Dear judgemental Mum
You probably don’t remember meeting me, but I remember meeting you. It was a few years ago now, when my eldest was just a few months old. I remember how well together you had it and how often you passed judgement on the other women around you. You told one women how she wasn’t doing the best for her baby because she was bottle feeding and how you tutted, then shook your head at me because I had forgotten baby wipes that day. You were always full of criticism back then, so sure that your way was the better way.
The reason I remember you so well, over all of the other mothers I have met over the years in various classes, groups or outings to the park, is because you made me unnecessarily doubt myself. I hadn’t read the same books as you, I hadn’t succeeded at breastfeeding, I used shop bought baby food when I was out of the house, I wasn’t using flashcards and by your views I was doing it all wrong.
Well judgemental Mum, I saw you today while I was out running errands. You now, like me have two children and you didn’t seem to be quite as together as I remember. If fact you looked like you were having quite a difficult day actually. Your toddler was throwing a tantrum, while you fed shop bought baby food to your baby and I noticed how frazzled you looked. I didn’t come over and say hello today, but looking back I should have. You looked like you needed someone to say hello.
You see judgemental Mum, unlike you I don’t judge. Some days are tough slog and quite honestly the shop bought baby food is pretty handy. I use it as soup every Thursday lunchtime actually, the kids love it so much that they eat enough to take a nap (well not the baby… that one is allergic to sleep). Your toddler looks like a character too, strong willed it would seem. I think strong willed kids are brilliant, they are the leaders of the next generation. My toddler is quite theatrical, we’re talking sprints across the living room wailing and stage falls like you wouldn’t believe. These wonderful performances are normally for the most reasonable of reasons, yesterday we had two performances, the first one was because he didn’t want to get in the bath and then the second performance was because he didn’t want to get out. He’s a fickle little thing that one.
Anyway judgemental Mum, I just wanted to say you’re doing a great job. Even if today it didn’t feel like it. Tomorrow will be better, tomorrow is always better. I won’t judge you for finding your own unique path through this minefield of parenting. I won’t judge you for doing it differently to me. I can’t imagine how boring the world would be if we all did everything the same, but I do think parenting is easier if we help each other through it. So if you do ever find yourself needing someone to talk to, just drop me a message.