October 18, 2016 by vlittle528
A long time back, my sister told me that it is just simply nature that once you have a child your mind kind of “forgets” how painful it really was. She was convinced that this is the only reason that moms have more than one child. Which, who knows, maybe it is true. I certainly remember being in pain, but I don’t remember the pain itself.
I think the same is true for most anything in life. We forget what the utter, physically painful, terrifying exhaustion was really like. We start to think that it really wasn’t so bad-at least we think that until we look into the eyes of a mom that is in the midst of that desperation. While we are offering an understanding smile at the mom whose toddler is throwing an epic tantrum; part of us thinks it is cute. And we forget that the embarrassment of that moment is a hot, sweaty, shaking, painful shame.
No matter what season of life we are in, it is easy to forget the bad and only remember the good. We remember the sweet smell of a newborn baby’s head. We remember the hugs and giggles that made everything better, and the child that worked hard in school and made us proud. And we forget. We forget the time we cried wondering if you could actually die from lack of sleep. We forget the overwhelming feeling of helplessness of having a toddler that has the strength and will of a 16 year old girl. We forget the pain of desperately seeking help for that perfectionist child who was being bullied hourly. And we conveniently forget that when our son was 2 years old he also screamed the f-word in the middle of the grocery store.
It is in those moments of forgetfulness that judgment is able to thrive. Hindsight is 20/20 and we certainly learned what didn’t work and what was painful and we know to avoid those now…so our first instinct is to judge. The thoughts come to our mind quickly, and often we don’t even know what we are thinking until we are already convinced we are right. We think things like
Why doesn’t that other woman get it?
Does she really think that her birth plan is actually going to work?
Why can’t she just be thankful to have a sweet baby to love on that still has 18 summers left at home?
Why is she so hard on her toddler-he is just a curious kid after all.
What is she doing wrong that her teen is out of control?
In an attempt to make ourselves feel more confident about our past and present parenting-no matter if it is conscious or not-we lose an opportunity to be a blessing in someone’s life.
Parenting is hard enough without adding the pain of judgement. We teach our children that bullying is wrong. We teach them to be kind to one another. So why don’t we do the same?