Today I got scolded by another mother…

It’s no secret that I’m long winded – if you don’t have time feel free to skip to the middle.

Well, first off let me say it didn’t feel good. It also probably didn’t help that Ryan just left for his trip. This was a great confidence builder.

Things I try to remember constantly before passing judgement on anyone.

1. Give people the benefit of the doubt

2. Everyone’s doing the best they can.

“Your best” is very subjective I know, and we all have infinite potential. But I do believe that for the most part people do the best they can day to day. Sometimes we do better, sometimes we fall short of what we wish we could have done.

So after sharing my little mantra let me tell you about my day because I need to get this off my chest. Grr!

95% of my day kicked butt! It really did. Some days I end the day feeling like I could be better, just being honest. But today, I killed it. I just have to admit it. They went to bed on time, we read tons of books before bed and sang songs! I did tons of laundry, I fed the boys SO well, something I’m trying sooo much harder at lately! We met up with my friend Jamie for an awesome early afternoon trip to the park. We walked, Mr Finn rode his new Strider bike that he loves ALL over the park. Then we came back, ate lunch and Finn took a nap before we went over to my friend Kaitlin’s ‘Find out the gender’ party. (Sorry lame description the party rocked btw! They are having a boy it was so fun being there, they waited to find out and revealed it with everyone!)  I even made some brie toast that I just love! All that time outside, it was magnificent! The sun even came out this afternoon it was wonderful.

So my first experience really being scolded –

I just have to set to the scene a little because I feel… bad. My heart hurts.

All three of us wanted different things. Finn wanted to be on the jungle gym area of the park, I wanted to catch up with my dear friends that I hadn’t seen in ages, and Jude wanted to run like a cougar all over the empty fields. For the most part I was appeasing all three of us pretty well. Finn is old enough that he’s fine on the jungle gyms alone. He really is. Jude is fine on the ground. I just always had an eye on each of them. I was still constantly chasing one of them every few minutes. So imagine my joy when little Jude probably 25 yards away sits down. (I am horrible with distances, it was probably closer than that actually) I could get there quick if I needed to. He was just sitting on the edge of the grass next to a bush. I could see his head and his sweater but not his legs. I thought he was playing in the dirt. He loves bushes, even when we go to the Citrus Park his first spot to hit up is the bush. I don’t know why but it’s the truth. He just is like that. I wasn’t about to go chase him down when I had an opportunity to really just enjoy myself for a second. I had a perfect view of Finn tons of kids, tons of moms. He was fine. I was close. There was some distance between Jude and I but I am not going to go fix something that’s broken, he’s happy. I don’t care if he’s eating the bush, I mean I sort of do… but honestly not really.

So I let me guard down for a moment, then I see it. Someone has pulled Jude up from the grass next to the bush and is calling toward our meeting area. He isCOVERED in mud. There is literally NO water features or drinking fountains that I had seen. I literally was SO oblivious that there could be wet dirt over there. But honestly, mud washes out so easy. I’m glad he’s had a good time. We are going anyways. Finn has peed through both pair of pants that I brought with him. Potty training + Super Fun Outing=Lots of distraction=Potty Training Disaster.

Honestly, I should have grabbed Jude sooner. I really was watching him though. I could see him so well. He wasn’t close to a road. There was maybe a parking lot way further away but it was AWAY! It was classic Jude, what a mess! haha!

I am walking Jude back with Kaitlin, what a gem. I honestly really don’t care about the mud, not surprised I’ve got water baby Cougar Jude. This woman comes up to me and literally just starts telling me off. She keeps going on and on after I politely accept her accusation of being completely neglectful, she keeps saying words like, “Completely Ridiculous” She was probably 38, with two dogs. I assumed she had kids but who knows.

Jude was dressed so cute, in his cute brown shoes, knit sweater, well fitted pants (hard to find for that skinny booty of his!) Hey, I’m sorry but I am not going pander. Honestly, I just can’t. I’m alone right now and I have two toddlers. I can’t hover over each of them every second. I do things that are probably a little more on the edge for most people. We take the kids on hikes that most people wouldn’t take kids on,  I let Finn not wear shoes at the beach if he doesn’t want to. (I’ve been scolded for both of those things before too) I give my kids a lot of independence at that park. I want him to be able to run where he wants. He’s not going to get hurt, they aren’t by a road. They get confined so much, I like being able to give Jude space. He can’t really RUN like Finn can.

So it sucked, I hate that word but this is the time to use it. It’s hard because you fall short all the time as a mom anyways. I don’t need someone yelling it in my face. I guess inside I’m hurting a little more because I have been really trying to be better. Lots of time outside, really healthy food, more books – I know from the outside things probably look completely out of control they sort of are at moments. But I don’t give up! My house feels clean, my boys are safe, clean, and tucked in their beds tonight falling asleep to Enya. Scout is out of batteries. He usually lulls them to sleep. They’ve been enjoying the ‘Young Victoria’ soundtrack this week. Thought I’d spice it up. Thanks for letting me share my shortcomings with you.

5 responses

  1. First of all, Heather… You were way too generous with this woman. There’s NO way she had kids. She looked like a very self-centered woman who doesn’t have much “real life” experience. I didn’t hear her tell you off (I was changing a blow-out..), but the girls said she was WAY out of line. I seriously went looking for her after you left.. I was livid. I wanted to give her a link to your blog and say “You spend FOUR minutes on Heather’s blog and you know without a doubt that she is a phenomenal mother, woman, friend and daughter!!!!” Second of all.. this whole incident reminded me of a favorite quote: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” or something like that. I’m sorry that happened. I hope it never happens to you again. You were completely undeserving. It’s like what you said.. Sometimes it’s worth letting them play in the mud just to visit with people you love! I’m amazed at everything you do with a smile on your face. Let’s play again soon. You have such sweet, happy boys.

  2. Heather!!! You are an amazing, wonderful mother. I admire you so much. I have always felt so lucky to be your sister (in-law) and to have you as one of my closest friends – but especially when you had Jude & Finn and I had Adelie & Kennedi. I just felt so lucky that our kids were so close in age & I could watch your children grow as our children go…and watch you & Ryan parent as I (try) to learn to parent! I always love seeing your happy family – and am confident that you are one of the BEST mothers I’ve ever known. You give your all to those boys – and I love your parenting style. I think it’s great to let kids have their freedom & space…and to let them get dirty! Kids love the mud…and sand…and grass…and sticks…and rocks. It’s wonderful that you & Ryan have let your boys learn by being curious & adventurous!! It’s the best!!! I have always admired that about you guys.

    I wish I could have been there to stick up for you. I absolutely CANT STAND women who think they should comment on other people’s parenting!! It’s a definite character flaw (of many women) to think that their voice needs to be heard!! It irritates me so much to meet people who think “their way is the right way…and they know better”.

    If she only knew what a beautiful woman you are…and what an amazing mother you are. Don’t let this incident bring you down a bit. Your boys (and family) will be far happier in life (thanks to the way you & Ryan are raising them) than this mean old woman. I love you! xo.

  3. Oh my gosh! You know what Heath, that woman probably doesn’t have kids – just the two dogs. Hummphg. I want to come give you a BIG hug, that a lame lame lame experience to have to go through. Just because some up tight nosey know it all got off on her hight horse. You obviously have happy, healthy , well adjusted boys. Pay no need to the naysayer Heath! She actually doesn’t even deserve another ounce of your brain energy wasted on her. We too have been struggling with some frustrations beyond our control and finally after it had been consuming me for weeks I decided that enough was enough and I am stronger than this persons weak attempts to feel in power. It helped a lot. Love you lots.

  4. Oh I’m sorry Heather. That’s the worst feeling. I’ve been scolded several times (probably one in 5 times I leave the house with my kids) but I’ve only has people really loud and rude in my face a couple times, and it still stings to remember. Mothering is such a fundamental part of who I am now. I’ve “put all my eggs in that basket”, and when somebody tells you you aren’t doing a good job at the most important job in your life, it hurts. Just know that the people that matter know you are doing a fabulous job, and that lady with the dogs can…well, I won’t write it here, but you know what she can do.

    • Thank you Abby! Today totally could have been a downer, I’m glad I blogged about it because these comments have totally made feel way better. I see the situation clearly. I know it’s not going to be the last time either, my boys are so rambunctious they just look like they are constantly out of control! The encouragement is so uplifting, it helps me to keep believing in myself! As corny as it sounds, but it’s true 😉

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