All parents judge other parents. It is a fact. We all think our way is the best way. But some parents are guilty of doing so with disdain. I call them Mr. and Mrs. Judgy McJudgerson. I admit I’m the original Mrs. McJudgerson. I’ve found, however, that being judged by others has led me to keep my Mrs. McJudgerson thoughts to myself.
On one cold rainy Chicago evening I took Henry to an open play session at a local kids’ playhouse. I was so excited for him to crawl and climb with other kids. The setup was fully equipped with plush carpet, soft balls, Little Tikes cars, stuffed rocking horses, cushy climbing stairs and tunnels. Fun kids’ music floated through the air, and paper cutouts of butterflies hung from the ceiling.
Enter Mr. and Mrs. Judgy McJudgerson. They were doting on their daughter, mini-McJudgerson, constantly smothering her and preventing her from playing with other kids. Henry smiled at her and crawled over to greet her. I noticed his nose was a little runny, not because he was sick, but because he was teething. The McJudgersons noticed too, and they scowled at me. Their glare said, “How could you bring your sick kid here. You’re going to infect our perfect little angel.” BARF. I awkwardly avoided eye contact, and watched as Henry and mini-McJudgerson interacted. Another symptom of teething is excessive drooling. Henry’s glob of clear saliva slowly dribbled nearby mini-McJudgerson, and Mr. McJudgerson squealed, “EW!” He glared at me again and ran to sanitize the area. For the rest of our playtime the McJudgersons avoided us, and each time mini-McJudgerson wandered in our direction, they quickly picked her up and brought her across the room whispering in each other’s ears. I couldn’t help but feel like a horrible person. And poor Henry, he was just trying to be friendly.
I’m sure I’ll bump into the McJudgersons again, and if not those particular McJudgersons, another pair of judgy parents waiting to make me feel like an inadequate mother. I can only hope that the McJudgerson in me stays tucked away. We’re all doing our best – well, most of us anyway.
-- Signed The Original Mrs. Judgy McJudgerson