Shall I just start with that wonderfully apt saying
“To each his own“
Gwyneth paltrow was in the news today for saying she doesn’t give two figs about what other people think about her super busy lifestyle and the impact it was having on time spent with her two kids. Apparently, people were outraged about a post about a day in her life which featured her spending little time with her kids due to her packed work schedule.
Let’s be honest, we’ve all done this. I’ll be the first to confess….I have stood by and judged other people for one thing or the other at some point. Friends, family and strangers. It is my firm belief that everyone with a child has been judged and will be judged by others…we’re all just too polite to say what we really think about how the other person chooses to do things. Obviously, this rule is moot with regards to celebrities. You wouldn’t walk up to someone you’ve never met before; even if you know of them and tell them to their face that you think they spend too little time with their kids, What? Who died and made you class captain?
But should we really care if a friend, family or anyone else disagrees or even takes offence with how you chose to raise your child? Some people even go as far as challenging you about your decisions…..what would you do if someone walked up to you and asked why your child was still out and about at 9 o clock in the evening? Or why you chose to let them have sweeties instead of fruits? Why You bathe them three times a day? Why you only bathe them once? Why you chose to go back to work before your child was a certain age?
F – Off is what I’d say.
I appreciate genuine concern from family or maybe even close friends, but personally, I don’t bother too much about what other people think of the way I choose to raise my kids anymore. Like Gwyneth, yes, it used to bother me when I first had my son. I used to worry about what people would think about the most mundane stuff. When I went back to work when he was 6 months, I had people asking me if I didn’t feel that it was too early to leave him with a minder. Of Course I didn’t want to leave him just yet, but circumstances at the time meant I had to.
I would have wanted nothing more than to use up all my maternity leave and stay and bond with my baby but at the time, that option wasn’t right for me so i did what I felt was best at the time…go back to work! If I may say so myself, it hasn’t affected our relationship in anyways or form. it was challenging at the time but we got through it, worked it out and it worked for us. But that’s the key word here….‘US’!
We are all different people who’ve generally made different choices in life, passed through life in different ways, have had different experiences growing up so I don’t expect everyone would agree with what I do with my children or how I do it. Obviously, there are some parents out there whom we all need to be worried about with mental issues or domestic problems which might impair their ability to treat their kids with good judgement but that’s a different matter entirely.
Women just need to be supportive of each other about stuff like this instead playing desperate housewives with our children and lifestyle. When I hear children crying their heads off at the Supermarket or when a child is being difficult, I try not to stare and make the mum feel even more uncomfortable by making her think I’m judging her or how she’s handling the situation. If we do cross paths, I just give a sympathetic smile or say something re assuring to let her know I understand and that it’s ok. I’ve been in her shoes several times and would probably be there a lot more so I get it.
I see women do this a lot nowadays and that’s reassuring, we just need to stop judging people we don’t know because for whatever reason they have, they have chosen a different method of parenting that differs from ours. If it works for them, who are we to judge?