Some ruminations on being judged

by The Momma on December 8, 2010

Last weekend, we were getting ready to take the Noodle out somewhere and for a brief second I thought “Someone’s going to have a problem with what he’s wearing.” The Noodle was wearing shorts and a long sleeved t-shirt (and socks and shoes, but they’re not part of the story). It’s December, in Southern California, and the temps have been in the 60′s or so–and yet my kid was in shorts.

Now, there’s a reason for this. The Noodle is one hot little dude. Maybe it’s the non-stop motion he has, but he runs hot most days. For a while, we were trying to put him in pants any time *I* was wearing pants, but within minutes of pants and long sleeves and socks and shoes, the little man starts to get flushed. His cheeks turn bright red, he heats up to the temperature of the sun, and then, if we leave him in his little oven too long, he goes supernova into meltdown mode. So unless it’s really cold or really blustery, the kid wears shorts most days.

So we know this about the kid, and yet I still had this moment this weekend worrying that someone was going to judge me for what my kid was wearing. I may have even said something to the Daddy. Because even though I know my kid best, and even though I know he’s fine–we all still worry at times about being judged as a parent.

If being on the internet has taught me anything, it’s this: we all judge people. You may claim you don’t, but given the criteria of Hey, You’re a Human!, the chances are good that you’ve judged someone, somewhere, for something. Maybe not to the point of being upset, but I’m willing to bet that even the best person on the planet has managed to look askance at SOMEONE for something. Add in parenting, and the ante gets upped. And while we all do it (you know you do!), we all hate when it’s done to us.

For my part, I generally give other people’s judgment a few seconds thought, and then move on. Like the story from this weekend–I had my moment, and then we continued dressing the Knob in his shorts, because, hey My Kid My Decisions! I hope none of the parents who saw us were judging me…but I can’t say with certainty I wouldn’t judge them, so I guess we’d just be even.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Perpetua December 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm

My kid goes out without mittens all the time for the simple reason that he won’t wear them. I swear I feel the eyes of the whole world on us, like they’re waiting for his fingers to fall off! Probably the only cure for it is to see a kid who isn’t wearing a hat; then you feel better about yourself. ;)

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Alexis December 9, 2010 at 7:26 am

I think the judging can be helpful, assuming of course that you take the next step and evaluate the judging. When I judge others, and I sure do, the next step is to see if I judging because I am jealous, really think it is a bad idea or just because I am falling into the classic trap of thinking my way is the only right way. Some of my best tips and tricks for parenting I picked up by realizing that the very thing I was judging was, in fact, the answer to one of my conundrums. In the reverse, if I think others will judge me, that forces me to evaluate if it is the right choice. If I feel unsure about the perceptions of others on a choice then that choice may deserve a second look. Often you will find that you made that choice for all the right reasons and because it is the best fit for your family, but a little reality check, one way or the other, can be useful. I say long live the judging as one of our many tools, but we can all give up the “parentier than thou” crap because who really needs that grief?

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