So, the boys got booster seats, and we decided as a celebration to go to the park. The kids were dressed much as you see them now. Princess had a shirt on with a pinafore over it, no pants. Superman had on jammies and Batman had on some assortment of clothing. We got there and I remembered no one had shoes on. “Oh well,” I thought, “it’s just a quick trip and who really cares.”
Also at the park was another mom with her little girl, she had walked there pulling her daughter in the wagon. As her daughter played she talked to her and ran around after her and narrated the entire time what was going on. My plan had been: I’m going to sit on the bench and let the kids run around for a few minutes while I read this article I’ve wanted to read.
Well, we hadn’t been there but 1 minute when Wendy fell and needed me, so I put my magazine in my pocket ran over, and picked her up. I could feel the dirty looks the other Mom was giving me, and almost feel her thoughts “she’s not paying enough attention, her kids are not dressed properly, and they are loud.”
It got worse from there
The rest of the time at the park was a horrible comedy of errors. Superman wanted to be pushed, and I started to push him but didn’t realize he wasn’t sitting properly in the big boy swing. As he swung up to the top of his arc, he fell out of the swing and cried loudly because of the wind being knocked out of him. Then he desperately needed to go potty so I had to search for that, finally letting him go in a secluded corner because there was no open potty for him to use. I noticed Princess’ diaper was swaying as she walked because it was that wet from splashing in the water. Of course, I didn’t notice until we were there, and there was no place to change her, nor did I have the diapers handy. I think Princess got into a fight with Batman…… I left the park feeling like I must be the worst Mommy ever. I know it’s not true, but it was one of those days when nothing was going right.
But, going back to that other Mom there. as I said I felt incredibly judged by her because there were several dirty looks I got for the way everything was going on. I felt like going up to her and saying, “When you’ve walked a mile in my shoes then you can judge, but for right now you have 1 child, and she’s not even 2. Mine are independent enough I can let them be for a few minutes.”
I also have to stop and think, however, how many times have I been the one judging the other mom at the park.
I know there have been several times where I’ve seen a Mom disciplining her child, and I’ve thought, “give the child a break, he’s just a kid.” I’ve also stepped in some times when I thought a child wasn’t playing well with others. In both those instances maybe I should have handled it differently, I don’t know. Mainly I was trying to think through it all.
For those who don’t know what a Jesus juke is, it’s when you have a story or an event and then suddenly the person does a total switch and it becomes all about God and the Bible.
But, it got me thinking about one of the most mis-quoted and taken out of context Bible verse.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
Everyone quotes this as you should not judge.
But make note, it doesn’t say don’t judge, but be aware that in the way you are judged you will also be judged.
So, going back to those examples I talked about.
The Mom disciplining the child, maybe this is a pattern of behavior with the child instead of a one-off event, and the Mom is trying to break a bad habit in the making.
It helps me to remember as I think about these things when you are tempted to judge, step back and remember who God is. And remember I am not God.
And that is a good thing.