It's easy when you're into the topic of parenting to look around in public and "judge" other moms. But, we have to always remember that when we see someone in public, we're seeing just a "snapshot" of their life.
Like...if the mom you see has a 10 year old...she's been "parenting" for 5,256,000 seconds. And, you're seeing a few of them. If you're standing in line with her at the store and are there for several minutes...you're still only seeing 120-240 of her 5,256,000 million seconds.
Just a snapshot. Not the whole picture.
You see all the things I post about how we all should parent...but lemme share what happened to me the other day...
We went to Home Depot...me, Evy (10), Elisa (8), n' Tori (5). Pull in and Elisa is like, "The - Home - Depot. Hey! I read that!" The kids bounced into the store and were acting like they never get out or go anywhere. Laughing and just having fun.
We walk around the store getting some things for a little play nook for the girls including a little 3x5 carpet remnant for $13. Off we head to the check out. This particular Home Depot also has a "special cooler" over by the Contractor's Desk where for some reason they get Mexican sodas. Like, ones actually bottled etc, in Mexico. They taste a little different. So, the kids wanted them.
So, I'm half-stressed heading to the car...with all 4 of us carrying GLASS bottles of soda which cannot be closed (because they have those pop off metal lids.) I'm telling everyone not to drop or spill their sodas!
We get to the car and Elisa was still pumped and grabs at the carpet she's so excited about as I set it in the car and she ends up, of course, dropping her bottle. It FIZZES and is upside down spilling onto my relatively new van's carpet and instead of just grabbing it myself somehow or just saying in a normal voice, "Grab it, Elisa!" or something like that, I get this demonic baritone megaphone voice like my head was spinning and there was a priest behind me spritzing me with holy water and I yell, "Elisa!"
And, then! I sense it behind me. The movement of the people a few cars over getting into their car...stops. They're watching me. Probably waiting for me to start child abusing my kid.
They saw a picture of my parenting for 2 seconds and summed me up probably as a rotten horrible mom.
It's a reminder to me to never do that to anyone...never to sum them up based on something I think I see in public. And...a reminder to myself not to sum myself up. Those days when maybe I have too many "Exorcist" moments...I need to not get pulled down into that "I'm a failure" mode because it's just a snapshot...