Who am I to Judge?

Welcome to Guest Tuesday- my fortnightly feature

 Today, I am very happy to host a person who is very close to my heart. Aparna George is a blogger whom I met online back in 2011. At the time, I was hunting for schools for Gy and Aparna immediately offered all assistance possible. She is the first person with whom I made an electric connection online. Aparna's warmth and smile shine through everything that she does, be it writing her blog, Life as a Mom, her passions which are terrace gardening and environmental awareness or her lending a willing shoulder for me to pour my heart out.  
Aparna and I share such similar thoughts and wavelengths that we keep telling each other that we must have been separated at birth ;)

Please welcome Aparna, who will tell you more about herself in her bio below. Thank you, Aparna, for agreeing to write this post for my blog.


Author Bio:

Aparna George is a stay-at-home-mom who was a techie until 2005 when her daughter was born. She is now a freelance writer in the content and social media space. She is also an ardent kitchen gardener who is passionate about everything organic, and hopes to bring her terrace garden to self-sufficiency by the end of 2015.  She blogs on parenting, gardening, environmental awareness and Child Sexual Abuse Awareness over at Life as a Mom.
A vivid memory that comes to mind of being judgmental in my pre-parent days, was when I traveled on a flight to Germany in my early twenties. As it is with most plane journeys, there were a couple of very young children on the plane, and one of them kept that entire section awake with some loud crying. The thought running through my mind was, “Oh my God! Can’t those parents DO something?!”.

Most of us who are parents would be familiar with the 2nd part of this story. Fast-forward about 6 years when I was on my first plane journey with a nearly-one-year old. Probably due to some ear discomfort, she was cranky and LOUD through a lot of the ride. I tried pacifying her, giving her something to drink to make her ears pop, in short everything I could think of. It did not make any difference whatsoever. What happened next? I tuned out any irritated faces around me, and forgot to feel embarrassed anymore.

This instance always comes to mind anytime I feel like I’m close to sitting in judgment, and is a reminder to stop myself. I feel that as parents, we need to be extra careful when we're about to make a snap judgment or remark about anyone that we might see, even a stranger. It gives our children the impression that it's okay to sit on a pedestal and remark on their peers, which is a terrible understanding to carry forward in life!

Embrace the world and it will embrace you

I think this extends to many instances in life. Here, let me put down a couple:

Physical appearance: The first time we saw someone who might have looked physically different for whatever reason – differently- abled, differently-coloured and so on – I remember telling my children to stop asking loud questions and that I would explain later when at home. I told them in short that the world is made up of all kinds of people, and it is never okay to point or make a remark about someone. If you want to share something, wait until later or do it at low volume, and even then it should never be anything hurtful. I think this also goes a long way to reassure children about their own physical appearance, and to not make a big deal out of it.

Other children when in public: I am guilty of making the occasional judgmental remark especially when I see children who are unrestrained to the level of hurting someone by their behavior. But in most cases, I manage to remind myself of the many similar situations each of us goes through as a parent. And this means, always giving the other person the benefit of doubt as we have no idea what they might be going through in life, and why a certain child or parent behaves in a particular way.

The famous SAHM/Working Mom argument: This is one area where everyone loves to have a view! I have one too and it's “to each their own” ! I believe any parent, unless mentally imbalanced*, does the best he/she can under the circumstances.

And that’s that.

*Note: When I say mentally imbalanced, I am not name-calling but talking about the unfortunate many who need psychological help and counseling but nobody recognizes this issue until it's too late. There is still a lot of stigma associated with mental illness in our country, which is a pity as there are many experienced counselors and doctors available.

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