Standing in the buffet line with my nieces patiently waiting our turn, your son cut in front of me, took the utensils out of my hand and proceeded to make his plate. I stood there with my mouth hanging open and silently cursed you and how your son was acting in public. I avoided looking your way for the fear of you actually seeing the judgmental look I had on my face. To the mom I silently judged, I am sorry.
Sitting in a restaurant with my date when you, your husband and your toddler were seated next to us. We were trying to enjoy a meal and have a night out. Your toddler had different plans however. He decided to dance, sing and run around the dining room. You attempted to entertain him, he ignored you. The waitresses thought he was the cutest thing they ever saw. Me? I wanted you to take your child to Chuck E Cheese or Monkey Joes, somewhere that was “kid friendly”.
To the parents that were just trying to enjoy a night out the same way I was; I am so sorry. I judged you without knowing your story.
Waiting to be seen at the doctor’s office, frustrated and not feeling well, your 5 year old was whiny and you gave in after saying no once to the sucker she wanted. I judged you so hard then. I thought that if I was in your position I would have stuck to the “no” and tried to engage her in something else. I sat there and thought of how I could handle your situation so much better and easier than you. To the sick mom with the whiny daughter, I am sorry for judging you.
Last but not least, we have all been a witness to the child throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of the store. I watched from the end of the aisle while you tried to prevent the tantrum, then while you tried to contain it, and then when you seemed to be on the verge of tears yourself and gave in before you made an even bigger scene. I watched and judged, in my head saying “my child would never act like that”. I’m so sorry that instead of helping you, I was criticizing your parenting.
I just want to say to all of the parents who were trying harder than hard to make it through that dinner, store, doctor’s appointment or even just that minute, I am sorry for judging your life. I saw a small snippet of what you handle on a daily basis, not your entire life.
I don’t get to see the moments you win a battle with your toddler to wear pants, or when you hear your child say “please” or “thank you” for the first time. I don’t get to see all of the work you put into making sure your child has manners or knows right from wrong. I don’t get to see what happens after the meltdown in the store or the dinner and a show.
I am sorry if you happened to see the look on my face while you were struggling. I am sorry for being a backseat parent. I am sorry for thinking you weren’t trying. I am sorry.
Keep trying, keep your head up and know that you are the only person who knows what is best for your child.
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