Just as ‘mental’ shall always accompany ‘judgmental’, so also parenting and motherhood shall almost always be accompanied with the excess baggage of a certain people who shall always have their eyebrows arched up a notch or maybe two. It maybe subtle or blatant, a side glance or straight in your face. Either ways by the time they come I have already reached and perhaps exceeded my daily quota of drama. And twelve years into parenting I’ve actually learnt to ignore and grow a thicker skin. And when push comes to shove, I feel we’ve mastered the art of powerful inner conversations…who knew a few words when voiced in your mind could actually be the catharsis you need as you walk out holding your head up high!
To those of you who judge, I do not bear you any lifelong grudge.
But the woman and mother in me still screams, please ‘Do not Judge’.
Never be the reason that makes a hidden tear fall.
That brings a mother down as she tries her best to stand tall.
A few dirty dishes, and a full laundry basket do not make or break.
It certainly does not put my parenting skills at stake.
A tut-tutting noise, a snigger, a shake of the head or a look of disdain.
I assure you your attempts at sarcasm did not go in vain.
I may not have looked up at you as I tried to calm my child down.
But my very being could still see, feel and sense your frown.
I tried to put it at the back of my mind and forget all about it.
But the mom in me did for a moment take a hit.
I wish you would look beyond the current and try to gather the reason that lies behind.
The scene that’s unfurling may have a trail of events that may not come to your mind.
A toddler who maybe tired, a baby that needs a feed.
Or just a child jostling for attention among his sibling’s constant needs.
Maybe they are trying to make sense of this world in which they’ve been only just a while.
Seeking through chaos to carve out their own unique style.
Perhaps a year, two, three or more in age.
But does that really call for unnecessary comments, snide and concealed rage.
Nobody said, being a mum was easy.
Rather it can be quite lonely at first.
The rush of visitors has gone and there are days when the seams of your patience may begin to burst.
I am trying to be a mother as best as I can.
I do not need to be put down.
I do not need to know how well you did it.
Or see that awful frown.
I do not want the pedestal on which you place me without my consent.
I do not want to be caught up in the illusionary image of parenting your acts present. Perhaps when you see me next, juggling through things big or small.
I hope you will remember your own time, when you came close to taking a tumble, slip or fall.
If you really want to help me at all.
The gesture I need is really quite small.
A hand on my shoulder or just a sympathetic smile.
Saying, ‘I understand’ even though for you it’s been a while.
The paths we walk, the terrains we travel.
May make it very easy to sit down and unravel.
But through all the hills and mountains we traverse with our child.
The tears, the tantrums, the meltdowns and breakdowns can be simple or wild.
But none of which call for others to judge.
When they sit tight on their moral high ground they refuse to budge.
To the stranger on the street our paths may never cross again.
But I need to be out and about with my kids to keep myself sane.
And as I put my child down for a nap, the thought that does not leave me even after many a nudge.
To you I say, I am the ‘best’ mother I can be so please ‘Do not Judge’.