This might seem like strange topic to write about, but it is one that I think needs to be written. I don’t mean any offense to those of you who don’t have kids, so please don’t get me wrong but, people who don’t have little poop machines don’t always understand how it changes things for us. They think they do, but they don’t. They think they know how to do it better, how to handle it smoother, how to avoid the melt downs, but the truth is they just don’t know. And they won’t know until they are the ones in the trenches.
I have often noticed how friends, who are not yet contemplating the expansion of their family, sit with this confused expression at the unraveling of certain situations. I see the inner gears of their minds working overtime trying to figure out how they would do it differently to avoid the colossal fit your 2year old just had. They ask you, why you can’t just sit still for two seconds ( *LOL* you think you’ll get to sit still with a toddler?), why don’t you just give them a talking to? (why yes, because they are such keen listeners when their decibels equal that of a fighter jet), why do you allow this behavior? (darling, toddlers are little **** sometimes, even when you are a strict parent) and the list of comments go on and on.
They will get their turn and their looks of disapproval will turn to looks of solidarity.
Now, one could just lose it and decide to set them straight, but here’s the kicker; they won’t get it, cause they ain’t in it! I didn’t understand the gravity of the situation when I was in their shoes, so it wouldn’t be fair to expect them to understand. It’s like asking someone to be a lifeguard, but they don’t know how to swim. All we can do is reply with a simple “parenting is tough, man.” and let it go. Don’t break your head over their, often, ignorant comments, they’ll see what it’s like when they get there and you’ll be there to have little laugh and then help….of course.
If it’s bath time and everyone else wants to eat, let them eat and go bath your child. If your child is having a moment, shake off the feeling of those judgemental eyes on you and handle the situation. If everyone is sleeping and your baby isn’t feeling well and they are wailing, shut the door and let them cry, don’t tell them to be quiet. Your child will, forever, come before any friendship and that’s that. I’m not saying you should walk around with a giant middle finger on your forehead, it’s good manners to say a quick “sorry”, but you don’t have to make excuses.
Take the looks with a pinch of salt, the comments with a thick skin and just keep doing your thing. THEY DON’T KNOW, but they will. They will get their turn and their looks of disapproval will turn to looks of solidarity. III