Yesterday I went out with a friend and the kids, and as always we got chatting about the perils of motherhood.
One of those perils being the judgement of others.
She said she felt like, when she goes out in public she should be wearing a T shirt that says ‘ They really are good children’, because like any other parent, she feels judged when her kids act up in public, like all kids do.
This reminded me of an article I read a while back about a lady that took her child on a plane, and gave goody bags to the rest of the passengers as some sort of compensation. They even contained an apology note!!!
How ridiculous is it that we feel this way?? How sad that we feel like when we take our children out in public they are nothing but an inconvenience to others.
Not only that but that woman giving out the compensation goody bags has basically validated the fact that kids are a nuisance.
But they aren’t.
Children are the future, and long gone are the days when they should be seen and not heard. We expect a lot from them, we take them to new places and even though they have been on this planet a mere few years, we expect that they know the ‘rules’.
We take them somewhere new and exciting (to them) and then continually tell them to calm down, don’t touch, be quiet, sit still and really they have no idea why we are doing this!! Children are born explorers, it’s what they DO! It’s also how they learn.
I’m not saying take them out and let them run riot through Sainsbury’s. I’m just saying don’t judge the kids (or the parents) if they take a while to ‘catch on’ to the constraints of society.
I have thought about this a lot, about how yes it would be nice to show everyone that really, most of the time, my children are adorable, kind, intelligent, funny and well behaved. However, if those people are making snap decisions about me based on the 5 minutes parenting they have seen that day, why should I care?
Let them judge, it’s their loss not mine.
It’s the people who engage with my children, the strangers in the supermarket, who take the time to speak to them, directly, and not see them as an inconvenience, or a headache.
They are the ones that can see it. They are the ones who know.
We need to stop demonising children, and just let them be little. People will always judge, in a way it’s human nature, let them get on with it.
You know the truth and that really is all that matters.