As a child-free person, I could sympathize with parents on some level. I grew up in a big family and there have always been a lot of younger siblings, cousins, and various family friends’ kids around. And yet, no matter how many children a person is exposed to, somehow there are still things you just don’t believe will ever happen to you.
My kids won’t do that. My baby will never be like that baby. I’ll be so much more ‘together’ than those parents! They’re just doing something wrong.
I especially thought this was true because I waited to have kids until I was in my late twenties (well… I waited to slack off about caution enough to accidentally get pregnant until I was older. The timing was still not exactly mapped out). I thought I’d be better equipped because of being so sage and wise and all. Honestly I think the only thing I gained was being a bit more patient, and that’s definitely less than I thought I’d have worked out by now. I just had no clue what an asshole I was, or perhaps if I’m being nice about it, what a hypocrite I’d one day become. Looking back, I am very happy that I kept those condescending ideas mostly quiet when I was around any parents. This way I can freely admit all of the bumps and setbacks and mistakes I’m making and get a laugh and an, “I’ve been there!” rather than trying to pretend all’s great so I don’t have to see all of those parents gloat over my not-so-stellar track record.
I am so glad I can share a laugh about my kids and the mistakes I make with them. So if you happen to be reading this and don’t yet have kids: Go ahead and judge, but do it quietly. You may one day wish you’d kept your judgy trap shut.