This blog post was inspired by A Single Snapshot over at One Mother to Another blog.
When I was at the library studying with baby girl yesterday, Tony took the boys to do grocery shopping. It was one of those rare occurrences when the wind is blowing in the right direction and the stars have aligned where both boys behaved perfectly. So well that two different families pointed their behavior out to their kids as examples of what they should be doing.
More often than not I’m the mom with two crying kids as I argue with the third about walking out the the car. We’re the parents with a screaming, kicking toddler because we are carrying them instead of letting them run off for the 8th time in a store full of shoppers. We’re the ones whose toddler has no shoes or socks because undoubtedly within 1 1/2 minutes of putting them on, they have been taken off.
Those are the snapshots people will most encounter when they see us and I’m sure that there is some judgement from others. Just like the other parents out here, we’re just doing our best to raise well-adjusted, respectful, independent members of society. But in doing that we are going to have to deal with all the tantrums, arguments, crying and stubbornness that comes with raising children, and you’re going to get to see that. Because how else are we going to be able to teach our children how to live and act appropriately if they aren’t exposed on a daily basis to situations that ask them to practice those skills.
Raising children is difficult. They are constantly developing and growing in mind, body and spirit. Parenting is a combination of nurturing their independent being, guiding their development and teaching them right from wrong. It’s not going to be pretty and controlled all the time. It is very, very rarely anything like those diaper commercials you see on TV. Most of the time it is a noisy, paint-splattered, “what’s that smell,” roller-coaster ride complete with dirty diapers, tears (not going to say whose) and half eaten PB&J’s. Yet if you ask most parents they’d say it was well worth it. Which gives us another reason to show a little kindness to them on their worse days.
It’s just important to remember you’re only seeing a second of that families life and kindness goes a lot further than judgement.