I just read a blog post about not being a dick. Particularly in restaurants. Why do we need to be reminded not to be a dick?! Why do we need to be reminded not to yell at a toddler that does not live under our roof? Why do we need to be reminded that if you drop a bunch of shit on the floor at a diner you should a) pick it up or b) leave a big tip? Probably both actually. Really?! We need someone to remind us of this?! What is wrong with us?
We are the moral compasses for our children. And sometimes our children's friends. They are figuring out how to navigate the tricky waters of social interaction. They're watching and they are mirroring us. All. The. Time. If we are rude in a restaurant, so are they. If we yell at her teacher when things don't go as planned, so will she. When we let rudeness or meanness spill from our mouths, we are doing our babies a disservice. Rudeness will not serve them well in the long run.
We are also perpetuating a symptom of the human disconnect that we are all suffering right now. We have forgotten that we are human together. That we have the same feelings as everyone else.
Oh, you don't like being yelled at and shamed in public?! Probably the person that you yelled at doesn't like it either. And probably they were being douchey and deserved a tongue lashing, but do you really think it did anyone any good?! Do you think that person, is rethinking whatever actions got them to the current uncomfortable place? No, they're blaming you for being rude and mean. And guess what, if you think that rudeness is acceptable, then you have probably long since justified it because that person was douchey. See how this goes? Round and round with the justification for bad behavior.
Let's all just chill the fuck out. Let's take a deep breath and remember that we're all human here together. Experiencing the same emotions. Hold your tongue when you feel like saying something nasty. Unless of course we're just being snarky, in which case, let if fly! I love being snarky. But meanness should not stand. Take the high road. If someone's behavior is so egregious that you just must say something, offer to help. Give a sad and commiserating look and offer to do something helpful. Or just say a kind word. We're all full of lots of judgment, but let's just back the fuck off. Let's be nice instead. We have no idea what has driven that ridiculous parent to let her child hang dangerously off the side of the shopping cart knocking things off shelves and yelling. Maybe her child is autistic, maybe her child is just obnoxious. Either way, tough life she's living, no? Do something nice for her. Pick up one or two of the things her kid knocked down. Also, bonus, because you just did something nice for two people. The mom and the store employee. Boom!
Be nice. That's what we want for our children. We want them to be nice and we want people to be nice to them. The best way to foster this is to model it. The moral compass, remember? It's us. There are lots of lists out there by child psychologists about how to foster thoughtful, compassionate children and they are great. We should all read them and practice their directions. I am asserting (with my non-medical opinion) that equally important to volunteering at soup kitchens is that we, the caregivers (moral compasses), practice kindness everyday while they are watching. Which is all the damn time!
I'm Molly. I'm all in for parenting. I'm all in for good food. All in for big and small outdoor adventures. And really only partly in for homemaking. I want a Martha Stewart home and meal, but the truth is, we mamas just can't do it all. Not really. This shit is tricky!
This is a collection of musings and missives about parenting like you mean it. I mean really mean it. About how you can pull off a really mostly decent meal, keep your house kinda clean, do some of your laundry, and also even remember to usually feed your pets. But mostly about how being a mama is hard and we can totally rock it, but maybe that dream of perfection has got to give a little.