Dear Guy at the WaWa : A Tale of Parent Shaming

As new parents, we are often confronted by strangers (and sometimes family and friends) who feel compelled to offer unsolicited advice or believe they can question our parenting methods. You may often encounter them at the grocery store, the community pool, or even in the mall shopping. My wife and I were questioned about our parenting skills in the got damn gas station. A usual place to be questioned about our parenting skills, right?…qtq80-m2eljU

Let me give you some background information about our trip to the gas station as it wasn’t only to get gas but also to reward KJ for not peeing/pooping on our floors the entire weekend. We were rewarding him with an Icee (he absolutely love Icees aka Slurpees or Slupees as he refers to them). After filling his kids cup with Slupee (yes, I know I spelled it wrong. Pay attention. It’s how the kid says it). We migrated to the counter to pay for our items and the gas. While at the counter, my son reaches for chips and says “Oh chips,” but to the untrained ear it sounds more like “oh sh!t.” I’m looking around at the people, who are in ear shot distance, to see the reactions. One guy says,”Did he just curse? I hope not…I wonder who he gets it from?” So here is my letter to him.

Dear Mr. Guy at the WaWa,

You may be a really nice guy outside of this situation; however, right now in this moment, you, sir, are the biggest dork in the world.

I do not need you to try and shame me for something you “think” you may have heard. I do not need you questioning my parenting skills or the well being of my child. Why may you ask?

Well. Let me start with the fact that since before he was born I questioned myself as a parent all the time. I would often wonder how I would raise this kid without messing him up. And some days, I still ask myself this question. I question the choices I make and how those choices could have an effect on my offspring. I question whether or not I am being to strict or lenient. I beat myself up when I can’t cook dinner and we have to run to the carry out to get food. I often ask myself if I am I doing what is needed to make him into a respectable successful young man when he gets older. I will admit that I will swear occasionally, but let’s face it how many parents don’t swear when they step on a Lego in the middle of the night or spill a cup full of freshly poured juice. Though I ask myself these questions, I can tell you right now that I am not a bad mother in any form or fashion.

So screw you, Guy in the WaWa! I question my own parenting so I definitely don’t need you nor anyone else doing it for me. I can care less about your inaccurate assumptions about our parenting skills, all because of what you THOUGHT you heard. It’s because of people such as yourself that we had to grow some tough skin and be okay with the decisions made by us. Unfortunately, somewhere out there is a mother who is extremely hard on herself about the decisions she is making as a mom. And she doesn’t need your judgement. Believe me, I know her because I was her.

So…the next time you decide to question someone’s parenting (or offer unsolicited advice), please don’t. Keep your comments to yourself, mind your business, and continue to wait patiently for your turn to pay for those nasty chips in your hand and your gas.

Sincerely,

Pleasantly Grumpy Mom

P.S.- He asked for chips and didn’t say “Oh sh!t”. That’s the reason we didn’t react to it.

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