Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Go Ahead, Judge Me

I like to think of myself as a pretty non-judgmental person.  I also like to think of myself as a size 4, but that doesn't necessarily make it true. 

"Judge not, lest ye be judged" is probably one of the most referenced scriptures in the Bible. Moral debates without a definitive answer, "Well, judge not, lest ye be judged."  Even people that don't believe in God use this as a guiding principle. Kind of like the Golden Rule, only with consequences. 

Turns out, I judge people all of the time.  Maybe not in the "You're going straight to hell" way, but in smaller ways like, "Why would they possibly buy a new car when they can't make the payment on the old one?"  or, "Guess someone had a few too many cocktails before choosing her new hair color."

But my most egregious judgments have been made about how people parent their children.

"What kind of horrible parents let their kids throw a temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store? Get control of your child."

"That poor kid has no coat.  Do his parents not realize it is 25 degrees out."

"What kind of person yells at her child in the middle of a crowded restaurant?  Seriously, some people should not have children."

In case there is some confusion, these are all judgments that I feel confident have been made about me in the last seven years.  Heck, most of them have probably happened in the last seven days.  What makes it such a bitter pill to swallow is recalling the multitude of times I made similar judgments in my pre-parent days.  Rolling my eyes, rude comments under my breath, disapproving glances, I've done it all.  My judginess probably peaked when I was pregnant with our first child.  Oh, how many times I uttered the words, "That will never happen in my house." As I think back on those days, if I am really quiet, I can actually hear God laughing.

Don't get me wrong, I adore my children and most of the time, they are incredibly well behaved.  But, as my dad says, they are children. Apparently, reasoning with a three year old is different than reasoning with a grown adult (well, most grown adults).  And dang, being a parent is exhausting.  If only I wasn't constantly picking up after them, doing their laundry, packing lunches, brushing teeth, and moderating battles, I would have the common sense to check the weather before I sent my child to school in shorts during a snowstorm. I mean, it is Texas.  Why the heck is would we ever have a snowstorm? If only I had more sleep, more hours in the day, and let's face it, several glasses of wine, I would definitely be more patient.  We would read and play educational games all day long and I wouldn't feel compelled to lock myself in the bathroom just to get three uninterrupted minutes of peace and quiet.

Instead, I have resolved that I will be the woman on the other side of the judgments for the next few years.  Looking back on that scripture, it's clear I earned my place there. 

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