So I read a blog the other day about “Helicopter Mum you’re ruining it for everyone else.” Criticised the mums playing with the kids at the park while other mums watched. And today it was “Don’t judge me, bench mum.” Which was basically a self defence explanation calling for understanding from other mums by a so-called helicopter mum. One line in particular resonated with me; she said something along the lines of “and I may end up playing with your kid too, because they come over. That’s ok with me and I will look over to you every now and then, not because I’m judging you but so you know I’m not some sick pervert.”
And I thought wow. How backward have we gone that some woman (or many women) feel the need to explain playing with their kid and making eye contact with another mum?? As a people, have we become so egotistical that we imagine every look, every conversation, every article or comment is negatively motivated and somehow directed at us? We feel so attacked, so often, and stand up for ourselves so vigorously – but maybe we are lighting fires just to see smoke.
Maybe parents everywhere should start assuming the best of each other, rather than the worst. “Oh look at that mum looking at me all the time. She must love my sweater.” Or: “That dad keeps watching me playing with the kids. He obviously is enjoying watching us all have fun together.”
Cause, after all, maybe that IS what said mum or dad is thinking. Or something nicer. Or maybe they aren’t thinking of you at all – maybe they’re daydreaming about a wonderful meal they had or book they read and you just happen to be in their (blank) line of sight.
And by jumping up and defending your right to hover/not hover/facebook/feed organic/attachment parent/free range parent/breastfeed/formula feed, aren’t you just kind of alluding to a fact that there’s something that needs defending? When in fact there isn’t?
Your choices, as long as they cause no deliberate harm or restrict the freedom of others, are your business. In these kinds of things, particularly, are no one else’s business and most likely, no one else is probably paying too much attention. So shake it off, mind your own business, assume the best of others and feel less judged. Take a deep breath and offer a smile instead of a suspicious, narrow-eyed self defensive sideways look. You may just get an agenda free smile in return.
And if you don’t and you really are facing a McJudgy…who cares. If you are happy with your choice and your child is healthy and happy then be confident enough in that to laugh off the judgement and feel pity for them. Your life is so full that you feel no need to dwell on the little inconsequential choices of others and feel sorry for them that they aren’t there yet.
And then smile at them again…. cause after all nothing annoys those types more than realising you just don’t care what they think.
Have a nice day all!