I am blessed to have several wonderful women in my life – some are mothers, and others are not. I can safely say that most of them have parenting styles that are similar to mine. Just recently, I made the acquaintance of a nice woman with whom I have lots in common. We are both from the South, both married with kids that are close to the same ages, and we share the same sense of humor.
We’ve done a few shopping trips, with most of our interactions being “Girls’ Night Out” without the kids. However recently, I was able to witness her parenting style up close and personal; and boy was I in for a shock! As I struggle with the judgement of how anyone handles their own children, I couldn’t help but take notice, especially when there’s a possibility of a play date in our future… at her house…when I’m not around.
The first thing I noticed was that she dropped several “F” bombs, not only around her children, but when talking to her children. (Ummm No!) I noticed that she screamed at them for simply just “being kids”. (You have to let kids be kids.) I also noticed that she talked badly about her husband in front of her children. (Again, just no!) These are things that I completely disagree with.
So here is the dilemma. She and I have really started to develop a great friendship. But after I saw her handle her kids up close and personal, I’m now beginning to question it.
Do I just say, “Girl, you are so wrong for talking to your kids like that.” Or, “You shouldn’t talk about your husband like that in front of the kids.”
No, I don’t think so. Instead, I’m gonna try to do what the Williams Brothers say and “sweep around my own front door, before I try to sweep around hers”.
I’m thinking more along the lines of trying to be an example instead of a judgmental female/mom. I may not be the bomb-dropping, profanity popping mom. But I am definitely a “yeller”. That’s something that I need to work on. For accountability, I have even told my kids to remind me when I’m yelling at them. Because sometimes I’m yelling and I don’t even know it.
For now, I am okay with some supervised play dates. I know while I’m around and interacting with my kids, I may be able to help her see that she can work on a few things. I once read a quote that said: “Lower your voice and strengthen your argument.” When I read it, it resonated with me and how I deal with my kids and even my husband. (Although, that quote flies right out the window when my house looks like a tornado or when everyone in the house just can’t seem to get it together.)
I appreciate my new friend for showing me that none of us moms are perfect and for making me stop and shine the light on my own imperfections and work on them accordingly.
BMWK – How would you handle this situation? Would you say something to your friend? Would you stop being friends with her?