Before I had a child, I was a fantastic judge of others parenting styles. So quick I was to internally (and sometimes externally) shake my head (smh- you're welcome). I was so sure I would do it differently, correctly. I was silently, methodically cataloging all the errors I saw other parents making and righting them in my brain, sure that I would do it better.
When I would talk to my brother and he would excitedly tell me, "Yeah Jack was hungry today, he ate 3 hot dogs!" I would respond, "Wow, he was hungry!" But in my mind I was thinking, why are you feeding a 16 month old 3 hot dogs?!
And I could go on and on about all the other times I silently judged, taking mental notes for when it was my turn and I could do it perfectly.
I was positive that I would be able to magically will my child to never have a tantrum in public, to go to bed without a fuss, to sleep seemlessly throughout the night, to eat healthy foods, to play quietly by himself, to not go through separation anxiety, to keep my house clean despite having a child and two pets, to make time for myself and my friends, to not disappear from the little social life I had, to not be a slave to a schedule, to still go on vacations and not feel bad about being away from my child because it is healthy to have time alone with your hubs, to not constantly bombard people with pictures of my kid, to be able to talk to my husband when we are alone and not have the conversation centered around what our baby did that day...all these things I knew for sure.
(So delusional, I know)
And then it was finally my turn.
It was here. It was my turn right now. To do everything perfectly, just as I had planned.
And after a very short time, this little nugget grew into this little man...
A little man with his own agenda that does not always jive with his Mama's.
He throws tantrums in stores, throws most of the food I offer him onto the floor, refuses to eat anything but the occasional hot dog or PB&J and Goldfish crackers, HATES all fruit, has a set nap/sleep schedule that I do not want to mess with, throws his little body on the floor and wails like some one is murdering him if I leave the room, I have passed up opportunities to go on vacation so I can stay close to him, my kitchen floor will be sticky for another 18 years, my house looks like a daycare, I post pics of him to fb and here almost daily and all my conversations with my hubs start and end with Sully.
I let him eat chips, I hover over him sometimes, I don't always mean no when I say no, I buy him too many toys, I let him go outside without a hat on. If he wanted 3 hot dogs in one sitting, I would happily oblige.
Basically I look at him through rose colored glasses.
The old me would have seen lots of mistakes, mentally righted them and promised to never do those things. The old me would continue to judge others parenting, seeing only their errors (or what I perceived as errors) rather than seeing all the sacrifice and love.
Thankfully, that is not me anymore. I give all parents a break, including myself, now.
So lets all go eat some hot dogs.