2009 02/12

Looking in the judgey-mirror

We’ve all been there, whether we have kids or not.  We’ve been there before we had kids and, although we try to be more understanding, we’ve been been there after having kids.  We’ve all been the person passing judgement on the parenting styles and parenting decisions of others.  And many of us have been on the receiving end.  It sucks.  But it happens.  Deny it if you may but you know you got frustrated or questioned the woman who let her kids run around the grocery store like wild animals!

Today I was listening to a morning radio show as I was running errands without the kids.  The guys on the radio played an audio clip of Jon Gosselin (Jon & Kate Plus Eight) as he is making signs for a lemonade stand with the twins.  Apparently one of the girls made the comment about liking doing things with their mom (I’m paraphrasing).  Jon didn’t like this and blew his top, basically telling her to leave and that he was throwing her sign in the trash.  Then he told the other twin that she was done making the sign, too and that he would sell the lemonade himself.

The guys on the radio talked about how he was a jerk and was certainly not winning “dad of the year” any time soon.  I agreed.  How could he say that to his kids?  To his kids who are obviously going through a traumatic event and have so serious issues to work through?  What kind of parent would do that?

The answer to those questions quickly hit me — A Normal Parent.  Let’s face it, he had a temper tantrum.  Had he to do it all over again he probably wouldn’t have said those things.  But he did.  And I’m sure he regrets it.  But I’ve been there.  I’ve been there almost every single day of my parenting life.  I have moments where I wish I had done things differently.  Where I wish I had said things differently or not said that at all.

I’ve had those moments where I felt like the world’s worst mother — where I’ve lost my temper when I should have just taken a moment to collect myself and could have dealt with the situation better.  It sucks.  It sucks to live with that guilt and let it eat you alive.  I know I am only human but, for some reason, maybe because I’m a mom, I feel like I should be more than human.  My girls deserve a mom who is more than human.

All that to say, be careful judging that mom in the grocery store whose kids are running around like wild animals.  She may be doing all she can to keep herself together at that moment.  I don’t think Jon Gosselin is a horrible person for making those comments to his kids.  I think he made a mistake and I hope he took the opportunity to make things right with his girls.  I also don’t think Jon is in the running for “Parent of the Year” but, hey, neither am I!

Interesting enough, Momversation recently did an episode on parent temper tantrums.  You can watch it below.

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