Last Wednesday, my pal SomeMonkey had one of those afternoons of running errands with the kids when time gets away from you a bit. She had given the kids a rare treat of cookies and Icees, only to realize after that it was almost dinner time. This information is necessary to understand the following conversation from Thursday:
me: My a/c unit lives to serve another day!!!Now, first I must say that I truly think SomeMonkey is one of the best and coolest moms I know. She's awesome with her kids, praises them, disciplines them, doesn't let them run with scissors and usually gives them a decent non-cookie meal. All of this while still being someone I, a non-mother, can relate to and really have a blast talking to. Yeah, she's pretty spectacular. And I don't just say that because I'm afraid she'll punch me in the face. So, no, other than joking around, no way am I commenting on her parenting skills.
heat exchanger is still fine so they topped it off again with more coolant
it could die tomorrow but who knows
so could I
SomeMonkey: that's the spirit!
me: i KNOW!
So, what's for dinner tonight? rock candy and milkshakes?
SomeMonkey: are you, perchance, commenting on my parenting skills?
me: absolutely not
I said I COULD die tomorrow
not I want to guarantee it
But this exchange, plus an incident from last weekend, makes me wonder: why is it so off-limits to comment on someone's parenting choices? Especially if you yourself are not a parent.
I get that it's a really hard job. A really complicated job. I totally respect that. Yet being President is a really hard job. Being a CEO of a big company is a really hard job. A teacher. A doctor. A telemarketer. Heck, most jobs are really hard. But it's perfectly acceptable in our society to pass judgment on those folks, even if you aren't experienced in that life or profession.
So why not parents? Honestly, I try hard not to judge people. Sometimes I have to consciously remind myself that I don't know the whole story or that it's none of my business. The wisest thing my father has ever said to me was "just because it's not the decision I would make, doesn't mean it's necessarily the wrong decision". I try hard to apply that to most situations involving puzzling behavior.
What brings all this on? The incident I mentioned above. I observed what I feel was a questionable choice by some parents last weekend. I might even go so far as to say it was a wrong choice. (I don't mean I saw a kid eating ice cream before dinner - that kind of thing barely registers with me. I'm talking about something much larger.) But when I was talking to someone about it (not SomeMonkey), someone that happened to be a parent, she was instantly offended that I was insinuating these parents might be in the wrong. She then changed the subject so she could rip apart the CDC and their response to
Also, I've noticed that if you praise someone's skills or tell them they're doing a great job, they never tell you to shut up and mind your own business because you don't have the right to judge. What's that about?
I'm interested in other thoughts on this. At this point, it seems like a bit of a double-standard. And for kicks, I'm going to post about The Incident tomorrow so you can all weigh in on that as well. It'll be your opportunity to tell me if I'm being too sensitive or if these people were exercising poor judgment. Or, in either case, if I should even be allowed an opinion.