So last week I wrote a post that struck a nerve with a lot of people. In case you missed it, here’s the link: “Mocking Your Children Does Not Make You Awesome.” If I’m being honest, I cringed while I hit “publish” and then waited in a flop sweat for the comments to roll in. And boy, did they ever roll. On the blog, on Facebook, you name it…while I got a ton of support (which I appreciated), I also got some negatives, which are welcome as long as they are respectful and add to the discussion (meaning a few nasties were deleted without apology). Some people just didn’t understand what the big deal was all about. And that’s cool. However, there were a few people who chided me for being judgmental of other parents. And I admit, those were the comments that gave me pause.
You see, if one of my soapboxes is treating little ones with respect, another one is judgmental parents. You can read about a time where I felt judged HERE and how it made me feel. But honestly, I feel judged pretty much all the time for my parenting choices and shortcomings, and I’m my own worst critic. I was only able to breastfeed for a few months. My kids don’t eat perfectly balanced organic meals every day. My house is always a mess. One of my kids still isn’t potty trained. I’m not satisfied with our schools and am considering homeschooling. The list goes on. So I was a bit chagrined to think that I’d joined the masses of judgmental parents that I alternatively shy away from and rail against.
Is Keeping Our Mouths Shut Always A Good Thing?
But then I got to thinking…if we all swallow our opinions and keep quiet for fear of being labeled “judgmental,” does that really make our world a better place? One of my bloggy buds put it pretty succinctly, “I think if you aren’t allowed to discuss another point of view, then others don’t have a chance to reevaluate their position, even if they don’t ultimately change their behavior.” My hope is that my post (and any that may come in the future) made a few people stop and think. That’s all. If in your heart of hearts you don’t feel like posting those photos is disrespectful, go for it. I don’t have to look. But if my post made you uncomfortable at all, if you felt a twinge deep down that maybe I was a teeny bit right, I challenge you to explore that feeling rather than dismiss me as another judgmental parent to lash out against. Another of my buds phrased it perfectly, “I am all for someone standing up for kindness, empathy, and treating others with respect.” And if that means I’m judgmental…well, I guess I’ll have to live with that, won’t I?
I’d love to hear what you have to say…did my post make you feel judged? When is it ok to voice our opinions on parenting issues?