Before I was a parent, I, as many do, knew exactly what I would and would not do as a parent. It was so easy then, wasn’t it? You could imagine your little off spring running around, listening to everything you told them to do, eating all of their vegetables, always saying please and thank you, sleeping all night in their own bed after willingly using the potty and brushing their teeth. Oh, how peaceful and fun parenting would be! I knew so much back then. I was so sure of all of my parenting skills. Oh, how silly I was.
The reality of the matter is, we all do what we have to in order to survive parenting.
Sometimes that means that babies sleep in our beds (until they are three), or that they drink bottles or nurse to sleep (until they are over 2), or that they have ice cream with whipped cream for breakfast while watching Daniel Tiger because that is the only thing they want and you cannot deal with a meltdown over something so miniscule because you know that you have to pick your battles with toddlers.
Basically, what I am trying to say is, I’m sorry, to every single parent I ever judged before I was a parent myself. I am sorry for being so very sure that my children would always be so well behaved. I am sorry for thinking that my children would never, ever throw tantrums in the middle of the store, and for thinking that I would never, ever let them eat straight out of the butter packet if it meant they would let us finish our meal at a restaurant.
I apologize for thinking that it was your parenting, and not at all the fact that your toddler was just being a toddler, that was the reason your child was screaming through the mall. I apologize for thinking that you were a bad parent if you let your child use a handheld device at a restaurant or on a plane to keep them occupied. (because let’s face it – they are heaven sent for us parents!).
My children would surely never watch t.v. so I could get things done around the house. I would definitely never give them dessert if they didn’t finish their dinner. They would never get a toy every time we went into a store. It was so easy to judge all of you. It was so easy to say I would do things differently. It was so easy to think that it would be so easy.
The joke was on me, huh? I get it now. And I’m sorry.
The person that had no idea what she was thinking, because there is no way to possibly get it if you are not a parent yourself.