The young child was crying and dragging her feet, meanwhile her mom walked a few meters ahead of her, and, once in a while, would look back and say, “Hurry up! When we left home, there was nothing wrong with your feet. I’m not going to carry you oh, hurry up.”
I was behind both mom and child, and walked up to carry the child, and guess what, her mom did not even look back to see if her daughter was following behind her or not, or if someone had even carried her or not. Not until she got to the side of the road, where she wanted to the cross to the other side, did she stop and look back.
All this while, the other women who had witnessed this scenario, commented on how she felt comfortable leaving her child behind, and how she did not mind that a stranger was carrying her, and the truth was I judged her too. I felt she was not giving enough attention to her child. I mean, she just walked as though her child, who could be no more than five years old, was not beside her.
But I was only witnessing a few moments in the life of that mother and daughter, not enough to draw conclusions.
On the flipside, I have also been in that situation where I was judged. Once, my older son got his head stuck in between the iron bars of our gate, and I did not know until his sister came to tell me he was crying. I went to check, and there was already a crowd of moms and kids gathered around him, instructing him how to move his head out of it’s hold.
I must have been a tad slow in showing up, as one of the comments I heard a grandma saying was that, “She knows how to have twins. If anything happens to this one, she would have another.” I was hurt by that statement; in fact, it is one of the statements that I will always remember as a mother. Not because I still hold it against the speaker, but because it is the reality in the minds of most people, at least those present that day. That I could afford to lose one child, as I was the fertile chick abi? Wrong notion.
That comment called into question my maternal capabilities, and found me falling short. It did not matter that I had warned that young man against putting his head between iron bars, or had even rescued him myself on one occasion before then, it did not matter that my heart nearly stopped in my heart when I saw him bent over, with this head stuck in there, or that I love that boy with every cell in my body. No, I had been judged by another mom, and I failed.
You see, I have just defended myself to you in one whole paragraph, but guess what, the mom that I and some other moms judged, did not get that opportunity, to tell me of her love for her child, how she would put her life down for that of her baby’s, or even that her baby was just a drama queen, who wanted attention, any attention. No, she did not get that and every time, she goes by that same street, the other moms would likely still look at her through the eyes of an irresponsible mom. Even I cannot say I wouldn’t.
Nowadays, given the fact that I volunteer in my church’s children section, I find that there are so many opportunities to judge other moms, like the mom who literally pushed her son into my class one day, and left the church.
I continued my class, thinking his mom was with the rest of the congregation, and then the service closed, and there began the ultimate search for this boy’s mom. She had disappeared in to thin air. I informed my coordinator that I had a case on my hands, we got the security guys involved, and one of them identified the boy but said the woman who brought him had left the church, right after bringing him in.
The search turned to where was their address, and someone who lived in their neighbourhood said he knew their house, so from church, we went to the boy’s house, to meet his mom sleeping. I was not happy about that at all.
For close to an hour after service, I was seeking a child’s sleeping mom, when I could be at home, getting my kids lunch. I was not happy, but I was still in a good mood, so as soon as son and mom recognized each other, I left. Apparently, she just needed child care services to enable her sleep for a few hours, but was that how best to go about it? I still wonder.
I did not dig deeper to find out if there were other issues, but I surely know that there must have been. No mom would just dump her kids in a church she didn’t attend, and leave. There must have been a story behind that action.
And if you have ever been in the TTC world, it can be hard not to be paranoid, or judge moms who appear lackadaisical about the care and security of their kids. It’s like, “because, these babies came to you so easily, you don’t appreciate what you have got.”
More so, given the stories, we hear every day about kidnappers and such, you just want to sometimes put a chip inside your kids, so you can track their every movement. I know I want to. Talk about being extra careful, and with my younger son, who is so prone to falling (honestly, I don’t know how he does it), I feel I should wrap him in bubble casing, especially his head, to protect him when he falls.
This tendency to judge other mothers is not only limited to the safety of the kids. The physical appearances of kids is something to keep scores over, even the type of friends kids keep is a matter to judge each other about.
Moms, this motherhood business is already a big deal. Need we make it a bigger deal by constantly judging one another, when, there is no prize for the best mom in the whole wide world?
And if there is a prize, the only one I want is for my kids to be able to say, with all sincerity, that I’m the bestest mom in their world, and maybe, pray like I saw in a book recently, where a son said, he “prays in the name of Father, Son, Holy spirit and the God of Mother.” That touched me. The God of his mom answers prayers. What more could I ask for?
Instead of being judgemental, we could offer other moms a smile, a look that says, “I have walked in your shoes” or even a kind word, which might be all they need. And when they are preoccupied with whatever is going on in their life, we need to stand as the guardian angel for their child, until they return to mother earth.
Let’s help each other sisters.
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