Call Me Catty McJudgerson

2 May

topddI have read a lot of blogs recently about parents judging each other. I really dislike that being judgmental is something that people do to one another, but I have done it myself.

I am reminded of an incident (it was an incident in my mind anyway) last summer when I dropped my eldest son off at baseball camp. I wrote something about it then so I am elaborating on that. Don’t judge me.

When I dropped him off one morning, I became annoyed when a giant SUV in front of me stopped to let kids out. The rest of us managed to park so as to not hold up everybody else, but this woman decided she could make her own rules, so the rest of us behind her were stuck there waiting for her. Immediately, I started to fume and give her the glaring of a lifetime because I had to get to work and in my mind, this woman did not work and has only her spacious home to get back to so she can start preparing a nutritious and delicious dinner for her family in her state of the art kitchen. What a BITCH. I am nothing if not totally irrational.

The thing is, baseball camp is SUPER expensive. It’s almost $400 for the week. My son can attend because my mom and my brother make sure he can attend and they give it to him as part of his birthday present every year. There is no way my ex-husband and I would be able to afford to send him without them. Knowing this, and the fact that I show up in my scrubs to pick him up rather than (insert some fancy designer brand name here because I don’t know any), I make myself feel ‘less than’. None of the other parents have ever said anything to me about living in a trailer or working  or my son having nothing but a can of beans to eat for lunch (I kid, they supply lunch. Luckily)or that I am NOT a good mom to my kids because of it. That is ALL me and ME judging them on things I don’t even know is as bad as me thinking they must be judging ME.

I remember when Dr. Laura Schlessinger was on the radio and she was all the beyourbestrage (and she may still be) and she would go on tirades about working moms and how they (we) were destroying the fabric of our country and she would have her listeners call in and say, ‘I AM my kid’s mom’, like the rest of us who work were not. I really dislike Dr. Laura and her minions and I REALLY resent being told that because I work that I am somehow NOT my kids mom, or not as good a mom as women who didn’t work. BUT, I can’t assume that woman in the SUV didn’t work or if she didn’t that she was a fan of Dr. Laura’s or that she thought one hoot about me or where I lived or where I worked. I was guilty of projecting my insecurities onto her, and that’s crappy.

I know parenthood is hard. I’m the first one to say ‘let’s support each other rather than tear each other down.’ I am really good at supporting other broke parents, but I have been guilty of thinking that money would solve all of my parenting woes and things would be so much easier if I had some. When I think about it though, my 12-year-old would still be going through this difficult patch with the only difference more than likely being that the door he slammed would be to a larger room.

I need to remember something I read,  “Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I don’t like making snap judgments about anything or anybody, but I did it, and I still do sometimes. This is something for me to work on.

I still really dislike Dr. Laura Schlessinger though. That’s probably not going to change. She can join Gwyneth, Oprah, Taylor, and Dane Cook in the category of people I dislike. And Dr. Laura, I AM my kids’ mom too. Though this week has been a rough one, I’m STILL their mom.  And a pretty good one. So suck it.

toddparr

*All of the artwork by Todd Parr – one of my very favorite children’s book authors and illustrators.

12 Responses to “Call Me Catty McJudgerson”

  1. Amber Perea May 2, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    While my decision to stay home was a personal one, and the continuation of it more of a necessity, my mom worked growing up. Always. She taught me that having a good work ethic was tantamount to Godliness. And you know what? I’ve always had one. On time, worked hard, pushed myself to be the best in my field…always.

    So whatever you are doing as a parent, while it may be different than what someone else may choose, is always the right thing as long as you do it with love. 🙂

    • Amy May 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      I agree with you 🙂 Thanks again

  2. mollytopia May 2, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    Amen. They can suck it. I’m a divorced working mom, too, and I get all your insecurities. I have them myself in varying degrees. I also judge. I judge the moms who don’t work and whine about having no time to themselves, and no time to exercise, and how their maids don’t clean the corners of the floor well enough. Those women I want to punch in the tit. I admit it. But I can learn something from this post. Who knows how many of them feel less-than for giving up their career, or lonely for being at home all day while everyone’s at work or school, or how lonely they are night because their husbands are working 80 hours a week so they can be a Dr. Laura-approved mom. Thanks for your post. It’s a good reminder: we all struggle. It might look different on the outside, but it’s all the same on the inside. We’re human.

    • Amy May 2, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      First of all, thank you for saying ‘punch in the tit’. I think we are best friends as of right now.

      You totally explained why I dislike Gwyneth Paltrow so much. She is the QUEEN of crap like that and of giving us little working people helpful advice from high atop her throne.

      It is something I struggle with, absolutely, but your last sentence is spot on. We’re human.

      Thanks so much for reading. I am really enjoying your blog 🙂

      • mollytopia May 2, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

        Totally. We are officially best friends. Thanks for reading, and for giving us all something awesome to read. Your blog rocks, and so do you.

    • donofalltrades May 2, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Lol, this woman just said punch in the tit! I’m off to check out her blog!!

  3. donofalltrades May 2, 2013 at 3:03 am #

    My wife and I moved the kids from a sort of rough area of the City out to the suburbs because the cost of Catholic school was just too much and the City of STL has a failing, awful public school system. Anyway, we moved out to the suburbs in a brand new house that’s probably more than we should have bitten off, but it’s for the kids, right, so anyway the point is that our kids go to the same school as some people who think they’re wealthy. Some might be, I don’t know, but I sense most of these people aren’t as loaded as they think they are and are all one busted water heater away from being over their heads financially. Anyway, just the other day in the school gym, I was totally judging all the soccer mom bitches and bmw driving strokes and telling my buddy that I miss my white trash friends from back in the City. They’re more my speed. I’m not calling you white trash or anything and I don’t even know where my little rant came from, but fuck that bitch in her big SUV. I hope she gets a yeast infection and that your son’s college is paid for via a baseball scholarship and maybe a few years in MLB would be nice too.

    • Amy May 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

      Don, your comment made me laugh for a good 20 minutes, so thank you for that.

      I actually didn’t mention that my little trailer and my neighborhood is very close to a wealthy part of town. My boys also attend a school with a lot of wealthy kids. Sometimes I have to remind my eldest that we live in a freaking trailer, so no, he cannot have another pair of $16 NIKE socks.

      AND, I’m okay with being lumped in with white trash. I’ll take it.

      And now I’m laughing again.:-)

  4. Miss Molly May 2, 2013 at 4:25 am #

    When my daughter was in high school we lived in a little cottage in a wealthy neighborhood. We had a darling house and the best view in the city overlooking the river and the mountains, but what we didn’t have was money. I was like you – a single working mom trying to support two daughters who needed more, and more expensive, stuff every year. I always felt bad about those rich girls who could go buy five outfits at a time. My kids saw the difference, but they didn’t give me a hard time. Then my older daughter went to college – an expensive one but she had scholarships, etc. The first time she came home, she told me about the sad lives the rich girls she knew had at home. “I’ll never be envious of them again, mom.” We all have so much to learn.

    You’re doing great with your kids and you don’t have to apologize for getting annoyed at flat out rudeness. Even people with a lot on their plate can afford to be polite.

    xo

    • Amy May 2, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      Molly, my love for you just continues to grow.

      I have to mention, in November, thanks to the generosity of my brother and sister in law, we will be moving to their house, which might as well be a freaking castle, in a wonderful neighborhood. I will be paying what I can afford and they will be paying the rest. Both boys are excited about it because there will be room to finally have friends over.

      You’re a sweetie, but I am almost 100% sure that if that same woman had been driving an old beat up car I would have been much more patient. I’m introspective almost to a fault. BUT, as I said, something for me to work on.

      Hugs Molly. 🙂 Thank you as always for your comments.

  5. muddledmom May 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    These comments are great! And so is the post. It’s true, we are all human and we all have insecurities. We all have struggles. I’m a married stay-at-home mom who works part-time from home. This doesn’t mean I’m rich. Anyone seeing my clunker of a van would certainly not assume so. I don’t need to keep up with the Joneses. I think people do live beyond their means and I keep that in mind when I feel how you felt that day. Your kids will have a richer childhood for what you give them than anything money can buy.

    • Amy May 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      Thanks so much! I love the comments on this post too. So many great and differing perspectives.

      Always happy to read your comments and absolutely love your blog 🙂

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