When I became a mother, friends warned, watch out for the judgments! I expected this and I must admit, though not proudly, that I too have judged a mother or two in my lifetime when I see their child running banshee-like down the aisles, or declare my television Mt. Everest and decide to climb it [and okay in full disclosure if you do nothing while your child hikes up my television set- I guess I still do sort of judge you]. But becoming a mom has really helped temper my judgments of other mothers. I used to judge non-nursing mothers, until it became one of the biggest challenges of my life. When he slept six hour stretches as a newborn I simply assumed I knew what I was doing [what I was doing I had no clue but it must have been my amazing instincts] and then God jumped in to remind me: um, no- no you don’t. The amount of advice and the related-judgments I get are enough to write a Tolkien size trilogy and I feel like saying. . .
To the lady that saw my son grab the box out of the shopping cart and then as it fell crossed her arms and shook her head and said I could have told you that would happen. If you could have, why didn’t you? Yes babies should not handle boxes in supermarket aisles but a heads-up to me would have prevented the fall and cost you nothing. Or maybe self-righteous contempt is warming. It was cold that night.
To the people who say I’m spoiling him and being selfish by not letting him CIO because its what he needs? How about I point you to literature that goes both ways on the issue and not call you cruel for doing CIO?
To the people who recoil in horror that we co-sleep half the night because its giving him a bad habit. He sleeps better, I sleep better, and at this point in the game I’d rather sleep a two hour stretch, feed him while half-asleep since he’s already in bed when he demands it, and doze off after. Its easier for me, its comforting for him. Why does this bother anyone but the occupants of the bed he’s in?
To those who call me a TV-Nazi because I take great effort to ensure he’s not watching TV and a little bit of TV is fun research shows links to ADD and early TV viewing and yes a twenty minute viewing session once in a while will probably not result in lasting harm- the thing with discipline is if you falter once, then twice, its a slippery slope to the bottom. Its not like in lieu of TV I stick him in a room to stare at the ceiling? I’m, you know, interacting with him.
To those who say “do X Y Z to get his skin lighter” please DO NOT put your post colonialism issues on my son? We love his soft silky baby soft skin if its white like milk or dark like the night sky. This issue annoys me more than any other and I pray that unlike me, he will never have to deal with this sort of stupidity when he’s old enough to understand.
How you raise/d your children is fine. But I’m doing my best here too and trying to be a mindful mother who thinks through the choices she’s making. Its just the thing is I’m human, and so is Waleed- and we’re learning along the way, just like you will, or just as you once did. So please, take the judgments, write them down [its therapeutic] and then keep them to yourself. And I will do the same.