Don’t be so quick to judge
I never shared the story of how I went to eat out with my kids and was judged immediately by an older couple, did I?
After the whole Eat ‘n Park debacle a year prior, I was hesitant to take the kids out to eat by myself.
But this particular day was Claire’s birthday and she really wanted to go eat at Bob Evans after we were at the gym. The kids were in a fantastic mood, and Mae didn’t seem overly tired (she was 7 months old at this time) so I figured, why not? It’s Bob Evan’s for pete’s sake.
I asked for a table and we were set in the back near an older couple (in their 60’s, perhaps?) who were sitting across the aisle in a booth. I had my back to them as I was putting Mae in her high chair when I heard the one whisper to the other, “Oh lord. And here we thought we’d get some peace and quiet.”
I immediately thought back to the Eat ‘n Park debacle and thought, should I just go now? I don’t want to piss off another person. And then I thought fuck them.
The kids ordered what they wanted politely from the waitress and they colored and kept to themselves. To be completely honest, they were on their best behavior and then some. There was nothing dropped on the ground, no “HEY! THAT WAS MY CRAYON!” no “But I wanted what HE got to eat!” It was very controlled and very enjoyable.
Which it usually is. Enjoyable.
But with kids…sometimes you just never know.
I didn’t once look at the couple across the aisle. I didn’t want to give them the time of day. How dare they judge me when they don’t know me, or what kind of mother I am.
I did, however, say on the louder end, “You guys are such good kids, you know that? Every day, just so good. Thank you.”
And clearly, however I acted or the kids acted or what I said hit a chord with them. As they got up to leave, they came over and said, “I’m sorry I judged you when you first came in. Your kids are fantastic and you clearly are a good mother.”
That is a direct quote.
When we were all done eating and ready to go, I asked for the check. The waitress said, “No need. The couple across the way paid for your bill. Have a great day!”
I’ve been looked at and silently judged many times since becoming a mother. Having three kids all so close in age and being the age that I am really makes one wonder. And I don’t blame them. It’s natural. But please, don’t think that just because I’m a mom with three small kids that they’re going to be little shits and I’m going to sit there and do nothing to parent them.
Because I’m pretty sure when I decided to be a mom 5 years ago, I knew this was going to be some hard work. I knew that it was going to take me parenting them and not being afraid to discipline them in a public place. I don’t raise them to believe they are the center of the universe and actually teach them how to function in the real world among other people. Respectfully.
And please, don’t automatically judge me. Because I’m doing the best I can. And it’s a damn fine job.