Navigating the sticky, jam-covered road of life.  

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Playground Moms

It is gorgeous outside today.  Seventy degrees, just a tad overcast.  Perfect day for a surprise picnic at this super cool toddler playground in Decatur.  So I surprised the kids.  Picked up Chick-Fil-A, and stopped at the playground for a treat.  The kids were ecstatic.  We stop at the playground fairly often, but it's rare that we bring nuggets with us.  

I was feeling great until I hustled my kids up to the picnic table.  With the weather so pretty today, the tables were packed with moms, nannies, and their charges; all enjoying a glorious lunch outside.  The other moms were watching me as I laid out the chicken nuggets and milk for the kids.  I heard on mom say, "Wow, frenchfries," to another.  It was then that I noticed the other food spread out on the table.  The FDA would be proud.  Not a morsel of processed food could be found.  Organic yogurt, veggies, hummus, soy milk.  I'm not knocking any of this stuff, as it can often be found on my table.  

Not too long after that I start hearing mutters about how their kids have never had fast food, or their child will only drink vanilla soy milk.   Then began the discussion about the dangers of cow's milk and how chock full of hormones it is.  I wanted to pack up my kids and leave, but I didn't want a bunch of Nazi playground moms to ruin a beautiful day with my kids, so we stayed.  I smiled and asked the age of one little boy sitting across from us.  The answer was short and terse.  

I hate being judged.  These women don't know me.  They don't know that Sunshine will eat just about anything.  They don't know that chicken nuggets are a super special treat.  So why do they get to judge me?  But then I realized that I was judging them.  As they were sneering at my children eating, I was mentally calculating the dosage of valium/xanax/zoloft that allows them to make it through the day.  (By the way, I'm not knocking any of those.  I know they allow some people to function.)  While they were talking about the evils of cow's milk, I was wondering where they hide their secret twinkie stash.  

I'm trying to let it go, but it's not in my nature.  Deep down, I know I do what is right for my kids.  I think most people do.  And I'm just as guilty as the next when it comes to judging others.  But wouldn't it be so much easier if we didn't.  I'd like to think that even though my parenting values are different from others, it doesn't mean that they are any better, or worse.  Just different.  

The bottom line is that you do what is right for your family, for your kids.  I was quiet this time, embarrassed even.  But the next time someone actually says something about the way I parent my kids, I might not be so quiet.  I might feel inclined to remind them that we're all trying to do what is right.  Because this parenting gig is hard enough without feeling like you've got to justify your every move.  



Anonymous said...

Or use humor: "you should have seen the big macs they put away yesterday"! Stroke time!

Atlanta Mommy said...

You know, I totally should have. Didn't really think about it. I guess I was so floored that people were actually saying something about it, in front of me. I tend to shut down when I'm drastically outnumbered.

Kris said...

Isn't it funny how "peer pressure" follows us through adulthood?! Makes me mad when I succumb. . . Let those moms eat octopus - oh, right, your daughter already does!

Motherhood Uncensored said...

Oh Jesus. I can barely take all the only organic all the time. We do most things in moderation and that's that.

Let them drive themselves nuts with it all. I prefer to obsess about more important things. Like the size of my ass.

Heather said...

We're all doing the best we can raising our kids. I don't know why some people think they're doing it better than someone else or why they have to make people feel badly for the choices they make. Email me the next time you go to that park and I'll bring chik-fil-a, too. Maybe some *gasp* ice cream! :)

Anonymous said...

The nerve of those people to question the wholesomeness of Chick-Fil-A's fine food products! With attitudes like those, they should be ashamed to live in Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

Moterhood: I love it!