Can you tell me when it happened?
When did you become the perfect parent? Exactly when was is it that you became so infallible as a parent that you can judge everyone else?
Maybe I shouldn’t admit it, but I am NOT a perfect parent. In fact I believe that no one is a perfect parent. Are you judging me yet?
Let me tell you something….The perfect parent is a myth!
We all have had incidents while parenting that could have had tragic results. But for whatever reason we were spared from the consequences that other parents were not.
I’m sure if you think about it, you will recall at least one time that your attention wasn’t where it should it have been. A time that could have had devastating results, but it didn’t.
Because you were lucky. Or Blessed. Or being watched over. Whatever your belief may be.
I can tell you a few of mine.
I was shopping with my husband and several of our children in the middle of winter. I thought our 4 year old was with him. He thought the kid was with me. The child in question had wandered off. When he couldn’t find us right away, he went outside to wait next to the car for us. In the dark. Without a coat. In the snow.
I panicked. The store was on lockdown. Everyone searched the entire store. He was gone!
Thirty minutes later. A very long, tear-filled, gut wrenching thirty minutes later. A woman came in from outside with my son. She said she’d found him waiting for us in the parking lot. In the dark. By himself. At only 4 years old.
I can’t begin to tell you how many things could have happened that evening. Over a simple miscommunication. But no one criticized my parenting that night. Or called child services because I wasn’t a perfect parent. My online friends were actually supportive. No one judged.
Another incident that could have ended in tragedy but didn’t was when I put my 2 year old to bed for the night. His bedroom was on the third floor of our house. He was in his crib. I went back downstairs to watch a movie in the livingroom assuming that he was going to sleep.
Suddenly someone was banging violently on my front door. A woman was frantically yelling to go up and get my baby. He was standing on the dresser in front of the window. Three stories up! Somehow he had learned to climb out of his crib. Wandered down the hall, into another bedroom and climbed up on top of the dresser. The dresser that I placed in front of the window because I worried about him falling out.
Could this have gone very wrong? Absolutely!
But it didn’t. Does this make me a perfect parent…HELL NO!
I would like to consider myself an average parent. No better and no worse than anyone else.
Average parents. Just like the parents in the news lately.
Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you know the ones I’m referring to. The parents involved in the incident with the gorilla and with the gator. Average everyday parents. The only difference between them and me?
They are facing scrutiny from social media for an incident that went wrong. Really, who are any of us to judge? Do you know how easily it could have been any one of us?
Kids are fast. Faster than we are even aware of. In the case of the gorilla, the mom was right there with her kids. Not across the way or a few feet away. She was there.
It could have happened to any one of our kids. STOP JUDGING!
And the gator that snatched the little boy? No one is to blame! (except the gator)
I have lived in Florida for nearly fifteen years now. I know about gators. I know to respect their territory. But I would have still gone near the water too.
Gators are not known to normally attack people. They tend to coexist. Disney never anticipated an accident like this. The parents never even considered that this could happen. No one did.
The family was on vacation. Showing their son a fun time. On a beach. In the sand. Touching the water. Not swimming. Not feeding the gators. Not doing anything wrong.
Stop judging and just mourn with them. Have some compassion.
The perfect parent is a myth!