You know what I'm talking about. "The look" is one of the most guilt inducing, second thought invoking, self criticising things there is for us as parents. It's not the look itself so much as the fact that someone, ANYONE, is judging you as a parent. Not only are they judging you but they think you are making the wrong decision. Yep, I know the look. I know it all to well. But, that's why I'm here and why you keep coming back right? So you can learn from my mistakes? NO! So you can release that parenting guilt. None of us are perfect. It's just that the people that give "the look" think they are.
So you're wondering what caused "the look" right? Well here's the story. It was an overcast Ohio day. The temperature was perfect. The family was all in town. My parents, my brother and his wife and my children and I headed off to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. It's become sort of a family tradition. Our waitress was an older gal. Surely past retirement age. If she wasn't then life has not been kind to her. I don't know the circumstances behind people but every time I see someone that I know could be retired, like the Walmart greeter or my waitress at Cracker Barrel I get a little soft spot. It's a mix of pity and admiration just so I cover all my bases. They could be working just for fun to keep themselves busy and youthful or they could be working because they aren't able to retire. Either way I'm covered in my respect of them. Back to the story. A soft spot had been created for our waitress that day.
The first time "the look" came was when we were ordering our drinks. Coffee for my parents and my brother and his wife, my daughter wanted hot chocolate, Diet Coke for me (what? I don't drink coffee and I wanted some freaking caffeine! Lol) and a kids Coke for the boy. There it was, "the look". I let it go. I knew what caused it. Whatever. No big deal. Maybe she had a bad dream last night about someone and their Coke. Usually once you get "the look" you don't get it again. Once they have shown their disapproval for your parenting skills you are safe from the torture again. Nope! Not today. Our waitress came back to deliver the drinks and what to her wondering eyes should appear, my son quietly entertaining himself.....with his PSP. There it is again "the look". Well now I'm thinking, "listen lady, at least my kid is being quiet and not disturbing the other patrons or making a mess on the floor or whatever!" but I didn't say a thing. Just smile and pretend ya don't care. My story is too long hu? Ok, to the point. She went to take our orders and I ordered my son the kids pancake and a whole order of bacon. "Kids pancake and a 1/2 of bacon," she reads back to me. Then we go back and forth a couple of times where I tell her I need a WHOLE order of bacon for my son. Not a half, a WHOLE. (it's not like a whole order is that much, she'd probably die if she knew I had fed him 8 pieces the day before at home. Haha) The rest of our visit was uneventful. I let my kid have a refill on his Coke (which he didn't drink) and he ate his WHOLE 3 pieces of bacon along with his pancake and my sausage. Now are you wondering yet why I'm telling you this story? It's the guilt people. That stupid parenting guilt. Why do we do it to ourselves. I can't even begin to describe to you the number of times I have beat myself up over a decision I made or a parenting tactic I used. DON'T do it. Children are resilient. I am more concerned about whether my kid says please and thank you than I am over if he wants bacon for every meal. (of course he doesn't get it but we are at Grandma and Grandpa's and they can spoil him however they see fit)
I have been using this blog to give you some real world advice/experience along with the standard answers to what some of your questions have been. If you take nothing else away from here I want you to remember not to worry about "the look." It isn't possible for you to be the "worst mom ever" because that is a title I already proudly wear. I figure if my kids have clean clothing and a clean home, good manners, are active, spiritual and obedient children I will take the "worst mom ever" title. So let go of your mom guilt. Feed your kid bacon. If they ask for bacon again, then give them bacon. For you new mommies, quit feeling bad over letting your husband do the night time feedings or changing the diapers. Quit worrying about leaving the children and going out with your husband for the night. Who cares if you let your kids eat things that other people don't! You've heard the saying before, don't sweat the small stuff. If you hug your babies, kiss your babies, put your baby in time out and make them take a nap and then hug and kiss them some more. If you love your baby more than life itself then you have what it takes to be a good mom. Get rid of the guilt and just enjoy smelling the baby lotion!