There has been a lot going in my life, my family and the lives of my friends this year. A spectrum of happy stories and not-so-happy ones. The one resounding thing I have learnt from the year has been: we are all very good at judging each other.
We all know better. Have the better answer. Make better decisions and all-in-all rock this life thing better than most people. What’s more, we know how to rock the lives of other people better than they do themselves.
Even passing something off as “it is not for me” or “that is just the way it is” is some sort of passive belittling judgement. Sometimes I feel unwillingly submerged in it. Sometimes I find myself nodding along simply because that is how the conversation is going or the only way even the conversation can go.
It has given me much to think about as scenarios and situations play out in front of me. It has also given me reason to think about the way I manage my parenting. And by manage I really mean, what I share with the world through my blog posts and my articles when it comes to parenting. Lately I don’t want to share so much.
Not because I am afraid of the judgement. But because as my boys get older I am finding it hard to disassociate their story from my story. They are very much intertwined. Which makes me feel that sharing their story may sometimes betray their right to choose to share their story.
As babies I didn’t give the idea of them having a voice a second thought. Which in itself is crazy. Early motherhood, early parenting is all consuming like that. A selfish one-way mirror. But they definitely have a voice now. A voice I am very careful of sharing.
There will be times when I can dissociate the story into two: their side and mine. I will share those moments. Until then I will write about other things. And all the time I will become better, or at least more aware of the judgement. Of friends, of family, of complete strangers on the internet. Of their life, of their parenting, of what they choose to share and how much of that is the whole story.
Be kind: it is simple and works every-single-time. Often you will think you know better. Most of the time you won’t. Often you will think you know the whole story. Most of the time you wouldn’t even know a fraction. So exercise caution and move forward knowing that you can most certainly learn and better your life from the actions of others, but they are not play dough for you to mould. Not even your children.
So that is my secret. I have been slipping more into silence about some things, even when I have volumes to say. For sometimes it is just not my place. It takes a great deal of understanding and self-acceptance to manage that, but it often leads to better things, more than any judgement or knowing better ever will.
Do you share all of your story?
Can we manage judgement better in our lives?