Thursday, 18 September 2014

Please Don't Judge

Recently, I have read a couple posts/articles on blogs and in magazines about people judging other people (in the cases I read, it was mums being judged). To be fair most of us would like to say that we never judge anyone, but I think sometimes we catch ourselves doing it whether we like it or not. :(

About two weeks ago I went to the supermarket. We had been away over the weekend and so I hadn't had the chance to do my usual weekly shop (solo) so this meant that I had to go with the boys. They are both at the stage now where they want something wherever we are. I don't want to spoil them and I don't want to give in to constant begging so I usually say no...but sometimes I allow them a treat (a book, magazine, pack of superhero cards) if they have been good.

On this particular shop both my sons were tired despite naps earlier in the day. They started begging when we walked through the shop doors. Then they started hitting each other, pulling my hair, kicking, crying and then screaming. I could feel eyes all over the shop watching me. What was wrong with my children, why were they crying, what was I doing to stop them?

I have to admit I was at a loss. Usually when the boys' misbehaving reaches this level I give them a time out but I couldn't just leave them in the tinned food aisle and carry on with the shop so I calmly told the boys to quiet down and that soon we'd be leaving. I also asked them what was wrong to which I got no answer. So the screaming continued and so did the stares. Finally, I gave in to a quick shout back saying that they would both be immediately in time out upon arrival home and there would be no CBeebies that night before bed. Guess what? That made them worse. Now I could hear people making comments.

Perhaps I was paranoid, they could have been saying 'Look at that poor mum!' but I thought it was probably more like 'Look at that mum who can't control her children!'. Oh dear, what would Super Nanny do?! I had completely run out of ideas and just had to finish the shop after all I had no toilet roll, no milk, and no nappies but I had to do it fast...I could not bare the stares and comments any more!

At any rate we got home and they both went into time out, calmed down and then we got on with the day but by then I was so stressed I just wanted to sit down and cry. To make matters worse the whole of the shop and possibly town now thought I was a bad mum. I had been judged. :(

Fast forward a week and we were back at the supermarket. This time we were with Daddy! My boys were fine as they had lots of attention, it was a shorter shop and Daddy gave them both treats at the start. However, on this particular day it was another mum being subject to judging eyes.

Upon check out I noticed a woman on her own with two little ones both very angry. There was a bit of shouting and general naughtiness as the children continued to ignore their mum's pleas for quiet. We left the shop at the same time and as they headed out the door the little boy ran into the car park without looking. The mum ran after him and really started shouting.

Her face was red, she looked like she was going to cry. A few people were staring. I looked over and gave a little smile. I knew full well what she was going through. She probably thought we were judging her but I promise you I was not. All I was thinking is I hope that woman gets a hug and a big cup of tea when she gets home! :)

What kind of techniques do you use when you are out and about and the little ones are being naughty? How do you feel when you think your parenting skills are being judged?

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