It was one of those days.
I was at an appointment with a health professional (not my doctor) and I thought it would just be a routine appointment. It started off with her calling my daughter’s name…
I immediately stood up, gathered our stuff, fumbling trying to quickly put it all in the bag and then heard…
Me: Yup, we are right here!
My little daughter’s legs couldn’t go any faster, but I felt I already had the eyes of gloom upon me.
“How is he doing?”
Me: Well, Mazy is actually a girl, but I understand, her hair is short so it’s hard to tell.
“Well, with her red and black coat, she looks like a boy, but I suppose the boots help”.
As the lady reviewed Mazy’s records, she started to ask me some questions:
“Does she use that nuk all the time?”
Me: No, she just got up from her nap, and she likes to use it to go to bed, then when she’s tired, and when she gets up.”
“OH, well really she should’ve been done with it by 1” (Mazy was 22 months at the time).
She proceeded to tell me how her teeth could be ruined if we don’t get rid of it, how it will misshapen her mouth, how she will be behind in talking, and how it just is time to give it up.
“Does she eat fruits and vegetables? A well-balanced diet?”
Me: I try my best, but she is picky. I make smoothies when I can, but she doesn’t eat many vegetables.
“OH, well do you give her a multi-vitamin? (No). Well, since she isn’t getting the nutrients she needs through food, she really should be taking a multi-vitamin.”
Me: I love the toys you have for her to play with!
“Do you bring her to daycare? (No). Well, if you did, they have daycare magazines where you can buy all of these toys that would help her educationally and keep her busy.”
“Do you brush her teeth? (yes) Does she eat a lot of sugary snacks?”
Me: Not a lot, but she likes fruit snacks.
“Do you know that there is a teaspoon of sugar in each one? You should really find something else – look at the box and see how much sugar is in them!”
While driving home, it didn’t really hit me until Dan asked how the appointment went; I burst into tears. Meanwhile, an hour prior too, he had made a comment that rubbed me the wrong way, but little did I know that it still stemmed from these little comments that made me feel like I was doing nothing right.
Here I was just happy Mazy had yet to have an ear infection this winter. I was happy that Mazy was eating other foods than just mac n’ cheese and turkey franks. I was just happy that Mazy was starting to sleep better again. Maybe things weren’t as great as I perceived them to be.
I am sure you have had a similar experience either in parenting, at work, or some other scenario, where you wonder, what else could I be doing wrong? Just keep loading it on, right? One thing Dan has always said: anytime someone criticizes, evaluate what they said, what is true, what isn’t true. Whatever isn’t, discard and forget about it. What is true, think about it and is it worth a change.
Sometimes you are doing the best you can and that you are more than an opinion. How someone “evaluates” your parenting isn’t based on them knowing 100% of you. It’s based on perception and judgement. Don’t let an opinion get the best of you. I let those comments really bother me – in fact, I went home and cut off Mazy’s paci on her wubs. Though I do not regret that decision and we had talked about doing it after Christmas anyways, and this incident just kicked it into high gear, I did it out of guilt too.
You are more than what people think of you. What matters is what GOD thinks. He knows what you do. He sees what you do. I’m over what that woman said I do laugh at it now. I truly can laugh. Maybe she had a bad day and felt the need to hit on the negative. Nevertheless, I know it doesn’t define me as a mom and in Christ, I and WE are so much more!