One of this week’s blogging prompt over at BritMums was to write about one of the seven deadly sins. For those of you who need a reminder, they are: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony.
I’ve just started reading 50 Shades of Grey and was toying with the idea of writing about lust but a) I hope Mushroom reads this blog one day so perhaps that isn’t appropriate and b) something happened today that made me think about pride. So, pride it is…
This afternoon Mushroom and I were playing in the local park. He has just learned how to kick a ball and we were playing football. Sort of. After about 15 minutes he got a bit fed up and ran over to the bandstand where another boy was running around in circles. The boy was a lot bigger than Mushroom but, as it turned out, he was only 2. Mushroom just wanted to follow him around and do everything he did so I let him, for the most part, and had a chat with the child’s Mum. She was complaining that the local nurseries ‘are no good.’ I told her that Mushroom goes to a good local nursery and she frowned when I told her which one. ‘Really? But they don’t do anything with the children!’ I said that her comment surprised me, as Mushroom is always coming home with artwork, or sometimes something he has ‘helped’ to bake, and that they do a lot of structured play during the day. She was less than impressed. ‘They don’t teach them to stand in a line, or sleep in a row, or anything! They just play all day!’ This was when I realised that this Mother and I are worlds apart. Firstly, they do learn to stand in line and take turns – it’s probably not listed as something they ‘teach,’ as it’s just part of the socialisation process. They also do learn to sleep in a row. As for the fact they ‘play’ all day? Well, they’re just children! She didn’t seem to believe anything I told her about the nursery so I decided just to drop it. I wasn’t enjoying her company much by now but Mushroom was still following her son around so I just let her talk some more and stayed quiet.
After a while, her son jumped down from the bandstand and ran through a muddy puddle – as kids do – at which she ran over to him, grabbed his arm and shouted in his face ‘If you do that again I will slap you in your face!’ She half turned to me with smile on her face. Perhaps I was misreading her but it looked to me like pride. I wasn’t about to ask. Her son didn’t seem bothered by the threat but he did immediately move from the puddle.
I don’t know whether judgement is considered a sin but it is something I usually try to avoid, however, in this instance, I judged her. I judged her parenting style and didn’t like it and I felt proud of the way I am parenting Mushroom. I have never hit him, or threatened to hit him, and I don’t intend to. I would hope that if I ever did, it would be to protect him from impending danger and that I would apologise and explain afterwards. I certainly wouldn’t even think about hitting him in his face.
What do you think? Am I wrong to judge? Obviously there is a lot about this woman I don’t know – perhaps she was doing what has been done to her in the past and doesn’t know any different. Maybe her pride was in her son’s good behaviour rather than her threat of discipline… I know all this and yet, I judged her and if I’m honest I still do. Would you/have you hit your child? Do you ever compare yourself to others and feel pride in your parenting? I’d love to hear your views so please do comment below!