We’ve all seen it, the side eye, the rolled eye, the snicker or muttered snark. Sometimes, there is even an actually-out-loud comment. I am far from perfect, and I know I’ve judged my share (or more, some might say), but most of that was done before I had experience of my own. It’s very easy to sit and judge based on a glimpse with no consideration to what may surround that moment. Here are a handful of things that I’ve noticed judgment about that make me cranky, simply for the fact that none of them are actually BAD things at all.
I don’t hover. I know, that doesn’t seem like something one would be judged for, but I’ve gotten dirty looks from other parents when my child is wandering on the other side of the room (usually interacting with their child) and I’m not nearby. I keep an eye on where they are and rescue/correct when necessary, but unless we are somewhere with danger (or hiding spots) in every corner, I don’t feel the need to follow my children around. They both come check in regularly, and sometimes I have to push them to explore away from me, but darn it, they need independence… and so do I.
My toddler still uses a pacifier. Yup, YC is 19 months old and still has her beloved paci. If someone told me even a year ago that my kid would have a paci past her first birthday, I’d have laughed at you. EC kicked the habit herself around 9 months, so it was never a concern – I figured we’d have a similar experience with YC. But these two girls are night and day. YC loves that paci, and relies on it both for comfort (especially while teething) and to go to sleep. That attachment aside, letting her keep it was a conscious decision on our part. Where EC was never terribly “mouthy” – I mean, we never really even had to baby proof because she just didn’t put things in her mouth – YC puts everything in her mouth. Honestly, I’d rather she keep the paci in there if it keeps her from putting everything else in (especially in public play settings, like the library). Once her teeth are all in, and she has a better understanding, we will ceremoniously say goodbye to the paci.
My girls are super “girly”. Last week, I met another parent from EC’s preschool class at a fundraiser. In introducing myself, I told her who my child was; her response – “Oh, is she the one always in pink and frills and sparkles?” “YUP” Though it’s not something we ever pushed or encouraged, EC is as princess-y as they come. The cajoling and bribery it takes to get the girl to wear pants is tantamount to most parents trying to get their kids to eat vegetables (luckily, not a problem here)… unless she’s going skiing; somehow, she has accepted that it’s better to ski in pants than a dress. Oh, and dresses are highly preferable to skirts, though skirts will do in a pinch, especially if they are frilly, pink, and/or sparkly. By default, YC ends up dressed pretty girly as well, as EC likes to help pick out her sisters clothes and likes their “style” to match.
I’m still nursing. Again, if someone had told me I’d still be nursing YC at 19 months, I wouldn’t have believed it. EC stopped nursing at 3 weeks, or rather, we stopped trying at 3 weeks. It was not a pleasant bonding experience – she had trouble latching and every attempt left us both crying. I exclusively pumped for her for 7 months, and at 12 months, we kicked the bottle in about 3 days. With YC, I decided to try again, of course, and she took to it like a fish to water, so on we went – nursing and pumping (at work) for nearly a full year. When I stopped working just before her first birthday, I put away the pump and started exclusively nursing her. Currently, on a normal day, she nurses once (before nap), maybe twice, though with a couple new teeth appearing, it’s a tad more frequent right now. As with the paci, I figure we will let it go when she can better understand what’s happening. For now, it still works for us.
What about you? What harmless aspect of your parenting do you notice people noticing (not that they notice you noticed)…?