Wednesday, June 24, 2015

To The Preganant Woman Judging Me at Fresh Market

To the pregnant woman judging me at Fresh Market...

Yes, I'm talking to you with the long blonde hair in the black dress. Remember me? I was the one in line behind you with her five kids, the youngest in the shopping cart.

You know the kids I'm talking about. The youngest was the one who screamed at the top of her lungs for about fifteen seconds straight. The one whose mouth I covered with my hand in attempt to smother stop her, only to have her start again as soon as I removed my hand. The four older ones were getting samples of coffee.

I saw the look you gave me out of the corner of your eye when the baby yelled. I heard you mutter "wow" under your breath. I saw you eyeballing my other kids as my son accidentally dropped his coffee and spilled it all over the floor. I could tell what you were thinking as you put your hand on your pregnant belly and turned away; "My baby will never do that. She really should get control of her children. I can't believe she's letting them drink coffee, that's so unhealthy."

I know you were thinking those things because I was you once, pregnant with my first child, full of grand ideas of what I would and wouldn't allow my child(ren) to do. I used to tell myself my kids would never have sugar or anything other than fresh, homemade, organic foods. I knew for sure my kids would never act out in public, they would never scream or yell or argue with me. They certainly wouldn't drop coffee all over the floor, because they wouldn't drink coffee.

As soon as I took my first child out in public I gained a new sense of appreciation for all those parents I had judged in the past. 

I realized that a baby might be yelling because she was teething, hadn't napped and was overly tired. 

I learned that the woman giving her kid candy (or coffee) was giving him a treat for behaving so nicely the rest of the day. 

I realized that the child who dropped his drink on the floor could have found a rag and cleaned it up himself after I had walked away.

I concluded that the mother covering her child's mouth wasn't being abusive, she was thinking of the other people around her who didn't want to hear her kid screaming. She was embarrassed and trying to quiet the child before she went running out of the store leaving all her kids behind.

The most important lesson I learned is that I can't judge another parent based on fifteen seconds in a grocery store. 

Maybe her dog died, or a relative is sick. 

Maybe her husband left her or she's had a migraine for three days. 

Maybe the child yelling is special needs and can't control it.

You will come to this realization on your own one day (unless you're one of the 0.0003% of the population who actually has a perfect child who never eats sweets and never acts out). You'll realize it when that little angel growing inside you becomes possessed by satan himself because you won't let him have a cookie.

Until that day comes, maybe you could be a tad less judgmental. I promise that I don't enjoy it when my kids misbehave in public. 90% of the time they are very well behaved, but when they aren't it is humiliating. 

When I see you judging me sweat starts to drip between my boobs and down my back and I want the ground to open up and swallow me whole. 

So the next time you're out and someone's child acts out, try to ignore it. Look the other way, don't mutter anything under your breath or roll your eyes in disgust. 

Think about the fact that we are all human and none of us are perfect, but we're doing the best we can from one moment to the next.

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