Mums complain that they feel judged when their baby cries in public. My question is this: What don’t mums feel judged about?
There is no doubt that parenting is a difficult thing to master and something I’m pretty sure our great grandmothers weren’t thinking about in as much detail. I figure they were too busy hand washing their clothes and scraping together a decent meal to worry about whether Betty from number 10 was judging them on the ingredients they chosen for their child’s birthday cake.
So maybe, it’s a modern problem. One we’ve almost invented ourselves?
This week a new survey found that 64 per cent of new mums experienced guilt when their newborns cried in public. And the guilt wasn’t even just their sleep-deprived imagination. Mums experienced disapproving looks, stares from strangers and the dreaded ‘tutting’. Some even heard direct negative comments. (It is a crying newborn people!) Mums have enough to feel guilty over.
So here are a list of things I do as a parent that I am constantly feeling guilty of or in fear of being judged about.
I don’t read to my children every night.I know, I KNOW. I should, it’s so good for them but some nights I just can’t be bothered. Some nights I just want to come home, grab a wine, flop down on the couch and zone out in front of the TV. And some nights, I know that if I have to listen to my 7 year old read me ‘The Little Engine that Could’ once more, I will literally become the parent who can’t.
I don't always iron their school uniforms. I hang them up and hope for the best.
I KNOW my mother is looking down from Heaven having conniptions because not only do I not iron my children’s clothes, I don’t even own an iron anymore. Yeah, that’s right. I used to hear about these mythical creatures who didn’t iron but I was not one of them. I mean, once upon a time, I pressed our sheets and had a night of the week dedicated to just ironing for God’s sake. The day the iron blew up and I decided I wouldn’t replace it was both terrifying and liberating. But I do worry that other parents (or teachers) are thinking badly about me when they see the occasional creased collar.
I sometimes let my children eat unhealthy food.
Yes. I let my children eat lollies. Yes, I let them eat junk food. No, not only on special occasions. Sometimes, I want to grab an easy meal and you know what, I also like to treat my children. I do worry however that as my special treats aren’t watermelon wrapped in prosciutto or kale salads that other parents would judge harshly if they knew of this practice.
I sometimes speak to my children in a less than lovely way.
Hmm, let’s just say that if you were to press your ear up against my wall last week when my son tipped the cat’s (full) cat litter tray onto the freshly shampooed carpet for no particular reason, you may have heard less than pleasant words streaming from my mouth. I may have used words I’m not proud of and did promise myself that I’d never use in the presence of my children.