been around each other enough to know each other's style of parenting and are supportive of each other. But in a more neutral setting, such as Jace's t-ball games, there's a very fine line that must be walked. Let your kid push and shove and rough-house and you get that 'geez-do-something-with-that-kid' look. Shout over the crowd, drag him off the field, sit him down, basically make a scene, and you get the "wow-that-lady-needs-to-learn-how-to-control-her-kid" look. It's exasperating.

The right thing to do, I know this, is to just be confident in my own parenting skills. I'm just not. that. confident. I'm constantly worried about what other people think, like their opinion qualifies me as a parent. Even though I've never, ever heard any of their opinions voiced aloud.

Only once have I had another mom openly chastise my kid in front of me and let's just say I put a stop to that right quick like. (Seriously, who lets a one-year-old play in a ball pit with big 4 and 5 year old boys?) I guess I can say that was one time I felt confident enough to know I was officially doing my job.

I guess I'm just surprised by this phenomenon. This is not something I ever anticipated. Having trials and challenges as a parent is one thing, but to have your stinkin' hard work scrutinized by the surrounding public is another. It's not like we can turn to the on-lookers and say, "What? You think you can do it any better?!" Oh, can you imagine??? Classic!! I think I might just give that a try one day. Cast your votes for Mom of the Year right here, please.

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