Friday, April 12, 2013

One size DOES NOT fit all

When you are expecting that little bundle of joy for the first time, you are bombarded provided with advice from many a well-meaning individual. Things like 'make time for yourself', 'the laundry can wait', 'don't be afraid to ask for help', and my all-time favorite 'every baby is different', get offered up like little bites of some tasty goodness.

I'll be the first to admit that I've said these things myself to new Mommies (and often without even thinking about it - just sort of comes out). And while they are all very true, it doesn't always mean that you can do any of them (laundry unfortunately, will NOT wait - people gotta wear clothes, you know). But the one thing that has always bothered me is that no one, not once, has ever said to me 'every parent is different'. 

And that my dears, is a fact. 

The way I parent is not going to be the same as you, or how my parents did it or how my best friend or even M act as parents. We are different. We view things differently. We feel things differently. So it only stands to reason that the way we raise our children will be different.
rock jumping toddler
I know some Mommy's who would be
horrified if they saw Little P doing this - but she's fearless
and some days there's just no stopping her.
I'm not saying that I'm on the other extreme to you - we may have a lot of things in common, but then again, we may not. What I am saying is that we (that's the collective 'we' there people) should cut each other some slack.

There's nothing that bugs me more than when someone says to me in regards to another parent that they 'are a bad parent'. Really? Who made you the Queen Boomba of all things Child Rearing? We (again, all of us) need to remember that unless you are walking in that person's shoes, you can't really judge whether what they are doing is good versus bad (outside the obvious being just plain mean and nasty to your kids - but that's a whole other post).

Case in point - Ms. A, a friend of mine was going on, and on, and on.... and on about a mutual acquaintance, Ms. N. About how she had really let herself go, how the kids always seem to look disheveled, that the youngest was back in diapers – and so on and so on.

When I was finally able to get in a word, I politely (as I do) pointed out that in the past month her mother had passed, her husband had left her, and her youngest had just been diagnosed with Asperger’s. “She's doing the very best she can - so instead of giving her crap and making nasty comments, how about you give her a hand?”

Let's just say that once she was able to pick her jaw up off the floor, she babbled on about not knowing, why hadn’t our friend just called her and asked for help. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Point made? Maybe.

All I know is that a couple of days later, I got a FB message from Ms. N telling me how Ms. A had been over a lot recently, helping her out with the kids, providing her with references for nannies and housekeepers, she even brought her flowers and a pie (?) and said how sorry she was for her recent loss. Ms. N asked if I had anything to do with that. 'Me?' says I. 'Nah, maybe she just sensed something was wrong and she wanted to help. Stranger things have happened.'

And even though I couldn't see her face, I knew she was smiling when she typed back 'Uh-huh. And pigs are flying outside my window.'

Till next time, remember, every parent really is different - as long as you love your kids and are providing for them the best way you can, how can you go wrong?



  1. Awesome. Yes, I think that is a disclaimer that should come with the babies when they are born - that you will NOT and CANNOT parent the same way others do. Every person is different and should be "dealt" with differently. As for your friend, wow. I cannot imagine trying to carry all those burdens at once. Shout out to her. YOU GO GIRL!

    1. Cat - she is certainly one tough cookie. I think it's almost impossible to parent like someone else - we just aren't made that way.

  2. Love this. It's so true, we are all quick to judge others, I know I am guilty of this, especially just people that are at the supermarket or other places. Everyone is dealing with something! You are awesome to stand up for your friend, it's hard sometimes, it sounds like you dealt with the situation perfectly!

    1. Thanks Bethany - I know it's hard not to judge people in this day and age, it's almost like it's hard wired into us. And thanks - I sometimes feel I'm the 'nasty' one when I point stuff out, but then I think a lot of people have blinkers on and just don't see what's going on behind the curtain (so to speak).

  3. Although I am not a parent I can completely understand. Even as a married couple we face judgment. Some might think we are classless weirdos because we consider farting hilarious or we have no problem calling the other person a douchebag to their face (playfully of course). What might seem unloving or cruel to some may be hilarious to others. What works for one marriage won't work for someone else's marriage. That's life.

    I just wish some people wouldn't be so quick to judge or make assumptions. Not saying you of course. Just speaking in generalities. =)

    1. Kim, I think any relationship gets judged. People judge others for having friends who are gay, who don't share the same religion or a just from a different part of the country (or the world). M and I for the longest time would say 'I hate you' to each other in front of other people - it was our way, early in our relationship of saying 'I love you'. It used to freak people out, but I'm a firm believer in each to their own. Just be nice if other people thought that way too.

  4. I think this is spot on, and I will fully and shamefully admit to being that judgmental person on occasion in various situations(thankfully, most of the time it only crosses my mind, and I squelch it before it exits my lips.) It is something I don't like in myself, and I should work harder to correct. No one can ever truly know the path of another, and we should all try harder to remember that - I love this post and I thank you for sharing it! :)

    1. Thanks Megan - I know in this day and age that it almost comes naturally to see the faults in others. Having Little P around makes me a better person daily, as I want to be a better role model for her, and think twice before saying things.