Judging others. We do it so often that much of the time we don’t even realize we’re doing it. Better yet are the judgements we make about others by observation as we tell ourselves and perhaps even share with others that we would not do such-and-such if in that situation. Never is this more true than when we witness our fellow human(s) deal with their offspring. Disclosure: I am indeed guilty myself of such internal actions I’m embarrassed to say.
On that introductory note, welcome to the world of “I-ate-my-judgement” as I did a couple of things in the past week with my son T.A. that I harshly thought I would never do as I saw others in the past.
My son is approaching the 2-year-old milestone age marker within weeks and as he is actively vying for his independence he is also still very needy in terms of the physical and intellectual attention he requires of me on a constant basis throughout our days together. Therefore I was worn down this past week as I’ve found myself progressively falling behind on administrative and maintenance tasks that fall in my “CEO of the Home” job description.
“Why I Ate My Words/Thoughts”
It was Thursday afternoon and we were at my mother’s house again as we usually visit once a day to tend to my 3 egg-laying hens and the garden we have on her land. Among our other activities there, I assist in the general maintenance of the lawn and foliage at my mom’s property. It’s South Florida and our summer has begun along with the super speedy grass habits that require almost weekly grass-cutting. Her lawn needed help and my younger brother had squeezed in a half-done lawn job with his crazy work schedule.
I took a look at my mom’s lawn, another look at my son as he was tagging along with his needy whines and then glanced over at the garage housing the Craftsman lawn tractor. If you haven’t guessed already, I scooped up my son and placed him on the seat in my lap–yes, I took my son along for the ride as I operated that lawn tractor to cut the rest of the lawn. I was almost instantly haunted by my many previous judgemental thoughts and words. My actions that day fulfilled the very opposite of what I had proudly declared for myself: “I would never endanger my child by taking him/her on a riding lawn mower, what parent would do that? blah, blah…”
Thankfully, I relaxed on the mental guilt trip a bit enough to actually enjoy the experience with my son as I communicated with him what we were doing , things we saw along the way and why it was important that he stay with me at all times around that piece of equipment and so on. He did really well and was excited to share in his talk/babble/sound re-enactments later on to family as to the ride he took with “Mama” and even the next day he told me as he pointed to the grass that we had “vvvvvvmmm” ‘d the lawn. Personally, it felt good to actually get something done that day that served both my son and the duties I have…I couldn’t help but think that our women ancestors pre-Industrial era had to weave their daily duties to their families along with their immediate children (note: most mothers have always “worked” before the 20th century).
I wish that this little experience of mine could help me to avoid judging others in my mind and heart but unfortunately that seems to be one of my personal struggles in this life journey. It’s like an automatic program that runs without my conscientious consent at times but thankfully we do encounter moments of karma-turnabout like my riding lawnmower story that help to ground us before we judge too quickly.