“I try not to judge…”
“Not to judge, but…”
“I usually don’t judge…”
Most of us say things like this.
Because most of us realize that we shouldn’t judge others. That we never fully know someone’s situation and so we can’t judge them. Or we know that it’s not up to us to judge.
If you tell me that you never judge anyone, ever… I pretty much don’t believe you.
Everybody puts on their judgey pants about something.
You might not say it outloud. You might not blast it across facebook. You might not do anything but have that internal flinch when you see someone doing something that you don’t agree with.
It could be that dad you see who is totally covered in tattoos or has blue hair.
It could be the mom you see at preschool drop-off in her bathrobe or with a super-short skirt on.
Maybe it’s the screaming kids in Target.
Or the child on a leash.
Or the baby being breastfed in public. Or the one being bottlefed.
Or the family with 12 kids. Or the family with only 1.
Or the family who medicates their child or the one who doesn’t.
Or the mom who spends a lot of time away from her kids. Or the mom who never leaves her kids, not even to go to the bathroom by herself.
Or someone with tons of money or someone without any.
Or a parent who lets their kids watch tv or the one who never turns on the tv.
Or the parent who lets her child have a phone or the one who doesn’t.
Or we judge someone who admits that they judge.
We’re all human. Knowing that we shouldn’t judge isn’t quite the same thing as being able to stop that initial gut reaction when we see something that we don’t agree with.
It’s what we choose to do after we recognize that feeling that counts.
Do you get hateful about it, do you attack? Or do you acknowledge that there could be a story there that you don’t understand? Do you realize that it doesn’t affect you anyway, so you should move on? Do you keep your opinion to yourself, maybe even try to see the other viewpoint? Parenting differently doesn’t have to mean judging someone else.
We can’t always help how we feel, but we can choose to be respectful in how we express those emotions, to keep our judgey pants to ourselves.
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