I've often said that I'm ashamed at myself for some of the things I thought about/towards friends with babies & children. I diminished many of them in my mind for doing things in a way that didn't seem right to me. Whoa, was I in for a shocker. Here are some of the things I used to wonder, but not longer do.
Of new mothers, or mothers of young children, I no longer wonder ...
... why they are always running late
... why they say they "don't have time" to go to the gym every day
... why they wear their babies
... why they nurse their babies to sleep, and also when they wake in the middle of the night instead of quickly teaching them to "self soothe"
... why convenience food sometimes IS worth the money, even though it may not be nutritionally
... why they can be labeled as "lazy", when in fact they're so busy their heads are spinning
... why their babies won't always nap when you put them down
... why listening to their baby scream in the back seat makes them feel helpless and sad.
... why they have to find THAT blanket before nap/bed
... why they give in some times. It doesn't always teach children that you're their subordinate, you really do have to choose your battles
... why some have such difficulty with nursing (walked that road)
... why they can't always just "get control" of her kids in the grocery store
... why remnants of nutrigrain bars, fishy crackers, & graham crackers are usually found amongst the toys in their backseat. It's not that they're messy, it's that their kids are messy and they'd rather be spending time with them than cleaning the car out EVERY WAKING MOMENT.
... why they occasionally have a messy kitchen/house/life. Refer to previous statement.
... why steam-cleaning the upholstery falls so low on their priority list
... why they never seem to "have it together"
... why they have to be home so early in the evening. Can't bedtime be pushed back just this once?
... why others have to be so quiet during naptime. After all, didn't they train their babies to sleep through noise?
... why they would allow their children to throw tantrums
... why they would put their child down in front of the TV or a movie
... why it appears as though their life revolves around their child(ren)
... why they always look tired
... why they would cater to their toddler's desire for chicken nuggets and peaches instead of insisting they eat vegetables before getting any other food
... why the dishwasher can go three days before being unloaded because the clanking noise will wake the baby
... why the laundry will wait a similar amount of time - or, you know, quadruple that.
... why they can't make the baby stop crying in the restaurant/airplane/store etc...
There are a lot of things I don't wonder any more
and yet, I still have to stop myself before making judgement calls on the choices and efforts of other parents. In doing so I've had to eliminate the phrases "couldn't you just...", "Why don't you just...", and "well, it would be easier if you..." from my vocabulary, phrases which completely diminish a parent's decision making skills.
In child rearing, as I'm slowly learning, there are decisions to be made from day one, and it's all to easy (as a bystander) to invalidate and passive-aggressively mock the decisions made by others. I understand that as humans we will always find the need to protect our own choices - that is, to inflate the choice WE made so as to prove it was the very best choice possible - but before the next time you do that verbally, think about how something similar might sound coming right back at you.
just think about it.
And before you know it, there will be a few things you won't be wondering about anymore.