Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged

Matthew 7

1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For 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? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.



I received a comment yesterday that got me thinking. A woman told me that her three daughters were well behaved and she implied my kids act up because of my lazy parenting. I really don't think she was trying to be mean. I think she simply doesn't understand that not all kids are the same and it's not all about the parenting, but about the kids and their different personalities as well. Anyway, I started thinking about this and in all honesty, if I only considered my three daughters, I probably wouldn't have much material for this blog. They're well behaved. I don't have problems with them. Now, I'm not saying that boys are bad or that I don't like my boys or anything remotely like that, but I will say that my boys are the root of the behavior issues in this house 99% of the time. Jackson has ADHD and can't take meds because they cause high blood pressure for him. Until you've spent a day with a kid whose brain doesn't have that little switch that makes them stop and think before they act, you can't begin to presume I'm a lazy parent. And Clay hasn't had any official diagnosis, but I'd bet big money that he has it too. I have six kids and they're all VERY different. They all have their own personalities. And they all react differently to instruction. I'm not getting into all this here because I've already written about it in my book. I did want to talk about judging others though.

Before I had kids and even when I just had a couple kids and things were calm and well ordered around my house, I did judge other parents out there. I kept my opinions to myself but they were there. There were several times that I thought I was better than someone else - the mom, frazzled and yelling at her child; the parent feeding their toddler fast food; the house that was a giant mess; the child throwing an all-out tantrum. Maybe it's just human nature to compare others to ourselves and decide who is better.

After having several children, some of whom are very difficult in nature, I see things differently. And after putting myself out there with this blog and being the subject of judgement from strangers, I REALLY see things differently. It's easy to judge someone else and decide that they're incompetent when things are going well for you. When I'm out with the kids and they're all behaving like angels and we're smiling and having a good ole time, it would be easy to look at the mom who is ready to pull her hair out and is almost in tears as she half-runs to catch up with her 2 year old and half-drags her pouting 4 year old behind her. It's easy to look at them and think, "MY kids would never act like that in public. I know how to discipline them. What a shame."

Well guess what - your day will come. Replace that holier-than-thou attitude with one of compassion. The last thing that mom needs is a condescending look from someone who, based on a brief glimpse, has judged her as incompetent. Give that frazzled mom a look that doesn't condemn her, but affirms that she's not alone. A look that says - I understand; I'm sorry you're having a tough time; it's ok.

I tell my kids all the time - you never know who your words and actions are going to effect. The kid in school who is a loner and gets picked on, just might end up being the kid who loses it, brings a gun to school, shoots several innocent kids and himself. What if instead of judging him, based on your preconceived notions, you befriend him? What if you say, "Come sit with us" at lunchtime? Maybe instead of being overcome with depression next year, he'll find that he does indeed fit in somewhere. Maybe you'll discover that kid who everyone called strange, is actually a really nice, funny guy. I'm telling you, don't judge others. Let your words and actions be a blessing to them.

Even if you think you know all about the other person or the situation, you don't. Not until you've walked a mile in their shoes, can you truly understand. And you certainly don't know enough about a person or situation from reading a few lines on a blog. And I'm not just talking about myself. I mean ANY blog out there. Too often I hear from other bloggers that they've gotten nasty, hateful, or judgemental emails/comments from people. Just recently Peggy, from CarePages - ColemanScott, got some negative mail over the dumbest thing. Peggy is the sweetest woman with amazing faith and certainly didn't do anything to deserve negativity from ignorant people. (By the way, if you haven't already, check out her Care Page. She has 2 of the most adorable boys and I love how she writes phonetically the way the boys talk. It's too cute!)Anyway, I digress. All I want to say is - For crying out loud people, can't we all just get along?!!!

228 comments:

1 – 200 of 228   Newer›   Newest»
Amy said...

Dawn, I have 4 boys and every single one of them is different with a different personality. And people who have girls have no idea what the difference is with boys. Boys will play baseball or football in the house. They come up with weird experiments and they're brutally honest. My 2 youngest have a new favorite "game". They take down all the breakables in the kitchen and play "indoor baseball". Apparently, the 100 degree weather that we're getting already combined with "the yards to big for just 2 of us" and an asthmatic youngest makes indoor baseball the way to go. (between real baseball games that is).

People ought not judge till they've walked a mile in the other person's moccasins. Until you know someone and have walked in their shoes, you have really no idea where they came from or what has shaped their lives.

SubWife said...

Thank you!

Melia said...

Thank you Dawn for the gentle reminder that each child and parent are different. No one knows exactly what is going on in other's lives.

Thanks for all of the laughs too. We laugh so we don't cry, right? Well, sometimes we cry, too.

Tess said...

Dawn, you are so, absolutely right. Too many people spend entirely too much time judging others. I think anyone who says that you are a lazy parent isn't actually READING your blg.

Here is what I see:
You get your kids off to school, you are there when they get home, you go to ball practice and school concerts and every other function your children have. You laugh with your children and cry with your children and LOVE your children. You are involved and know virtually everything about your kids. Are they perfect? Heck no. And neither are you...nor am I or any other reader of your blog (or our children).

As hard as it is, I hope you can let some of the negativity from a few readers roll off your back. Most of us are right here reading and cheering you on!

Anonymous said...

Great post! Love the video! You're not only funny, Dawn, but you're very insightful!

DanisDelusions said...

Oh, you are SO right. I know this and I only have 2 kids! My daughter was a fast learner, always well behaved, and seldom ever disobedient. My son ... takes forever to figure things out, is a handful to deal with, and seldom ever listens!! I don't love him any less, but it sure amazes me how one child can be so well behaved and the other tests me every second he can.

Jaimie said...

I completely understand how you feel about being judged. I have three kids and two of them have ADHD. I catch myself constantly having to explain my childrens' actions to everyone (including family). I am happy that you are bringing this subject to light ~ most people that I have had to deal with think ADHD is just an excuse for bad behavior...if they only knew how hard these kids try to do the right thing!

Margee said...

Dawn--I know you're going to get a ton of supporting feedback today. I myself try so hard not to be judgmental and to pass that trait on to my kids. I also know that your beautiful (completely normal) children will be the ones to be the great philanthropists because you are their mentor. Bless you for not trying to make them fit into a mold.

Anonymous said...

VERY VERY Well written!

Thank you very much!!!!!

South Carolina Mom said...

I can SOOO relate to what you are talking about regarding the differences in boys and girls. I am the mother of 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls, and my girls are much quieter and happier playing alone or together. When the boys get in the mix, chaos breaks out and soon most everyone is upset. Also, like you, when I only had 1 child, I would see that frazzled mom and think bad thoughts. That was, until I had my second child who is VERY strong-willed. He fights me about everything and doesn't give up until he is either worn out from trying or asleep. I hate that strangers give me ugly looks when I have all of my kids with me at the store or in public and one or two of them are misbehaving. Their looks say it all- why in the world did you have all these kids when you can't even handle them? It does bother me, but like you say, I just try to be a blessing to others either through an encouraging look, or if I know the person, a pat on the shoulder, a hug, or a nice card in the mail. Parenting is by-far the most challenging job in the world, but I firmly believe God does not give us more than we can handle.

Melissa said...

Well said!

One time a couple was very kind in letting me know I wasn't alone as my daughter was throwing a tantrum on the floor of the supermarket. It helped me to get perspective and keep calm.

Anonymous said...

Amen.

Irishmama said...

Dawn. Amen sistah. Karma will always come bite you on the a$$.

I love reading about your family because it just validates that my family is normal. We have what I call "stepford" families in the neighborhood. But I know inside their little circle, they are just like me.

I also have the neighbor lady who everytime she catches a kid doing something wrong, it happens to be MY kid (yeah right).......and I also have the kidless co-worker who actually said to me yesterday, 'well, when you have kids you aren't as good at your job here'.......I say let them judge.

Keep on entertaining us.

Kristi said...

Great reminder! It's easy to be on both sides of that...

Anonymous said...

I totally agree! I have read your blog since November and have never posted...not sure why...but today hit a chord. I read your blog to know that sanity and/or insanity does exist with parenting and we are ok... The love for your children always come through, even when venting. Thanks for all the sharing! JD from Missouri

Anonymous said...

Bravo. Well said. This day & age we need more love & support.

Rhonda said...

I hear you, Dawn. I think this is such a hard struggle for most women, resisting the urge to compare. I had the thought when I read this that we need to be careful not to judge Michelle for judging! :) I'm totally guilty, as I think most of us are, of being concerned whether or not we have the upper hand -- are we prettier, are our kids more well behaved, is our house nicer, do we have a better job, more talents, etc. etc. etc. It is such a hard struggle because no matter what, we lose: If we are "better" we wind up self-righteous and smug; if we "lose" we feel like crap and beat ourselves up about why we don't measure up. It is a no-win endeavor to compare!

I recently asked a mom of four that I respect how she gets out the door on time. (I continually struggle with getting my three boys under age 5 anyplace on time.) She said something like, "Oh we were late once and all of us were just in a tizzy, it was awful." Um, once? ONCE? Once in your life you walked out the door late with your 4 kids? Anyway, I spent the rest of the day beating myself up over the fact that I just can't do that. . . And then I stopped and said, "WAIT! I'm sure I have gifts and talents that she doesn't have and she has strengths that I don't have. No big deal!" Comparing never helps! :)

What a different would it would be if we congratulated others on their strengths instead of pining after them for ourselves; and if we helped others and encouraged them when they are weak instead of gloating that we aren't that way. . .

Thanks for the thoughts, Dawn. I sure appreciate you being willing to share your life with us! I bet it feels risky, frustrating, fun and rewarding all at the same time. . .

Rhonda

Noah said...

Amen! My sister and I parent pretty much in the same style with a lot of the same practices. Her oldest is really mild and very well behaved. Mine is, well, a challenge and very strong-willed. I think it has to do a TON with the child and their temperament and a lot less with how I parent. Thanks for such a good post!

The Mom said...

I feel like I am being judged all the time. I have an autistic son who behaves quite well considering his autism but when he has a meltdown I cannot control him. In fact, if I try to discipline him sometimes his behavior gets much worse. People have made comments to me in public and I don't go into the whole "he has autism" bit because unless a person is familiar with autism they just don't understand. Being judged is not fun.

Andrea @ Sweet Life said...

AMEN, sister!

Very well said.

Anonymous said...

All I gotta say Dawn . . .is god bless you! I LOVE reading your blog, I went on vacation and went through withdraw ! I appreciate you judgement comments. How very true! You also write so well 7 with common sense of which a lot of people don't have or are to selfish to get.
Have superduper day! Rock On!
From your Kindergarten teacher in Springfield,NE.

Jennifer said...

Dawn, the first thing when I read your blog from yesterday was to think: Man, I have BEEN THERE!! If there is a Mom out there who hasn't experienced that day when everyone goes nuts and you feel like you are parenting a group of aliens, then I want to meet that Mom. And find out what she's drinking.

Hang in there, Dawn.

SaratogaFive said...

AMEN!!!! I have thought this so many times! I just want to hear them say the infamous line, "my kid will never do that!" so that the curse will begin and their child will indeed do that and a whole lot more! Yes, I have said that before, and was granted 3 little boys, one of which was a holy terror. Now I do my best to give folks the benefit of the doubt. ADHD isn't a picnic.

Not that my child is, but I want to put a plug in for mothers of autistic children, whose kids look normal in every way, but cannot talk and have behavior issues all day long. Heaven forbid we are critical of such mothers who are doing their best day in and day out. Thanks for getting on the soap box for this one, Dawn!

Rachel said...

I'm sorry someone gave you a hard time. I think there is a big difference between kids just "being kids" and actual disobedience. If a child is looking right in your face and yelling "NO!" when you tell him to do something then that's a discipline issue and you need to work on it. If a kid is getting into things, making messes, doing something weird, asking strange questions, etc they are JUST BEING KIDS! It isn't fair to expect our kids to be perfect all the time. Mine sure aren't. Besides, it's all of those kid things that are so fun to blog about (and read about on wonderful blogs like yours!). :)

Noël said...

Have you ever tried Vitamin B6 for Jackson? Some have encountered improvement in behaviors with it for ADHD.

Becca "Gatermom" said...

I have to say thank you!!! That was very well said. I would however like to add one point. Learning something from others around you is wise. Sharing what you are learning isn't always wise. What I mean is this: When you see a mom/dad feeding their 2 year old fast food think in broader strokes. If you think that this is a bad idea then don't do it with your kids but don't tell them you think it is a bad idea. Next consider WHY they are feeding their child fast food. Could it be laziness? Very well could be. But it could also be that while trying to grill a London Broil and feed the 8 month old and keep an eye on the 4 year old twins on the swing set in the backyard the parent accidentally almost burned the house down and because they were running late for AWANA awards night they had to run through the BK drive thru so that their kids wouldn't eat THEM for dinner! Not that this actually happened to me or anything! : )

Ben and Melissa James said...

This post reminds me of a great book that I read. It's called "Don't Make Me Count to Three" and it's by Ginger Plowman. Her first chapter is all about her standing in line at the grocery store and feeling rather smug that her children were better behaved then the children in front of her...that is until her daughter screams, "MAMA, YOU POOTED!!!"

Theresa in Mèrida said...

Amen! Every judgemental thing that I have ever said about someone else's parenting has come back to bite me in the butt. My first 2 were easy as babies and toddlers but my son wasn't. I had to put him in a harness (who would put their kid on a leash! zing..someone who has a kid that runs off!). "why would someone breast feed after their kid had teeth?" zing. I was nursing my son when he was teething,he bit me, I screamed and frightened him so badly, that the only way I could get him to stop sobbing was to nurse him, I breast fed him until he was 2. I stopped judging other people as I got more experienced in life. Parenting is hard, and I think most parents do the best they can with the information that they have available to them. Do I wish I had done some things differently? sure, you bet, but with the knowledge I had at the time and the way my life was at the time, I could only do what I did.
You don't need my approval any more than you need my criticism but what I see is a healthy family coping with life in a positive way.
regards,
Theresa

HeyItsBeej said...

I'm sure you know all this, but I'm gonna say it anyway. Here's the thing: the blog is yours. It's "Your Place." Where you can vent, spew, shout, complain, express, the whole shebang. You don't want to go all apeshit on your kids, so you get it all out in Your Place. And in Your Place, there are vents of frustration as well as tales of adventure, and humor, yadda yadda. We all have a place to do that - for most, however, it's not in the form of a journal that the world can read. People need to remember that we *all* get frustrated and we *all* grumble and vent, even if it's in our own minds.

And the events represented in Your Place are just snippets of what happens in your life - and some people seem to forget that. The kids aren't covering the TV in yogurt every single day (though it seems like it sometimes). Jackson's not not trying to scale the garage every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Clay's not ripping out pieces of bathtub wall twice a week. If you wrote about every single by-the-minute detail of your family's daily life, the "big" stuff wouldn't seem so big. Y'know? LOL (Can you imagine writing every detail?? Gahhhhh!)

Let's not forget that having one special needs child, never mind (possibly) two, can profoundly affect the dynamic in the home. Not saying in a bad way, but an effect nonetheless. Hell, I had only two kids, one special needs, and it affected our dynamic dramatically. Now that I'm down to one kid (Courtney's not here all that often), the effect is still there.

All of that you already know - I'm just reiterating it so you remember.

And you already know this too, but there's always going to be some finger wagger reading your blog and commenting. Flip your computer monitor the bird, take a deep breath, blow it out, and have a sip out of that wine glass.

I have one - an old friend. He's in his thirties, unmarried, has no children. He's traveled the world and done some pretty cool stuff (as he had no one to spend his money on except for himself) and he's extremely "smarter than thou" superior, and an all-around pain in the ass. When he started telling me how to parent, judging Kevin's behavior, and scoffing at my parenting practices, I laid the verbal smackdown. It was awesome. HEE! (Then I took my own advice of flipping off the monitor, breathing, and having a gulp of something alcoholic).

We open ourselves to people when we post our stuff for all to see, so some would say we're "asking for it". But I give the high hard one to those people too. :g:

Rebekah D. said...

Amen, sister! I think you're doing a great job. I know your sense of humor has carried you through some tough days, and guess what - it carries your readers through our tough days, too! If all you ever wrote about was sunshine and roses, nobody would ever read it, because nobody wants to hear about someone who is so "perfect." It's our imperfections that bond us in this great human race, and I'm glad you're willing to share and let us know we are not alone. Keep up the good work. You're a great mom!

Veggiemomof2 said...

Holy cow! If you have 2 kids w/ADHD & neither are on medicine, it's a wonder you are not in a padded cell! I have one w/ADHD & Asperger's Syndrome & there are many days I'd prefer a padded cell to our home.

Don't sweat the complaints, there are many out here that love you! :)

Crazy Raven Productions said...

One of the biggest problems with the internet is anonymity. Some people feel that they don't have to be decent people because they'll never see this person face to face, and thus they can get away with it.

A comic I read put it a bit foul-mouthed but succinctly here: http://www.pennyarcademerch.com/pat070381.html

Beth said...

Wow, I was just talking with my husband about this very issue yesterday. Its hard when you write a blog and put yourself out there because you will inevitably get those holier-than-thou readers along with the rest of us real people who rely on blogs like yours to help us laugh at all the crazy moments that make up parenting.

I always feel this huge pressure when I am out with my kids to make sure they don't act out because I am so paranoid that someone is going to be mentally passing judgment on me. Its gotten to the point where I don't really like being out with my kids sometimes because I can't relax. My kids are well-behaved but like ALL children, they will act out. And its so hard when you know your child is such a good kid but all the public is seeing is a tired child melting down.

Don't let the naysayers get you down-if your kids were total angels who never acted against your wishes, that would be quite scary. Its all the crazy moments that make for the really fun memories to look back on later! And besides, you'd have nothing to write about if your kids never got into mischief! :)

Me, Myself and I said...

THANK YOU!! I only have one with ADHD (three kids total) and I can't imagine how it would be with 2 amongst 6 kids! I'm learning though that no matter how many times you tell these people that they could be on the other end of the rope.. they just don't get it. And I have run into many that even when they HAVE been on the other end, all they do is blame someone else for putting them there. But I guess you are right .... it must be human nature and all we can do is try to help.

Thanks Again!!!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I, too, would have been totally judgmental with 2 well-behaved children. Even with 6 mostly behaved children, I was a tad smug. So the Lord, in His wisdom, sent our family the year of the crazed preschooler and the berserk adolescent. Double whammy! Believe me, I am humbled. We are all doing the best we can, but sometimes it just doesn't look that way...

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that someone did that to you. I am amazed that people frequently feel the need to compare themselves to "you". Worry about yourself, that's what I say. I have smaller sized children (3 year old and 7 month old twins), and my family compares my kids to my stepbrother's son all the time. "Blank is so much bigger than", "Isn't it amazing that he's 15 months younger than"...drives me up the wall.
Just be there to help, I say. And as you stated when the 3 year old is throwing a fit at the store...look over with sympathy and say "I've been there. It will get better."

cndymkr / jean said...

Very well said.

Heather said...

If you worried about all the negative feedback your posts potentially could generate, your blog would be a whole lot less fun. I often wonder why some women find it hard to support other women. We should be each other's champions, cheering each other on and holding each other up so we can do the job we're meant to do and that is raise wonderful children. I wonder if women like that never had a strong support system themselves.

Jennifer said...

Amen, Amen and Amen!!! I did it too - in the beginning. Our son was extremely well behaved. He was one that no matter where we were, you wouldn't know he was there unless you actually saw him - he was very quiet and well behaved. And we just thought that we were such amazing parents that knew what we were doing. We'd see other kids acting out somewhere, and we'd just think, "Well, if they knew how to discipline their child, they wouldn't act that way" and "Our son would never act like that." (That's exactly what you said, I realize.) However, we NEVER actually said those things to anyone else, but we certainly thought them and discussed it amongst ourselves.
Anyway, fast forward quite a few years to our daughter. Oh.My.Word. All I have to say is God has a hilarious sense of humor. And we have eaten TONS of humble pie as we realize it didn't have a lot to do with our parenting at all. Our children are different...totally different. And now I have a whole new perspective and can totally relate to parents who don't have "perfect" children. (And I do realize that all children are perfect in their own way.) Our daughter is giving us a run for sure...as we are in the terrible three's stage. Wow - I had no idea what some parents go through, no matter how hard they try to discipline them properly. And I am thankful God has opened my eyes so I no longer judge. Sure, I didn't judge openly, but I did judge. And it was wrong. I am very sorry people feel the need to tell you (and others) some of the things they do. But you are SO right - their day WILL come!
Blessings to you, Dawn.

(Sorry for the book I wrote here!)

Fotoshauna said...

I'd like to 32nd that! Amen! If we would just treat each other with a little more compassion and consideration, what a difference we could make in the world--for us and our children! That is a world I would like to see...plus the (DIET)COKE isn't a bad idea either! ;)

grits404 said...

i am struggling with this same issue myself today!

i agree with everything you say and now that i have my own spirited boy(literally--his name means spirited in gaelic) i empathisize with whatever struggle each of us faces parenting wise bc i never know when my next turn is approaching.

but, what do you say to yourself to make the negativity and/or down feelings about being judged go away? i mean, i can "amen" your post and repeat it to myself but i'm not taking it to heart.

suggestions??

Maureen said...

Every kid is different! I've got 2 boys and a girl, and until I had my daughter, I didn't realize the differences between the sexes. My husband's siblings have only daughters (6 total) and used to look at us at family gatherings like our 2 boys were maniacs. My grandma had 7 kids and was always telling me how each one was different. My aunt cross stitched her a picture that said "Before I had children, I had 7 theories about raising children. Now I have 7 children, and no theories!"

Danielle said...

Well said Dawn! I only have one child (another on the way) and by no means is she perfect. I have had people look at me in public because she was screaming in a store. For me it is really hard to believe that someone with 3 kids of there own would say that there children are all perfect?! I can't believe that she has never experianced an in store fallout over GI Joes or Candy at the check out. No child is perfect, but you LOVE your children and even though I do not know you personally I feel you are doing the best with what you have. No one..NO ONE is perfect, and no matter how much we brag about our children they are not perfect either.

I enjoy your blog and I look forward to your book. Keep it up Dawn!:)

Jenn said...

Exactly.

Collegegirl said...

You are an amazing mother! Granted I have never met you or your kiddos, but each child is different and even I know that! Lord help those who can not understand that! Hang in there and just fluff off those stinky comments!
~Elyse~

Jess said...

Well said, Dawn. I have a friend who didn’t have kids until after my second one was almost four years old. During the time she didn’t have kids, she would observe a particular behavior and would say “my kids will never be like that”. I kept telling her that her kids were going to be monsters because of her judging others.

Now that she has four “monsters” of her own I love to observe when one (or all) is acting up. I’ll tell her, “I have a pocket full of I told you so’s – would you like one?” or I’ll just give her a look. She has finally conceded that we don’t have to have perfect kids to be good parents.

SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem said...

Amen! Yes, I'm another mommy blogger who's gotten the nasty-grams from others so I hear you sister!

kakykeke said...

Dawn,
Why do you let this comment get to you! There is not truth in her words. How in the world can one person get the idea that they "know" you or your parenting is beyond me.
I thank you for your candor. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one that are going through my difficult moments as a mom of 4 girls. You see these "perfect" portrayl of children and parents on TV and not reality at its best. You bring it to us each time you blog and I'm grateful that I can come here and say "AMEN sister!!! Im glad its just not my kids that do that."
Don't get caught up in someones idealistic realm of reality. It doesn't serve anyone well to read it, or to listen to it.

The Vrabecs said...

Amen!

Allison said...

Wow! I can't believe that someone would comment about that at all. I am constantly amazed at how good your children are, and at how well they can get along, and how helpful they are. Kids are kids, and are bound to make messes, and experiment, and experience life. Experience is messy. I don't think having a an assortment of strange toys in the backyard (or on the roof :) ), means bad children. It just tmeans that they are kids. I love reading your blog, and realizing that my kids aren't the only ones who can't remember to not eat on the couch... or in their bedrooms... or sitting on top of the countertop. :)

Heather said...

Thank you for this post! It was totally spot on!

Although I have one comment, that not all girls are complete angels. I have a self proclaimed tomboy that is constantly pushing the envelope. I have to check on her all the time! She's constantly getting into things to make stuff or do experiments. And my furniture!!!! Oh my God, I can't wait until she gets older so my ripped up living room furniture can be replaced. She is so not a couch potato. Watching TV with her is a contact sport.

And I do believe I'm a good mother. I have boundaries, rules and there are consequences in the house. But she is a tough kid. Love her to pieces.

TinaW from NC said...

Well said... This is my first time commenting on your page... but please know I admire you and all others who have children... I have 4 and there is always someone who has to throw the bad apple in and say harsh words... But I, like you see it as we all have a job.. parenting( to do) as to how we do it is up to us the individual.
My daddy told me this as a child.. and it stuck.... When you point a finger at another... there is 4 pointed back at you. Words to think on huh. I applaud you!!!!

Diana said...

Wow! I'm sorry to hear that people actually leave you comments like that. As the mother of four children, 2 boys and 2 girls and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of an empty nest, I can certainly attest to the fact that children have a mind of their own! It might seem like children are really good and compliant when they are little but wait until the teen years hit or sometimes it hits after high school. At some point they are going to make choices we don't always agree with and that doesn't mean that we were bad (or lazy) parents. Parenting is a humbling profession and it sounds like that commenter is due for a good dose of humble pie!

Ambitious Blonde said...

Here's a quote I used when my former best friend stabbed me in the back and criticized my parenting techniques. Feel free to steal it. I like sharing :)

"It's easy to judge me when you don't live my life twenty-four seven but remember this, sweet pea: it's gonna hurt like a bitch when you tumble off that shiny white pedestal of yours".

I Play Outside The Box said...

Lazy my foot. You should have gave her your blog addy...then ask her to call you in a week. Some people can't help themselves.

bunny5149 said...

I've been reading your blog for a while, but I am just a lowly "lurker"! I just wanted to say kudos to your totally amazing post. I have been stewing about this very topic today, having encountered some people passing judgement on some other parents for no good reasons-people without kids, of course.

I'm sorry that you had to take your time reading that comment and posting a response, but I'm so glad you did. You're awesome! I love reading about your kids and I know they are totally amazing...because they have an amazing mom.

And to all the chumps out there---LAY OFF!!

Denise ~ Paper Ponderings said...

Wow...very well put. Kudos to you today!

Anonymous said...

Very well stated! I only have 2 and they are behaved most of the time, but my 3 year old has her moments. My s-i-l tried for years to get pregnant and never did so they finally adopted a baby 2 years ago. She used to judge or give me parental advice about raising kids. Well... fast forward to present time when I went to dinner with her the other day - her 2 year old son is hitting her on the head and she told him to stop and he hit her again harder. I had to LOL literally!

Valerie said...

Amen! I'm a relatively new mom (15 month old) - so basically every stage is new. Today we were at a pool and a very frazzled mom was coming "to my rescue" when her 2 year old child wanted to play with us. You know - her son (who was autistic and no one else wanted to play with) was highly entertained by my child and my child was highly entertained by him. If she could have 10 minutes of peace while we played together so be it... I was a bit shocked that no one else thought - hey, help out - don't judge the child who happens to be different than your own. Then I come home to read your blog and thought - yep. I wonder as my child enters the true toddler stage (we are already "exploring" tantrums) what others will say about us and our parenting style. Not that I care so much - but I wonder.

Stephanie said...

Dawn,
I have been reading your blog since your ebay listing and have never commented, but I just had to after reading this post. It really struck a chord with me. I come from a very judgmental family. I thought growing up that kids behavior was 90% parenting and 10% the kid. Then I had my first kid. She was angelic and easy. I did nothing to make her that way. She just was that way. I realized then that kids come with 90% hardwired and as they age parenting can have increasing amounts of influence over their behavior but I still don't think it ever goes higher than 50% parenting and 50% the kid.

I have since had 3 more daughters and they have certainly been more challenging. I now struggle with living near judgmental family members and their critiques on my "laid back" parenting style. Needless to say, I no longer judge parents. We all just do the best we can with what we are given and pray to God that He will help us where we are deficient in raising His children.

Thanks for this post.

Tina said...

Dawn, you're oh-so-right! Don't let those comments discourage you, because you're a great mom and all of us who read you everyday know it =)
Somehow this commercial came to my head while reading your post, I thought it would be nice if you could check it out:
http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=egdbaGwJOwk
I hope you have a nice laugh out of it =)
Kind regards

Lisa-Anne said...

Best. Post. EVER!
*thank you*
I have tears in my eyes... That so needed to be said, (and repeated 10,000 times!!!)
Thanking God for you, Dawn. Seriously!
Lisa-Anne

Amanda in Louisiana said...

Dawn,
I've been reading your blog faithfully since the "Pokemon incident" but never really felt qualified to comment, as I am a newlywed (our first anniversary was yesterday!!) and my husband and I don't have children of our own yet. I do have to speak up now though. I read that other comment, and felt that it was totally out of line! Her kids may be "so well behaved" and get tons of compliments, but what they're not getting are the great memories that come with the stains, the bumps, the bruises, the crazy experiments. These are probably the kids who had to sit quietly inside and watch the other children having fun outside, because they don't dare dirty their pretty little dresses. That's not a childhood!! My favorite memories from my childhood were certainly not from when my siblings and I were "behaving!" The children that are free to express themselves and to try new things are the ones who grow up to be confident, self assured, successful adults. Your kids definitely won't be afraid to take risks or to put themselves out there! I know your whole point was about not judging, so I'll try to be nice here. I wonder how close this woman really is with her daughters. It seems to me that she raised her children not with their best interests in mind, but to have perfect little trophies. She seems more concerned with getting compliments than having real children. I say keep doing what you're doing. You obviously have a great relationship with all of your children. Even though they don't obey all the rules, they feel free to come to you with their problems and are very involved in each other's activities. I don't know many boys who would take the time and effort to make such delicate little butterfly wings for his sister's birthday cake!! I can't wait to read your book & buy copies for all the mommies I know! Your blog probably should scare me away from ever wanting kids, but it honestly makes me excited about the idea! Just not quite yet...

Sharlyn said...

Amen, Dawn, amen.

Patty said...

Amen, Sister!

Debbie Yost said...

Hi Dawn,
First, that is one of my favorite verses from the Bible and I try to live by it, but I know I fail often. When I catch myself judging others I repeat it over and over. I think you are right in that it is human nature, but we can try to control it and recognize when we have failed.

Second, when I was reading the post in question, I was thinking about my 3 girls and how different it is to raise them. I watch boys in a daycare so I know how different they can be from an early age. As you said, not bad, but different. I think you do a wonderful job with your children and appreciate you sharing all the craziness that goes on in your house. I know there is a reason God did not give me boys! However, girls may be calmer, but oh, the drama!

Anyway, I just want to thank you for continuing to blog with all the new things going on in your life. I'm looking forward to your book and still read you faithfully even if I don't comment every day anymore.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I read thru all the comments thus far and didn't see this, so I thought I'd throw it into the mix. First off, I think you do an exceptional job. What I'm curious about is.... what are those 3 girls getting up to when they're away from Mommie Perfect? I don't have kids, so I don't know a lot of what you talk about...but I WAS a kid, so I can relate to some things. Kids get wild and crazy sometimes; they act up or say things at THE most embarrassing moment. what I got from the woman's comments were that her children were so inhibited they didn't DARE be spontaneous or normal children. But that's probably just me. It still makes me wonder what they do (especially the 18-year-old) when Mom's not looking

Heather said...

Whatever happened to, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."???
I tell my kids that all the time. I think these days, most people's parents forgot to give them that lesson!
Who's perfect anyway?
I really can't stand it when people start out by saying, "Don't take this the wrong way but..." or "I hope you don't mind my telling you this..." or "I can't help but notice that..."
REALLY???
I DO MIND! and I DO TAKE IT THE WRONG WAY!!!
I have found that those are usually the same people who can dish it out, but can NEVER take it in return!!!

Flowers to you.

Arin said...

I couldn't have said it better myself! I only have three children but they are all very different and we certainly have our days. I am the oldest of six and these days I feel bad for all the things my mother had to endure.

Anonymous said...

EXACTLY!!!!!!!Praise God for your wise words.

Christine said...

*Standing Ovation* *Clapping hands*

Dawn,
Thank you for being able to put this all into kind and understanding words!
I was in the store earlier, and this mom, with one little girl (at least at the store), kept getting pretty upset with the little girl. And, she was a little loud and getting quite out of sorts.
I didn't judge, as I have been that mom so many times. (losing it, from being home alone all day with the kids, or so tired, or kids are really needy that day etc). Now, ten years ago, I would have been ready to call family services, but, now, I am a mom, who has had her days (good and bad). No one is perfect, we all make mistakes, and all of our kids are unique and special in each of their own little ways.
I am so sorry that some people feel the need to judge you or anyone, on thier parenting skills. I hope that everyone will take the time to think out what they write in thier comments, and that they realize that there are true feelings on the other end of the receiving line.

Stephanie said...

Amen, sister! I have two boys, and before becoming a parent, I had MANY judgment thoughts about other parents. NO MORE! God has given me two very different children, one who takes all my parenting skills, and forces me to learn more, in order to parent him effectively, and one that is fairly easy to parent. I've had people judge me, and make comments based on observing something for a few minutes, that they had NO understanding of, it boggles the mind. I enjoy your blog, and your obvious sense of humor and love for your family. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

We also shouldn't judge the boys who feel more comfortable wearing feminine clothes. They (and their moms) deserve respect too. I'm referring to your SSO response to the mom with a son who loves to shop. I know your response was meant as a joke but it could have been hurtful to some, and it validates prejudice against those who are different from "the norm".

Anonymous said...

Don't let her get you down. You're a great parent. Just the fact you still have 6 kids proves it. LOL

Anonymous said...

Amen, amen.

I have a family friend who has a young autistic child. The mother was actually yelled at in a grocery store by a woman who didn't know her situation, and who just thought she saw "Bad Parenting In Progress."

Sometimes in moments of chaos or frustration I can see myself, as if from a distance, and think "God, what a scrub. Who let her have kids?" But my children are secure and happy and well-cared for, so I must be a good mom.

So now, if anybody else looks like I do sometimes (a crazed dragon-lady of a mom) there's not really any room to judge.

-Tara

Jaime said...

Good for you! And you are so right! We could all share stories but to you I say Kudos. And to the person who left that comment, I feel sorry for you that you don't know reality.

Tara said...

Thanks for saying this. It brought tears to my eyes because I get judged on a REALLY regular basis. My 6 year old son is in the process of being assessed for everything from ADHD to sensory integration disorder. He's my first born. When my second came along I realized that not all kids are the same and maybe I don't completely suck as a parent. Now my third child, my first girl has PROVED to me that kids come with their personalities largely decided for us. I'm not saying my parenting has nothing to do with it... but if it was ALL my parenting then all three of my kids would be the same. And they sure aren't.

And I'd just like to add, on behalf of pastor's wives everywhere, please don't think our children are supposed to be perfect. They (and we) can't live up to that sort of pressure. And judging them destroys their faith.

Ya.

Rick said...

When you publish a post like this one I would have to figure that you would get a ton of comments.

The job of parenting is one of the easiest things that a person can induce guilt about. It's the toughest job in the world!! I was judgemental like you before children, and then the Lord gave us Tarah. Boy, did she ever make us stop and think. I can't tell you how many times we felt totally defeated about being her parents. But the girl has turned into a beautiful young lady, and we're so thankful.

I think your kids are just great. That's all. Nothing less, nothing more. Just great.

"Cousin" Rick

P.S. Thanks for not having word verification for posting on your blog. I hate having to try and figure out what letter is what. And those "words" always have a "Q" or "Z" in them - have you noticed that?

Anonymous said...

Your post says a lot about judging and being judged...it's a lesson, a hard one at that, that I have learned with three kids. When I only had one, I would shake my head in disgust at a screaming kid in the store, or anywhere for that matter.

I now have three kids, one of whom is PDD-NOS, meaning he is on the Autism spectrum. This kid can scream, shout, flip out with the best of them. I don't judge anymore. Ever.

Until someone walks in your shoes, they can't judge you without sounding ignorant, naive, and unortunately, just plain dumb.

It's interesting to see other people's point of view though!

Lynn said...

WOOHOO, DAWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You go, girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's one thing to be ignorant and say stupid and hurtful things to a "normal" blogger but oh my I see red when I learn that someone on carepages or caringbridge has been under attack. These people are going through enough without being attacked by someone who is totally clueless! I know of several who've lost their children and were told is was their fault because they didn't have enough faith! Christians die! Yes, even Christian children! God calls His children Home at all different ages! Don't blame the parents!
And oh my do I feel for you trying to deal with ADHD. There are so many out there who don't "believe in it" (do they believe in cancer? heart disease? What's to "believe" anyway?!). They insist that its bad parenting, etc. Oh please put them in a room with a dozen ADHD kids and if they make it 5 minutes it would be a miracle. I don't have medical proof but I truly believe that their brains are just wired differently. Punishments only work when they act as deterants. When a child doesn't even begin to think about consequences, punishments have no effect at all! What do you do then?
Off my soapbox now...obviously you've touched a nerve. Praying that your words will touch your readers' hearts and that the next time anyone's tempted to judge, they'll stop and think for a minute and realize that they aren't perfect.

Jamie B. said...

Hi Dawn,

This post has hilighted some of the things going on in my own life. Anyone brave enough to allow strangers into their lives like this is a good and vulnerable person. I strive for this in my own life--it's hard to be vulnerable, but it's the right thing to do. I've been writing things about this topic in my own blog.

I hope you do not ever feel down on yourself for these judgmental comments you get--after all YOU are the one putting yourself out there and are honest enough to write like you do. That's something I can really respect.

Shari said...

Oh Dawn:

There's always someone who's got to spoil the party. There is no perfect parent or perfect child out there. I know you posted my comment, but I hope it didn't come across that I am perfect or somehow judging you. It's the very first one on your last post. All three of my boys have very different personalities. I have one that's a normal kid, one with BiPolar Disorder and ADHD and one with neurological damage. You make me feel normal when you write about your days. I have terrible days, too. I came up with a different discipline for each child. My BiPolar kid is very sensitive, my so-called normal kid doesn't get in trouble much, and my neuro damaged kid is 5, but I have to discipline like he's 3 years old because that's the level he's at. Don't let the comments rain on your parade. You are a good mom that was having a bad day. Who doesn't have bad days? Let me tell those out there who don't understand: NOBODY KNOWS WHAT IT'S LIKE TO DEAL WITH SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS OF ANY KIND IF THEY NEVER HAD ONE! I admit it's very difficult at times! Maybe they could show some compassion and try walking a mile in our shoes! OK--rant over with. Sorry it's so long! Have a good day!

Anonymous said...

AMEN! well said Dawn, that's awesome!!!! YOU are awesome. i have 4 kids, they are each individually their own... 2 boys & 2 girls... one of the girls (the baby) is just as...uhmmm... lets say wild! as the boys are... but i love her the same....

Jen said...

Dawn, I really hope the person who sent you that comment has the courage to apologize. The reason why I love your blog is that you aren't afraid to share the horror stories we ALL HAVE HAD AS MOTHERS, but don't have the courage to admit them. If your children were well behaved little angles all the time, which lets face it, NO child is well behaved all the time, your blog wouldn't have the following that it does. You invite us into your home almost everyday to share your life, you make us laugh and sometimes cry. Your children are just being children, anyone who can't see that needs a dose of reality!

AlaneM said...

Oh boy can I relate to that! I had a lot of lovely thoughts about my sisters' parenting until I had my own. I felt so bad about it (even though they never knew what I was thinking) I sent them thank you cards. They laughed so hard when they got them!!

I only have 3 kids but each of mine are VERY strong willed - 1 has ADD (inatentitive) and we think another has ADHD. I have gotten more than my share of dirty looks in the grocery store & I always want to leave those people with my kids for a day. They'd loose their minds!

I have a very mild mannered friend that has very calm, mild mannered children & I provided her with an education. I could tell when we first met that she had some of those thoughts about us but after spending a lot of time with us she realized that it's just that each kid is different & some are more challenging than others.

Thanks for posting about this Dawn, there are so many people out there that just don't get it!

Table for Seven said...

WHAT????? Your kids aren't perfect??? My five boys act just like your three and I just KNEW they were perfect. Man is that other ladies perception off big time! Seriously though, I get complimented on my children's behavior ALL the time. I do not say this to gloat. I always smile and say thank you, and if the conversation goes further than I say, "Call me in 10 years and then we'll talk." For me it's easy to "man handle" or "force" the kids to be good as this age, but I by know means feel like I'm good at what I do. When they are teenagers and young adults and they turn out to be well adjusted and functioning adults then I will START to feel like I've done a good job at the whole parenting thing. Kudos for you for taking the time to share your experiences so the rest of us can relate and feel like we're all on the same page. Lets hope her perfect little girls don't bring her perfect little grandbabies before it's time......

Anna said...

Dear Dawn,
I grew up with two sisters and a stay-at-home mom and I have to say that none of us is the same. And I am quite sure that I had the occasional rant at the mall (especially when my Mom wanted me to try on "cute" dresses). My elder sister was rather submissive and always wore what my mother bought her and did what she was told. I always did exactly what I was told, when sent to the store to buy "the cheapest longest lasting milk" I came home with skimmed milk aso. ;-) My younger sister actually was never much engaged in chores and such, she always managed to avoid it (if I had just known how). Anywho, all three of us turned out ok, big sissy is now a doctor, I'm studying Biology an Lil' sissy will finish High School soon.
So when I see ranting or crying children in the mall, I'm hoping they'll become scientists when they grow up.
Actually, as I live in UK right now, I am intrigued that more and more parents literally put a leash on their children. Little red harnesses with which they try to keep their young ones at their heel. What do you, sincerely, think about this? I find it totally disgusting to leash a child.

Jodi K said...

Hi Dawn,

I am a frequent lurker on your blog! You crack me up!! I have to confess that I have only 2 kids who are now 11 & 14. To boot, I am a preacher's wife, raising PREACHER's kids. (You know that they are perfect angels!!) I have to say that I do have really well behaved kids. (God knew what I could deal with) But every now and again we have brief bouts of insanity. Like the fact that I lectured my 11 year old about baking the brownies that she "gave her word" to make. On I went ranting & raving about a promise being our bond, she said she didn't feel good..but the church bake sale was in need! Within 15 minutes of them being mixed, she was throwing up with a stomach virus. (I am now up for mother of the year!) Needless to say, that brownie mix went in the trash.

I want you to know that I am a cheerleader for parents whose kids might not be the poster child for perfection. If you are engaged, and actively participate in raising them. How many of us have met the kids whose parents are absent. Too busy fulfilling their own wants and needs. Now when those kids are misbehaving...I do get ANGRY...but not at the child.

Thanks for parenting...someday your life will be rich with memories of the zany antics they have tried to pull!

Get some rest...and if you need a babysitter... I'll be out of town! :)

Heather said...

Dawn, I am a nanny to three kids, and I just love your blog. Kids aren't supposed to be perfect and I think you are doing a great job with yours. They act up, get hurt and make messes just like they are supposed to. But don't you forget about all that when you tuck them in at night and they give you a big hug and kiss and tell you they love you?

I know how it feels to drag two screaming toddlers out of the mall by their shirt collars while their five year old sister yells at the top of her lungs "You're not my mother! Don't touch my brothers!"

Sure, I've had a few run ins with mall security, but I'm doing the best I can, and I know you are too. I'm glad your kids aren't perfect, because somehow I don't think your blog would be quite so interesting.

Cheri-Beri said...

I know exactly why God didn't allow me to have my daughter first. I would have been so full of pride because I would have been the perfect parent. My daughter is PERFECT! She came out of the womb that way. Now my son . . . . . oy vey! That kid caused me to lose my pride in about, oh, 3 hours after birth when the nurse in the nursery complained to me that he cried too much. Yep, that really happened.

Keep on keepin' on, sister! I'm so sick of the mommy wars. The one upmanship we do to each other is a disgrace.

Bonnie said...

Dawn,
I'm not sure you'll get this as you get so many comments, but I just wanted to say, "Way to go" and Bless you! You are so right, if I could I would buy you a coke!!! We as women need to start standing up for each other instead of tearing each other down. Blessings! Bonnie

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100%. I have an adopted daughter with reactive attachment disorder. We went through some really rough waters a while ago, and a whole slew of my friends bailed on us. I feel like they made no effort to understand what we were dealing with, and judged us severely. Who needs friends like that? Not me. Thankfully we are back on track with a much lighter load. Even moms with "normal" kids have their days when they wonder why they took this path. But thankfully those days are few. You just need to find a few quality friends and hope they are not on the edge on the same day as YOU! LOL! Dawn, we love you. Don't let the turkeys get you down.

tiesha84 said...

You are so right Dawn! I can honestly admit that I've too had the "I'm a better parent" thoughts shoot through my head. But then I remember the day to day reality of having a "difficult" child. My oldest (and only son) is ADHD. I too find myself explaining and making excuses to people who think that the disorder is a crock. I know it's real, as do millions of other kids and moms. Hats off to you Dawn, you're an awesome mom (as I'm sure you know), but sometimes we just need reminded that we're not perfect!

Jennifer Engel said...

Dawn, I have three girls and if it were not for the fact that they have longer hair and occasionally wear flowers and dresses, you'd swear I have boys for thy way they act. Anyone that says girls are easier, have NEVER meet my 3. Each one has their own personality and spunk. It makes it challenging at times but never dull or boring. If your life was dull and boring and your kids were well behaved, you would not have much to write about. It's great that you can share your everyday occurrences with such flare. You help us to realize we do not have to be perfect and when we hear that one kid SCREAMING at the top of his lungs in the mall and the acoustics just make it sound SO much better, we can smile and think, been there. Thanks for helping us realize we are normal as normal can be.

Kathi D said...

My mom had five of us, three boys and two girls. Mom and Dad stayed together forever, so we all had the same genes and the same parents, and we are all different from each other in big and little ways!

I have seen babies less than a year old that "turned out" exactly as you might expect from their infant behavior. I am not discounting the value of parenting, but honestly sometimes it seems like you are a born "whatever" and never change much from that start.

Kathi D said...

P.S. My aunt who had two kids used to think we were an awfully WILD bunch, but we were far less of a problem as we grew older than her "perfect" ones were.

Jennifer Engel said...

When my kids get the best of me, I try to remember, my "spirited child" just needs good direction. They can be the next great leader or next fearless dictator.

Keep faith that they will be the leaders of tomorrow, that not taking "no" for an answer from us) was great practice and will help them to follow their dreams.

Ann said...

AMEN....haven't these people heard the old adage, "if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all"???
Who do they think they are???
Thanks for the reminder to everyone....to speak kindly!

Fingertip Offerings said...

As the Mom of an only child (that's a whole blog in and of itself!) with ADD, all I want to say about your latest blog entry is:


AMEN!!!!!!!


HUGS
MSB

Mum-me said...

I knew a lady with three perfect little angels. She would make smug comments about 'discipline' and 'consequences' while I struggled with my 2 year old son's bad behaviour. I felt like a really bad mum.

Then this lady had her 4th child, and he turned out to be a normal child. Despite the fact that his three older siblings were still well behaved and he was brought up with the same 'discipline' and 'consequences' as them, he was just like my own son (normal, active, curious) and he drove his poor mother to distraction.

So as you were saying - EVERY child is different.

Anonymous said...

I am a public school teacher. I teach 22 of someone elses' darlings. 1/8 of them are diagnosed ADHD and medicated. 1/2 of them are undiagnosed somethingorothers. 3/8 of them have family live's that you just don't want to know about. I'm with ya sistah!

~Dawn S

Karen said...

Well spoken. I, too, silently judged others for being things that we weren't. But our baby has made us everything (and I mean everything!) that I judged others for. Our baby is the 4th. He's the one that has single handedly turned us into THOSE parents. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

Julie said...

Sometimes saying a kind word to the mom who's on the verge of tears over her screaming toddler can help.

I remember one day I ran into a lady whose child was screaming his head off, and I said, "I've been there..." Then she told me that he was a foster child and his behavior was ALWAYS that out of control, and said she was leaving the store. I'm so glad I was able to say something nice to her, because I think she was having a pretty rough time.

Dream of Scrappin' said...

I think you do just fine. I agree some people need to keep their ignorant comments to themself. But they never will since they like to stir up drama and call attention to themselves. Keep up the awesome work, parenting and all!

tdcsnowwhite said...

I totally agree.

This reminded me of a conversation I overheard recently while waiting to pick up my oldest daughter from a field trip. Two moms were sitting on the steps of the school. Each had a 1-2 month old child in a carseat, a 3-5 year old son running around in front of teh school, and a kindergartener on the bus that we were all waiting for. BTW, I have two daughters and I am pregnant with our third child (the sex is unknown at this point).

One mom said, "Wow. It has really been hard dealing with adding a third child to our family."

The other mom said, "Well, be thankful that we each have three boys. Can you imagine if we had three girls? That would be imnpossible."

The first mom said, "Yeah, I think that if I even had two girls I'd force my husband to have a vasectomy. Can you imagine how awful that would be?"

Sherry said...

Very well said! A few years ago, we were foster parents with 4 foster children and 1 adopted child. On two different occasions, we got comments from people at restaurants about how well behaved our kids were. We were oh so proud. Now that we have two biological children, do we get those comments about well-behaved children? HA! NOT A CHANCE! Sure would be nice, but it hasn't happened yet. :)

mundane4life said...

The reason readers keep coming back to your blog is because they can relate to what you are saying. Your kids act and do what all kids do. We all can relate to everything you said on your last post.

Lisa said...

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brenda said...

I remember walking into a store with one of my kids in a stroller years ago. Someone just inside the store had a toddler having a fit. A woman coming out of the store said to me "Your daughter is so well behaved. It is good to see." I was horrified. I said "All kids act like that sometimes including mine."

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that someone sent you a nasty-gram. Amazing what holier than thou people can do to your day, huh?

But hey Dawn, dang woman - you're killing me with that Coke commercial. Now I'm going to be humming that like a big ol' dork the rest of the night! lol

Keep up the great work. Love your blog and don't let the negative nasty Nellies get to ya!

Cheryl in Texas

Erin said...

Amen! I'm a recovering judger, thanks to my three children. I receive a swift reality check whenever one of my two boys act like ... well, act like elementary/preschool age boys.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is VERY well put! I love your blog and I think you are an inspiration to many:) Thank you!

Michelle said...

I think you've hit a nerve again, Dawn. And it's so true. Sometimes, it's nice to see that I'm not the only one whose children act up -- we had a lovely day in the library today and were *this* close to leaving with no books. But yep, I sure am glad that no one gave me that look or asked me to have Mister Man be quieter!

I can't imagine walking in your shoes, Dawn, and I have the utmost repect for you and all you do with your brood. My two wee ones are definitely enough to keep me on my toes!

Sarah said...

Thank you for this post, Dawn. I've been lurking on your blog for months, and it's been really disappointing what a few (thankfully a very small few) people decide they need to leave on your blog.

And thanks for the Coke commercial. I loved this when I was little!

Charlotte said...

I just always assumed your kids were highly creative coming up with new stuff all the time. You definitely can't make up specific rules that cover all the things your kids think of. I usually handled it with 'That wasn't a good plan and next time it will be naughty.' Of course they thought of something new. Mine do almost everything at home (where I can deal with it) and really don't misbehave in public. The thing is your blog makes your home public.

Don't worry about what they say. They aren't walking in your shoes.

threekidchaos said...

I was a perfect parent. Then I had kids.

My boys wreak chaos where ever they go. They are just energetic, fun loving boys who act first & think later. My daughter is very emotional, temperamental & affectionate. All of my kids are challenges in their own right & I try very hard to remember my many bad moments in parenting when I'm tempted to judge someone else.

Thank you for your heartfelt post.

Wendi said...

I know you don't need another comment. But I just wanted to tell you again how thankful I am for your perspective and profound words. I love, love, LOVE your blog--along with the rest of your bazillion readers. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy mom schedule to share your thoughts and experiences with the rest of us. You bless lives and make a difference to so many of us every day with your humor, insight, and incredible writing talent.

When I clicked on your link tonight, a screen came up that said you had made your blog private and I about started crying. I knew it was probably a glitch or a temporary thing while you're switching over to your .com address, but I was still so sad that I might not be able to read your past and present posts anymore. Anyway, when your blog came back up, I was just so thankful. And then to have this be the subject of your post was very neat. I'm SO thankful that you're willing to share your life with all of us. Bless you and bless your family! :)

N8ster said...

We have 4 kids all different, and I know exactly where you are coming from. I am convinced that our ADD son is trying to drive us to the looney house.

Here is the best part--despite how crazy our kids drive us, there is no way we would trade them for the kids that sit quietly on the front row at church.

bonni said...

I always try to say something nice or at least give a sympathetic smile to any parent with a misbehaving child in public. I have been there so many times, and it's NOT because I'm a lazy parent.

I have a child who is Autistic. You can't tell by looking at her that she's disabled, but she definitely is. She attends a special needs school and has all kinds of therapy to help her learn how to cope with the world because, guess what? Her brain is wired differently and she just doesn't always "get" what other people expect of her, and even when she does, she's sometimes literally unable to comply.

As she's gotten older, it's gotten better, but there have been many, many public meltdowns and just general misbehaviour (screaming, for example).

The dirty looks I've gotten from total strangers kind of amazes me. Anyone paying the slightest bit of attention would see that I am definitely paying attention and doing my best to manage the situation, but I can't rewire the child's brain in the food court for the convenience of random strangers, no.

And you know what? Even if I could rewire my kid to fit the pattern that random people on the street think she should fit, I wouldn't. She is unique, and so am I, and if people don't like it, they can take their judgmental attitude and stick it in the orifice of their choice (and they can do it in the food court if they want; I'll just look the other way, the way they should if they're offended!)

;)

Domestic Spaz said...

I had to go back and read Michele's comment after you posted this and it just SMACKED of something my mother would say. Every time my kids misbehave my mom says something like "You girls would never have acted that way!" We, too, were a family of three girls and no boys. Sure, she could take us out in public and we didn't misbehave. However, when we got to be teenagers we were sneaky and manipulative. Well mannered as you could ever hope for and we kept the house clean... but our morals were way out of whack.

I guess what I'm trying to say is we looked great to the outside eye... it was the stuff we did when no one was looking that was bad. To be honest, that stuff was much worse than messing up the house or leaving toys in the yard.

You're doing a great job, Dawn. Come on... following a no preservative diet, raising SIX kids that are obviously as charismatic as their mom, baking cakes in the shape of Barbie? I think you deserve the mom of the year award!

Yvonne said...

Amen sister! And besides, whatever happened to the whole, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"?
Words to live by (unless you are writing a HILARIOUS blog about your family and your husband and kids are the subject of the "not so nice" comment!) (;

- G - said...

Hi Dawn!

Nicely said! I'd rather have a chaotic house with a lot of love, than a "Stepford family" that don't know each other - even if they lived in the same roof.

Keep up the great work.

Stephanie said...

Amen, sista.

Heather said...

Wow! Looks like your short on comments so I'll boost your number ;) I loved your post, it had me in tears b/c judging is one of the things that I struggle with the most. Both me judging others and me feeling judged by others. My kids are spaced close together and that in itself brings a whole slew of opinions (keep them to yourself- birth control is NOT 100% effective).
Anyway, I wanted to comment on your speaking to the parents whose kids are having a breakdown. This actually happened to me this past weekend as I was dragging my 2 oldest kids out of Lowes (they had been running in and out of the fertilizer racks while we shopped for landscaping stuff) and my 2-year-old was in the buggy with my husband screaming as he was waiting to check out. Anyway, my middle son was yelling, don't grab my arm, you're hurting me!!!! and this older couple was watching me and smiling and the man leaned over as we passed and said, "you gotta love kids!" Their warmth and friendliness really helped me get perspective on the moment and get me and my kids to the car safely!

Sorry for the novel, just wanted to tell you to keep up the good work- you make me feel sane!!!

B&K said...

OMG I remember that commercial. I mean I remember that being on TV.

Holy moley. I am OLD! LOL

Hang in there, Dawn! We love you!

Mandy said...

Amen Dawn! Reading Michele's comment had my jaw dropped the entire time! Good thing she has things under control! And good thing she thought to share it with you! (what a weirdo!)

Marly said...

Dawn, I'm sorry you get e-mails that aren't the most positive. I love reading your blog!

I realize you only tell the funny things your kids do. It's not like you would come on here and tell us when your kids were behaving. That just wouldn't be entertaining!

So, keep up the good work. Those of us who enjoy your writing are here for the humor you and your kids share :)(besides, my 4 year old is just like your Clay, so it helps me "cope")

Marly

BoufMom9 said...

Amen!
You know, I just recently did a blog post on the same topic but because someone posted that I must be a saint and I had to set the record straight.
I think the problem is that people assume they get to see every aspect of your life, just because you write about certain things.
We ALL have our moments of absolute hell and we all have our moments of complete bliss. No one has all or nothing in the mommy world.
:) Debi
ps I got my Starbucks card today!!! YIPPEE! I am hopped up on caffeine! LOL

Jennie said...

I hear and applaud you for all you've said.. and for as 'insane' as you think you;re family is.. I feel like you are the defintion of the word family. These days there is so much pretending and so many people who want not only things in their lives to be bigger, better and faster but now they want their kids to be that too. I always say all I want for my boy is to be a happy kid for as long as he can, grow up slower like the 'god old days', not be in 17 extracurricular activities just so I get bragging rights and he gets burnt out at the age of 13. (He's 2 but I'm just saying). The other day I happened to be at McDonald's (Oh yes I feed him fast food and I DON'T make excuses nor feel bad for it) and some lady in front of me turned around and said 'Oh, I bet he's just that happy all the time' sarcastically, and I was like well actually he is. I got lucky, I know I'm lucky, and I'm knocking on wood incase I jinxed myself.. but I do always say that if I ever had #2 he/she would be satan's spawn. It must be a law of some kind of physics.

Your blog is truth and for that I respect it and in fact it makes me feel good knowing 'normalish' families are still out there not these cellophane-wrapped cookie cutter versions trying to project that they have it all together.

Nate B said...

I just had to let you know that I about had food coming through my nose after reading your post and then seeing the frame capture of the YouTube video... that I mistakenly thought was going to be "We Are the World".

Kelly said...

Dawn:

My brother has 5 kids, and it is so hard to watch them be raised because they are all so different, and their mother tries to stuff them all into the same box.

I admire your strength and I think you are an amazing parent.

Anonymous said...

Oh Dawn..... I have to laugh.... your children's "repeat offenses." GIVE ME A BREAK! The peek inside of your family that you give us readers, I feel is totally REAL, FUN, and a functional family of the year 2008! You have high standards for academics, your children seem HAPPY, and you guys are just a fantastic group of people! I have 2 children who I feel are well behaved, but we have had trips to the ER, farting in doctor's offices, trips to school to talk to the teacher, etc. etc. etc. If THAT Blogger is "offended" by anything in your blog, it is laughable to me. Your blog makes me laugh EVERY night--- I thank you AGAIN for making me feel normal about my life, my feelings about my children, my husband, and myself!
Lisa

Shelle said...

Amen sista Amen!

Sure I may judge in my mind...but never out loud...never out loud. I kid I kid... :)

Who seriously takes the time to write things like that? It's crazy to me!

If you don't like the blog then just move along to another one...no need to comment!

I actually have a "friend" that has throw up of the mouth...she is a ticking time bomb...never know what the girls going to say next on what you should and shouldn't be doing...at least you can delete nast comments...you can't shut up a real live person!

Glad you said what we all wish we could...but you do it a lot better!

Kristy said...

well said. i have two girls and two boys. i totally agree, boys are a hand full!!! everyones story is different, we have no right to judge others, its not our place.

nomi said...

Best blog post yet!

Kristine said...

I never new what parenting an ADD child would be like until I had one. Oi! Still, sometimes I find I need to bite my lip and not comment on other people's parenting. I try to remind myself that I'm nowhere near the perfect parent! There are plenty I'm sure that have seen me on that bad day in the store. (OK, there's been lots of those - LOL)

Keep up the good work, Dawn!

dorthyinoz said...

Thank you so much. I have 4 kids that are all different from each other. One of my daughters taught my son all about the usual behaviors associated with boys, LOL.

dorthyinoz said...

Thank you!

Brooke said...

I too have 6 children and some people just do not get it! Sometimes it is not that my boys are bad or my girls are bad there is so many of them and so many personalities! I think you are a great mom and people with less children are missing out on the "fun" that we as moms of 6 have!!!

roseys madhouse said...

Wow to have perfect children wouldnt that be nice........... no way that would be as boring as ever. I think that this blog is the best place to come to , so we realise that we are not alone that we are normal and that someone elses children are acting the same way ours do!!!!!
Isnt it funny though how there are those parents out there that think that their children are perfect and that they dont misbehave. Please as if!!!!

Polli (UK mum of 2 boys) said...

I have never forgotten the day my older sister made me feel like crap cos my 2 year old son was wild! 'Her girls would never behave in that way'. I actually sat on the stairs in my parents' house and cried (the staircase was the quietest place in the house).
Yesterday, she said something about my son being the perfect teen, (he's 17 now), well behaved, thoughtful, considerate and kind - and she is right. 'Her girls' both went through the horrendous teenage rebellion around age 14. My boys did that between the ages of 2 and about 12. I think in general its longer with boys but easier to deal with cos they are younger and easier to reason with (I didnt have to fight their hormones the way my sis did). I have to be honest though - I did enjoy it a little when 'her girls' rebelled!

Anonymous said...

Well you are not short of comments but I just had to add my 2 cents. THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!!!!

When my oldest daughter was born, she was the easiest kid in the world. I said :"Don't touch the stove"--she never even went near it again.

And I thought "Damn, I'm good". Then my son was born and I realized she was just that way because it was her personality, not because I was this fabulous parent! Now as the parent of 4, 2 with special needs, I realize so much more than ever that there is no place for judgement in parenting. All kids are different. No one "way" works for all kids--I LOVE your blog, your honesty and your candor. Keep on!

Kelly in MA

Kathleen said...

Well said Dawn! I always tell my kids not to pick on the loner kid on school 'cuz that is the kid that is going to end up walking in to school with a gun - and also no one knows what the kids life is like at home - maybe his/her life at home is not as happy as ours. Have a great day Dawn and keep up the good work!

Rosemarie said...

We said, Dawn! That comment bothered me yesterday too. When I had my first, a girl, she was so easy and I was so quick to look at others and think "What is wrong with THOSE parents?" Then, I had a boy LOL and I realized that it's too easy to look at others and judge. I learned a HUGE lesson. Now, when I hear other parents talk about some child's behavior I always say that children are all different. It usually shuts them up!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn Great blog..although I must admit I too was one of those mom's who looked at others with those "my child would never" looks I believe I was in walmart one day when my daughter wanted one of those big bouncy balls and i told her no few minutes later another kids wants a toy mom tells him no and he flings himself on the floor having a meltdown and she finally gives in. Me I was in utter shock and said "Sierra if you ever do that i'll knock u out" (she was 2) 10 minutes later she did try it and she got a spankin no problems after that she has always been very calm, quiet, to herself etc. and still I judged with bling eyes how my sisters kids were "awful" and then the lord BLESSED me with TRINITY oh boy where do i start she is nothing like Sierra she runs from me yells at ppl, if you threten to punish her it doesnt phase her, she will do her time out and then go right back to doing what she was doing, throws things is a bit mean to her big sister and I thing boy I wish i would have never ever ever said anything about those other kids b/c I got mine back 10 fold... And now that I'm older and understand what other ppl are going through I'm quick to help that mom with a run away toddler, or the break almost everything in a store made of glass toddler, I know one thing I know what's it's like to judge and now to be Judged i'll admit I was a fool. And I have to say that your family seems very normal anyone who really belives there families are perfect are obviously in COMPLETE DENIAL. No one knows what is going on in another persons home unless they ask so they always do the same thing ASSUME and we should never do that but sometimes you have an IGNORANT person that is completely CLULESS and will one day GET THERE OWN (hopefully right :) anyways so I just wanted to say I think you do an awesome job with your kids cause I know I feel like imma have a complete meltdown most of the time and I only have 2. Guess that's it Love your blog ---sasha

Melissa said...

Dawn,
Lovely post on something that most of us parents feel. Yes, I think we've all felt that judgmental feeling at some point and then been on the other end of it. I no longer look at any parent who is trying and feel anything other than compassion and will often say to that parent, "I know how you're feeling right now. Tomorrow will be a better day."
I only have two kids, but my boy is the one that challenges me every day and I hate when my childless family members give me those looks that just shout out "Horrible parent." But I just keep telling myself that one day if they decide to become a parent, they'll understand that there are so many struggles with some kids!

Dorothy said...

Dawn, remember I'm the grandma who's daughter has seven children. One grandchild and now, four more on the way. Just when she thinks confusion is her past as Noah and William are 5 and 13..she will be adding the great grandchildren to her list of duties. So it never ends and judgement is a word we never use. We love, share experience, wit and wisdom. Good luck to a lovely lady and terrific mother..you do good lady.

Ignore the bologna..everyone has their own agenda.

Dorothy from grammology
remember to call your gram
grammology.com

Jeff & Meg said...

Your boys just sound like, uh...boys! Full of fun and adventures and messes. Thanks for posting this!

jegreenhalgh@comcast.net said...

VERY well said! I too used to judge (silently) until I had kids. Now I am the one being judged that my 2 kids are misbehaved. I am a working mother and deal with the guilt every day so when I also get criticezed for my kids misbehaving, it really strikes a nerve and makes me feel like a horrible parent. I hope that everyone in the world reads your blog and realizes how their words/actions really affect that poor mother/father trying so hard to raise the perfect child.

Jennifer in MI

Anonymous said...

Banish her! Please?

I don't have to agree with every little thing that a blogger says or does. Guess what, sometimes I don't completely agree with you. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy your blog, which I do 98% of the time. A good analogy is, change the channel, or turn off the TV. Let's be grown ups, people.

Love your blog, read it daily.

Nate's Mom

Anonymous said...

Dawn, first of all, I don't feel you need to explain yourself. Let that rude woman think what she wants, and move on. Say a prayer for her on Sunday. Secondly, I feel your pain.
I have 4 children, and was on my own when they were small. My son not only had ADHD, but was at times suicidal. And this was at the age of 7! He also hated his sisters and would try to harm them. God Bless you! Eileen Younger, Covington, Ky

Dianne said...

I have five boys, three of whom have ADHD and one who is a freaking genius. My MIL didn't believe in ADHD either, and insisted that we should not be "drugging" our babies. Then she spent a day with our babies, without their pills. NOW she gets it. We (I have ADD myself) are simply wired differently.

I try not to take it personally, but when someone says ADHD doesn't exist, I tend to get a bit..um..cranky with them.

Cheryl said...

I was judgemental before having my own kids, watching others raise their kids and cataloging in my own head what I'd do differently. I know how wrong I was now!

My husband's brother and sister-in-law are trying to have kids now, and apparently he mentioned something about the two of them discussing what they'd do differently from us. My hubby and I just laughed about this together. How cute of them to have all these ideas in advance! And really it is a good thing to be discussing in general, just don't expect it all to go as planned!

Machen Family said...

Just started reading your blog! Love it! When I had my first child I knew everything about parenting, and the more children I have it seems the less I know!!

~Elisabeth~ said...

Well said Dawn. I am the oldest of nine and I can remember thinking that when I have kids, they are going to be well behaved and not act like any of my siblings. Boy was I wrong. I have two kids now and when I see other parents struggling with their whiney children at the store, I just smile letting the parent know that I know exactly what they are going through. I've also come to realize that the "perfect well-behaved" children are typically the ones that aren't having any fun. What kind of childhood is that? My children may not be the most well-behaved, but you can bet they're having fun (except when they're in trouble. lol).

Keep up the good work Dawn. I love your blog!!

Jen said...

You hit the nail on the head. I have 2 bio-kids & currently 1 foster. My 2 bio's are boys on the Austim spectrum. Our girl is mixed race and has massisve behavior issues. You should see the looks and hear the comments I get when I take them places and try to do things. It is amazing. Although I've never said it aloud, I think the best response is, my kids are special needs, what's your excuse?

Anonymous said...

Very good post, Dawn. What keeps amazing me is that people would actually post negative comments on someone's blog. My opinion is they don't have to read the blog if they don't like what is being written or disagree with it. I've been reading another blog, a very good one, and someone posted some very negative comments. So, on the "chronicles" she's writing about her life, she has turned off the comments. Sad. Anyway, I'm sorry that has happened to you. Margie (And remember I post anonymously because I don't have a google account.)

Mabunny said...

AMEN!!! Well said Dawn! I think on occasion I've been both judged and jusged others. I usually keep comments to myslef , but then I realize that I'm not perfect and at the moment that mother was doing her best:)) That's all any of us can do.

Anonymous said...

I don't usually write comments but had to say AMEN! I said many times my kids won't do that & guess what they did. My girls r 2 & 5 and they are very high energy. Good girls but very busy & moody & emotional. I now give encouragement to those I see that are having a bad kids day! Thanks for blogging and making me laugh

vande2 said...

Dawn, you handle the negative comments with grace and dignity. Why someone with something negative to say can't just keep it to herself and/or stop reading is beyond me. I also know it to be true that people will write what they would not say out loud.

I have two girls and one boy. Let me just say that girls are not completely free of stupid stunts, bad attitudes, and flat-out ornery. My son is not yet a year-and-a-half, but give him time, he'll learn a thing or two from his sisters! And a previous poster was absolutely right, we laugh so we don't cry! Thanks for being real.

Tammy

Sassy said...

How sick is it that I still well up when I watch that Coke commercial?! It's like that one with the Indian overlooking all of the pollution. They still get me after all of these years... I'm just a softie I guess :)

Dani Ferguson said...

Don't worry about those who judge...the words they have to eat will make them FAT! The best thing about your blog is that you tell everyday stories with humor. Any parent that hasn't related to one of your stories just isn't being honest. Children are just children and only for a very brief time. You just keep telling your stories and those of us who have a sense of humor will keep laughing!

ModelMommy said...

Although I know that the chances of you reading this comment are extremely low - I just wanted to applaud you in your comments. I currently have a 2 1/2 year old girl and an 11 month old boy. When my daughter was still an infant - I remember saying "TV is evil. My kids won't watch TV until they are at least 3 or 4 years old." Then I got pregnant...and the fatigue set in...and now fast forward 2 years later, the TV is a pretty constant background noise in our home. When I feel the judgmental looks on me as I'm walking out of the mall with a screaming toddler - I just figure that they must have never had any children, and if they have had children and are still judging me, then they aren't worth my worrying about.

The Pastoral Princess said...

You have hit the nail on the head, no two children are alike and no two children can be parented exactly the same way. I have one who is well behaved most of the time but when he misbehaves it is OFF THE CHARTS! The other one just misbahaves all the time! LOL! I know that I do the best I can, and I try to parent them according to their specific personalities and needs. You are a great mom! I just discovered your blog and intend to keep up with it, but from what I can see you do a great job! Don't let one person's judgement cloud yours!

Anonymous said...

Dawn,
YOU know you are a GREAT mom, and don't let anyone have the space in your brain to change that thought.

Life isn't perfect and sometimes I say/do things that I regret later (IE: yelling, losing control) - but the beauty of life is there is always a new day, new hour, new minute. And I can choose to take a break - and ask myself "is it worth it?" Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't. When it comes to safety for my ADHD child it is worth it! I KNOW what you are going through - I live with a husband with ADHD and a son with ADHD - it drives me nuts some days, but I continue on. I know God put me in this place for a reason!

I believe that if I do MY best, that this is the most anyone can ask of me. I know you are doing your best - and accidents happen!

Just keep your head high - there is no reason to justify anything to us. No one in life is perfect - and don't allow one judgemental person any more space in your brain - move on to the pleasant thoughts of all of us who LOVE you for writing and making us laugh at ourselves! Give yourself a big hug, you deserve it!!!!

Pam

Jill said...

Amen ... and amen!

Katie said...

Dawn, Check out comcast.net homepage today. They have a video article titled 'Food dye linked to hyperactive kids'. Thought you'd be interested since you've done some research on this.

Anonymous said...

Dawn,
I must admit that I have been one of those mothers who thought I had parenting all figured out, until #6came along and SHE is a holy terror. Nothing I have done with the other kids works on this kid! She gets into stuff the others never even thought about. She is everywhere, a master climber, master sprinter, and master of destruction. I shake my head daily at my inability to contain her! I now believe that her personality is going to cause her to discover some new cure or invention and am trying very hard just to keep her from getting hurt!! I will not judge others because we have no ability as mothers for mind control and shock collars for children are not leaga! Thanks for the chuckle!

sHaWna in Costa Rica baby! said...

DITTO! Just remember that she is on the side of the fence that we all once were. One huge tantrum in the grocery store and she will cross over. :)

Kim said...

I have two girls that are polar opposite. The first one has made mistakes, but learns from them easily. The second one learns everything the hard way. She is stubborn and can be defiant (not that that is allowed, but she tries!). She is also the child who has Learning Disabilities and ADHD. She is not on meds for it now because they stunted her growth! She was 10 years old and 60lbs. I took her off last summer, and she is now 4'9" and about 90lbs (in less than a year!). EVERY kid is different and I for one am grateful-even on the most frustrating days, that she is who she is. She is the most caring and compassionate child. God made her the way she is and I have to believe that I will see the result of HIS work in her when she grows up. My job is to teach her to the best of my ability.

I think my favorite part of her (the woman who was critical) comment was the part about "no broken bones". This same child of mine broke 3 bones in 2 years! The first time she slipped on a rug while getting off a bed (not jumping off-just stepping off!). She wasn't being defiant or dangerous, just getting off a bed. The second time she was at school and got pushed down a slide. She landed wrong and broke her collar bone...not exactly HER fault. The third time she was walking on the edge of the trampoline (not even jumping on it!) and the edge was wet and she was barefoot...slip! She landed on her elbow and broke it. If broken bones are a sign of bad parenting...I guess I should be the club leader!

I love your blog and don't change who you are and what you do!

Blessings,
Kim

Judie said...

Thank you! I'm sorry that the poster felt the need to use the holier-than-thou attitude. Met plenty of them in my time.

Me? I have the poster child for ADHD. Let's just say that if he was the first-born, he would have been an only child. Oh, and I even used a leash on him when he was little! Guess that makes me another terrible mum. We can all stick together.

Dawtch said...

Having raised both a boy & a girl to adulthood (she's 24, he's 22) and currently being in the process of raising another boy (this ones 5...) I will say that girls are easier, until about 10 or 11...then they more than make up for lost time. In all truth, I'd trade raising the girl for raising 5 boys any day! Even though boys do cause more "obvious" trouble, that's the beauty of it - they do it out in the open! Girls on the other hand, once they start to get beyond "Oh isn't she darling" and into "Wow, she's gonna be a looker!" it all becomes subversive...everything is a secret, and Goddes forbid you should try to find out what it is. The girl is the one who will appear to be sweet & innocent until one day the truth comes out. With the boys, you KNOW they're not sweet & innocent *grin*
Just my 2 cents
bb
dawtch

Pam S said...

Judging from all the comments you have received, all of us parents are in agreement - no one has the right to judge others by a brief look into their world. As you said, all kids are different and my middle child is my "high maintenance" one. I have raised them all the same and used the sames rules/punishments with all of them. I never thought I would have one of those kids who throw temper tantrums but I do. I agree, if I'm in public and I see a parent struggling with their child, I have compassion for them and the thought to myself "thank goodness it is not me!" as I know that at any given time, it could be.

Amanda said...

In the seventh grade, Melanie Spencer asked me to come sit at her table. I truly believe that that little kindness made a huge difference in my life. I'm glad you blogged about this, it's something I want to pass on to my children.

Shirley Ann said...

Amen sister! Whenever I see a mom struggling, I tell her to just be patient, it WILL pay off in the end! The Lord blesses the faithful. Love this post!

~Shirley Ann~

Tina in Ohio said...

Hello Dawn (and all),
Sorry to add to your zillion comments. I'll try to be brief.

To those who are quick to verbally judge others' parenting styles- know that you are teaching your children to be uncharitable as well. I drove a few of my kids' schoolmates home recently, and they spent the whole ride home criticizing how messy the car was. Truly, it's not that messy, but not "showroom perfect" like their car always is. In the big scheme of things, I'm more content to have a slightly messy car than rude children.

The rule that we try to follow around here is "TNK" before you speak. If it's not True, Necessary, or Kind, don't say it. THINK judgements if you like, but it's not necessary, or kind, to verbalize them.

Not brief after all. Sorry!
Tina

meleah360 said...

You hit the nail on the head with this post. And I would be lying if I said I didn't quietly judge other parents. It's almost a natural instinct. But I also try to keep an open mind and know that I don't know the full story of those parents.
And I NEVER judge parents dragging their screaming toddlers out of stores. EVERYBODY has a bad day, me included!

Thank you for such a well-written, eye-opening post!

Kim said...

All kids and families are different and your post hit it on the head.

I enjoy your blog - it makes me laugh and appreciate you and your kids!

meleah360 said...

What a great post! I have to admit that sometimes I quietly judge parents--it seems to be a natural instinct. However, I try to keep an open mind and remind myself that I don't know that family's story.
And I NEVER judge a parent dragging their screaming toddler out of a public place. EVERYBODY has a bad day, me included!

My motto is, "Everything is always bigger than me." It puts things in perspective--I DON'T have all the answers, and will never pretend that I do.

Thank you for such a well-written, eye-opening post!

Anonymous said...

Long time lurker here! I love your blog, and I am constantly inspired solely by the fact that you are raising 6 kids... and you even know all their names! Try not to let the comments get you down. You are obviously an incredibly caring, dedicated, devoted mother-of 6, for goodness sakes! Give yourself 6 hearty pats on the back, and a big hug from all of us who love reading your blog. And I'm so sorry about the bad day you had. But you keep getting out of bed and moving on, good for you, good for you, yay!
-Loren

melanie said...

OH BoyS!!!
It is so true, boys make a huge differance in life.
I was thinking and praying last night and I realized that juding people and gossiping (cause what's more fun then telling everyone else what you think about that sad sole) are really just manifestations of PRIDE. And I don't mean like the good kind of "take pride in your work, do it the best you can" I mean the kind that leads you to driving away your family and friends and being misrable becuase you are sure you are better then all of God's other creatures.
As I read you post this morning it was truly a confirmation that I need to work harder at not juding other and definatly if I have keeping my mouth shut about it.
Don't judge me for my spelling/grammer ;-)

Anonymous said...

My kids are all grown and gone and SHOULD be having kids of their own. I LOVE reading your blog cuz at one time or another everything your kids do 1 or another of my 3 DID! (1boy,2girls) And it's really fun to remember! And even tho I miss it I'm happy it's over - and why can't they have some kids so I can say 'you did the same thing when. . .'??!! A friend who I traded babysitting with when our kids were small (her 3 girls) once told me that every one of mine was just full of piss&vinegar and that they did things hers would never even think of doing and she didn't know how I did it. HA!

Cheryl said...

Dawn,

I think you're kids are the cutest brats ever!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Just kidding. You're kids are cute though. I always feel bad for a mom for the screaming kid in the grocery store. Been there! Done that!

Janet said...

Thank you for posting that. I doubt that the offender recognizes herself, but hopefully someone else does. I think we all judge at some point. The trick is to catch yourself as you are doing it and feel remorse about it and apologize.

I try to catch other people when they do it. When I catch someone judging another person in front of me I try to remember to let them know that they have no idea what the circumstances are.

I only have one child (not by choice, but God hasn't blessed me like he's blessed you), and I pray every day for at least one more. I don't judge you. I envy and admire you. I'm sure I'm not the only one. I hope that it helps to know that there are people out there like me. There are probably more like me than there are like her. Keep writing.

GEMMERZZ said...

great post! and let's be honest... who would read your blog if all you did was talk about perfect well-behaved children? that would be quite boring and would lack about 90% of the pictures you post! ;)

thank you for "keeping it real".

Anonymous said...

Amen! I have 4 children ages 5 and under...enough said!

realworldmartha said...

It's a shame (but nothing new) that we want to put others down to build ourselves up. If we would only take the time to realize all God has for us (personally) then we may not have as much to worry about in others.

Anonymous said...

Dawn, all I can say is "Amen!" I only have one child, who is really well behaved for the most part, but does have his moments. Kids have their bad days as well, but don't always understand the best way to express their feelings (hence the tantrums!) I now look at a kid throwing a fit and their parent with new eyes.

Anonymous said...

Its easy to parent other people's children isn't it? h ha Just think of all the fun you are having with your wild, wonderful bunch, all that great material for your blog! I have 4 under 5 and some days i think it would be nice if they were a little more passive. And then i remind myself, God made them the way they are for a reason, and some day we will know that reason! Keep up the good work, and don't let the turkeys get you down!

rose, aaron, gavin & hayden said...

i just have two words in response to this one:

AMEN SISTER!!!!!!!!

Candi said...

"Lazy" parenting may actually be better described as "relaxed" parenting. Thank God for relaxed parents who allow a child to experiment, question, and grow into their own person; instead of deciding who their child should be and insist they conform to that mold. I would be out of work - but many people would be happier and bear fewer scars. In 20+ years of working with fractured people, I have seen those who either loved their children and raised responsible adults; those who loved their children but had no foundation (or had lost their foundation) from which to train their own children and those who loved themselves more than they loved their children and left the kids making choices and decisions without guidance, thereby producing disfunctional (Ill-equipped)adults. What I have not observed is parents who truly loved their children but were simply too lazy to be parents.

hmmommyof2 said...

Amen!!!!!!I only have 2 kids, a boy who is 5 and a girl who is 3. For me my boy is laid back, loves to learn, willing to help and yes he does have his "days". My girl watch out she is the wild child and its her way or the highway. My brother has 4 kids ages 2, 4, 5 and 6 and my sister in law and I were just talking about how much we are amazed that our oldest and our youngest act just alike. Like it has something to do with the birth order but no matter what every child is different. I think you are doing a great job and I love to read your blog and most of the time while I'm reading I'm saying geez that sounds like my house. To the women with the "perfect" kids, your day will come. What goes around comes around!!!!!!!!!!

Christine said...

Dawn, I read your blog all the time and I have never posted a comment before but this post really compelled me to respond.

I only have 1 child so far (he's 18 months old), but after having him my whole perspective changed. Before Chase was born my husband and I had our views of parenting and what was right and what was wrong. One thing we always said was, "No WAY will our child sleep in our bed. That's just wrong." Well, we were blessed with a baby who would only sleep if someone was holding him. We ended up having to buy a co-sleeper for our bed. Tongue bitten. ;)

Since then I have realized there is no right way and there are no perfect parents. Every time a friend of mine announces she's pregnant and says, "I'm going to be calling you every night for help!" my response is always, "Are you kidding? I STILL have no idea what I'm doing!" And I probably never will. But that's one of the joys of parenting, in my opinion. You can only plan so much. The rest you have to figure out as you go along and adapt to your child's specific needs.

Anyway, thanks for putting this out there. Hopefully it will change other perspectives, too!

Anonymous said...

Thank you.
I hate being judged when people don't know my kids or what goes on in my house, or when I hear the gossip about others kids. I also find my self judging others. (I am guilty and I am sorry) I will be trying harder not to judge other mommas (and daddies)

Domestic_Diva said...

Thank you Dawn, not only are you 100% right, but the video at the end reminded me of someone who sent me "hate" mail about one of my blogs recently, I almosted posted that same vid! lol I think we should all realize we're in this together, and instead of trying to tear each other down, we should help each other out, or at the very least, cut each other some slack. Being a Mom ain't for sissies! It's tough stuff!

Shellie said...

Oh, AMEN!!!! When people give me that look or make bright comments, I just secretly wish them quadruplets.

Tiffany said...

I'm obviously not the only one that truely understands what you mean. I recently had to take my toddler on a plane for the first time. I was by myself because my husband is deployed to Iraq and of course my son did NOT enjoy the plane ride plus that morning was the begining of a cold. I was getting some dirty looks - even from other moms! I wanted to cry because I didn't want to hear him scream either - probably more than they didn't cause at least they got to get off the plane - he had to come home with me! It just makes me so mad becuase I'm doing the best I can and have been doing it by myself for over a year and to see people judging me as a bad mom made me want to hit them and tell them exactly what I'm sacrificing so that my husband can protect their right to be jerks to his wife! People should look to themselves when seeing someone else act out because no one is perfect!

Karos said...

People who think their children are entirely reflections of *themselves* and their mad parenting skillz will have a rude awakening a-comin' when those same children become brooding, openly defiant teenagers in rebellion to the dictatorships and physical punishment to which they've been subjected.

It truly is a matter of luck, children's varying personalities, and how warm, caring and nurturing and secure an environment you want for your kids. Oh yes, well there is some skill and heart and good parenting in there, and I have never seen anything in your blog Dawn that would make me believe you are anything but a good parent.

I say if somebody is distressed by the gritty reality that 87.5% of the rest of households live and breathe at least semi-regularly that they go find another blog written by a Mombot all about her kidbots. Good luck with that. But far less entertaining.

Also? Curse you now I have the Coke song and many nostalgic scenes that include things like banana seat bikes and rainbow ponchos running through my head.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Brilliant post.
And as I came upon the video, unable to see the picture, something inside hoped maybe it would be the coke commercial-- how funny is that?!

Megryansmom said...

Ahhh yes, the perfect children. I had them, oh so sweet and well behaved. But God has a sense of humor and he sent me a grandson that is into everything he shouldn't be. Dawn I think we go the wrong kid and he should be living at your house. Yesterday, he threw a ball into the toilet, stuck, no way out. Good thing his uncle is a plumber, he comes to fix it tomorrow. Today, he locks himself in his room and can't get the door unlocked. I can't find the little sardine can key and a screwdriver wouldn't work. I had to remove the doorknob! He's only TWO!!! So for those opinionated people, I say, be afraid, be very afraid, because no matter how perfect your kids are, there's always grandkids to look forward to. So SHADDUP!!!!

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