Veteran Mama Judgement: No Shade, Just A Little Support
How do you take veteran mama judgement? Now I do believe that there is a difference between mama’s passing on advice, i.e. what’s the best way to get a baby to go to sleep or potty trained, and mama’s looking down on your decisions. There’s a fine line between the two. It can seem that when a veteran mama passes judgment there is a little shade. As if to insinuate that you are doing something wrong. What mama, who is truly trying her best, wants to be told that she’s doing something ‘wrong’ for her child? Not one that I know…including me. But, as much as I hate to admit it, there are times when judgement – solicited or not – is needed. I would like to think that most times unsolicited veteran mama judgement is involuntary. Some type of child rearing infraction is committed and before you know it an opinion swoops down on you. It happened in fact last weekend when we were are at a birthday party. There I sat, with three mamas as we watched kids go in and out of bounce houses. Two of the mama’s were veterans. They had both successfully raised grown children who had been to college, were now in the work world with families and a home of their own. We had a perfect view at a semi-tiny table of not only the kiddos playing but their mama’s. One mama in particular stood with her son, who looked to be at least four, and a man who I assume was the child’s father. I don’t think the little boy was ready to leave or maybe he wanted some more candy or the keys his mama carried. At any rate he was mad! He didn’t lie down in the floor and scream at the top of his lungs. Instead he stomped, said ‘No!’ and then…hit at his mama! Without even thinking me and the mama’s at the table in unison gasped which was followed by a perfectly unplanned collective: ‘Oooo, no he didn’t!’ The mother was maybe ten feet away. I am sure that she heard us. But we just couldn’t help it. I don’t know how it is in your family but for us hitting or even hitting at your mama is the most egregious act one can commit. Folk will turn their backs on you if you were to do so as a tween or older. It’s equivalent to treason followed by a response on par with excommunication…in a sense… from the community. The mother and father scooped up their son and offered kisses to try and calm him down, because now the little boy was even angrier. I am sure the mama in question heard the veteran mama to my right say, “Give him kisses for acting up?!” And the veteran mama to my left, “Nooo, that’s not the way to handle it.’ I agreed. Silently that is. I am still a mama in training. I still need the advice of veteran mama’s. My children all are under age and we have way more road to go before I can pass any judgement - at least loud enough for the mama to hear. I don’t know if the mama in question took the veteran mama’s comments as support or shade. She did not return our stares that followed them as they walked away. And who can blame her? She probably knows like I do, no new age mama dare to challenge a veteran mama’s judgement call. Thin line or not.
How do you take veteran mama judgement?