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Snap Judgments

It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating:  There is no rulebook for this parenting gig.  There are theories, strategies, baby whisperers, and 411 for just about every age group, but there is no rulebook.

There is no perfect way to parent.

There are no perfect parents.

There are no perfect kids.

Let’s make a deal, you and me; let’s stop focusing on perfect.

Perfect leads to snap judgments.  If one parent is perfect, then countless others must be imperfect.  This leads to competition.  And probably a few more snap judgments.

Why isn’t that four year old potty trained yet?

Why is that boy hitting his mother?

Why doesn’t she enroll her kids in more classes?

Why does she enroll hers in so many?

Why is she letting them make a scene in public?

Why does she leave every time they cry?

I could spend days listing the snap judgments I’ve read about along the way.  I’m sure I’ve been on the receiving end once or twice as well, but I tend to tune that out.

The truth is, we never truly know what someone else is going through unless we are given all of the information.

Maybe the four year old has a medical condition.

Maybe the boy has ADHD, is on a medication, or was up all night for one reason or another.

Maybe her kids don’t want to take extra classes.

Maybe her kids thrive in structured classes.

Maybe it’s just a tantrum and she knows it will pass.

Maybe their dad travels a lot, and they just need time as a family.

The possibilities are endless.

Everyone has a story to tell.

So let’s make just one more deal here today:  Let’s agree to quiet those thoughts before we utter them out loud.  Let’s get the facts, or just move on.  Let’s show a little empathy for the other parents we encounter.

Let’s assume that we are all doing the best that we can.

Because the only perfect way to parent is the way that is perfect for your family.

And, at the end of the day, perfection is just a myth…

Will you embrace imperfection?

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Monday 16th of April 2012

[...] Mommy Moments: Snap Judgments—not just for mommies. All parents are guilty at some time during ‘the journey’! [...]

Jenerally Speaking

Tuesday 13th of March 2012

Absolutely! I sometimes wish that there was a manual on how to make my girls listen and stop throwing a fit the moment we get in the store with a huge cart of groceries! lol Hope your doing great!! :)

I Made All the Right Parenting Choices. So Did You. | Elated Exhaustion

Monday 12th of March 2012

[...] of my thoughts after reading these thought-provoking articles about parenting last week: Snap Judgments, Mom Judgments, and Take a Bottle. I’ll admit, I haven’t always followed my own [...]

DGMommy (Tamara)

Saturday 10th of March 2012

I'm happy to say that I've embraced imperfection since becoming a mother! Oh, I tried a little bit more at the beginning to get it right, but quickly discovered there's no such thing as perfect parenting. I love that you gave some possible reasons for the behaviors. I take care to remember the subjectivity of life, but so many of us forget and therefore judge. Well done!!!

Deborah / Mom2Michael

Friday 9th of March 2012

Hear, Hear. Judging is easy. Parenting is not.