I don't know any different. I have been having play dates with other mamas & their kiddos since my first born could barley hold up his head. You know the ones. When all of the first time moms have their babes laying next to each other on blankets & we try to take pictures of them all & have fun talking about how is going to marry who. Until one baby spits up & then one gets hungry & we aren't able to finish a sentence, but still we keep talking. We may have looked a little haggard & had hair that didn't know the last time it had been washed, but we were together. Sharing our ups & downs & doing life side by side.
Maybe it's just me, but I've noticed the thing about play dates, especially ones with many people or people I don't know or in public popular play date locales can sometimes be breeding grounds for me to have judgmental thoughts. Just today I found myself tossing some judgmental thoughts around in my head directed toward the other parents at the playground. How is it that I think I know what they should be or shouldn't be doing with their kids when I don't know them. Like at all. I don't know where they came from or where they are headed. For all I know the dad who's son somehow got back behind the construction fence where the dump trucks & diggers loomed could have not been tracking on his kids for a variety of reasons. Maybe he was out of work so even though he was at the park with his kids he was really at the unemployment office or an interview in his head. Maybe his wife was sick. Maybe he is a single dad who is overwhelmed & needs some help. Oh my goodness. Maybe he wasn't even their dad! Was he the sitter, the uncle, the friend?! Whatever the reason I am sorry dude at the park. Sorry that in my head I was thinking that my kid would have never gotten that far. Sorry I was thinking that I knew any better or could do anything any different.
It is good for me to remember that everyone has a story. That most parents are the same in that they are just trying to stay afloat. It is the times that I am not being mindful of my thoughts that the judgmental ones creep in. It sounds a little much to say I have to think about what I am thinking about. But, I do. If I don't they will go all willy-nilly on me & end up somewhere I have no business being. I too am trying to stay afloat as a parent & my thoughts running wild speculating why that mom let her kiddo act like that or why they didn't act a different way really does nothing to help me stay afloat. It actually would set me adrift more than anything & being lost at sea while trying to be a mama to my boys sounds a little like um..impossible. So today was a good for me to reset my thoughts & to remind myself that instead of internally criticizing the other parents I should be looking at them as my allies. Because we are all in this together. We, together, are raising the next generation. And that sounds like something that needs all hands on deck.