Monday, November 14, 2011

A Post Wherein I Judge Another Mother

Eight years ago, I left my full time teaching job to stay home to raise my daughter. Over the years my absence from the classroom was lengthened after the birth of my second daughter. This decision never came lightly, but I can wholeheartedly say I have never regret my decision to stay home to raise my children. While I wish I could candidly say it's been all rainbows and Rockwell moments, I don't think I could go that far. There's some witty quote about the hardest job you'll ever have just waiting to be thrown in here. I definitely have my fair share of hard days, but I guess how I choose to handle it varies differently from my experience today.

While I was running a few errands in the morning, I was walking down the aisle of a store when I came across this mother...


Let me break down what you are seeing. A mother on her cell phone talking so loudly, that I gathered she was speaking to her mother about the wonderful pillows she just found. The search was over for pillows! Woohoo! I wonder if she also told her mother she was sitting on those pillows in the middle of the aisle at the store blocking customers from walking by or how her daughter was being completely ignored. As you can see her two year old was destroying the end caps and pulling everything off the shelves. It wasn't until the toddler reached above her head for a pile of towels and a stack of soap dishes fell onto the little girls head, that the mother realized she had better go. I am sure you can guess who got yelled at for acting so stupid. Yes, the poor toddler.

When I first turned the corner and happened upon this mother so completely checked out, I honestly didn't know what to make of it. This grown woman, responsible for a young child, is lounging on the floor of a store while her daughter does what ever she wants to the store displays?!? In some ways I do get it, but that level of desperation for me is only reserved to the comforts of my own home. I can't quite wrap my brain around how any of the above photo is something that feels okay. How do you get to that moment of chaos and blatant denial? The other thing that really angered me about this mother is how her actions negate all the hard work the majority of us mothers put in with our children. It takes time, patience, and consistent effort to teach your children what behaviors are acceptable in the home and out in public. When my children don't cry in the checkout aisle because I won't buy them a candy bar, does one assume because I am lucky? No, it's because I do the work, every single day.

I wish this photo was the end of it, but unfortunately due to the size of the store and the acoustics, I proceeded to hear this same woman berate her toddler, who had now become tantrum enraged, for the next twenty minutes. While I may see or hear things everyday that I don't necessarily agree with, I typically just let it be. I don't like to judge another mother's decision for how she parents her child, rarely do I ever write about them, but this moment I simply couldn't shake. In this case, I'm still wondering if I should've asked her for a cup of tea. If I should've smiled at the little girl and handed her an age appropriate toy to distract her while her mother was busy.

The thought that is mainly on the forefront of my mind is, if it's this bad in public, how is life behind closed doors...

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5 comments:

  1. Ditto to Kathleen...AND absolutely ridiculous. This woman should be judged. I feel so sad for her little girl.

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  2. I try to be careful, knowing that I have probably blinked as a beacon of don't-do-this at some time or another, but I do agree that a child being punished for a parent's absence of supervision is tragic.

    Good on you for doing the hard work. I like to think that this blogging realm allows us to lean on each other when it gets tough or when something is too amazing not to share.

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  3. Denise, from the description and the depiction, I'd say that woman appears to be a very immature individual. It's bearable in a general sense, but when children are involved it becomes tragic. When adults have to be so domineering over young children, that's truly sad. They have every advantage over the child, and yet they still feel insecure enough that they have to keep drilling the point home and thumping their chest to remind everyone of who is king or queen. To me, that's out and out bullying in the worst sense. I believe it's children who are the most discriminated against group in society today. It's something that we have to be addressing if we're going to get ourselves going back in the direction toward a more functional society. I tell my older children anytime they might get upset at our 3-year-old that they're stooping to the maturity level of that 3-year-old. The 3-year-old has a good excuse, but they don't. And an adult certainly doesn't.

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  4. I can't believe that picture is real. It's sometimes crazy to me how people can be completely unaware of what's going on around them! I mean, you took a picture of her and she still had no clue.

    These are the things that make me take a deep breath and remember that being present is difficult to do.

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I always appreciate the gesture to stop and take a moment to comment. Thank you!