What you do see
What you do see is just a snippet. A tiny, little piece of time in our day. Yet you sit there, making assumptions and being all Judgy McJudgy Pants while my kids play happily, paying no mind to your condescension. Yes, you see me scrolling Facebook, typing messages, and emailing all the while keeping an eye on my kids. Again, as they play happily ignorant of your increasing frustration at what you label my, “bad parenting.” You see my children sharing. You see my children smiling. You see my children greeting others with kind words and smiles. All of this is going on, but you are missing it, caught up in your own thoughts. Yes, even when I’m on my phone, I can see it.
What you don’t see
What you don’t see is that I am actually working. That I am using the time, while my children are playing, to financially contribute to my family. What you don’t see is that I work while my kids are happily playing so that I can be home, so that I can snuggle with my children extra long in the morning, so that I can be there to kiss their boo-boos. Those few minutes of what you see and condemn me for, allows me to be the stay-at-home-parent that God calls me to be.
What you don’t see is that despite living with a chronic illness, I can still contribute to my family financially and emotionally. Working on my phone, during that snippet in time that you judge me for, allows me the freedom to go to countless doctor’s appointments and be at every game. What you don’t see are the times that I push through my own overwhelming joint pain and teach my children to read, to count, and to be compassionate.
While you sit there
While you sit there, huffing and puffing with your exasperated sighs about the “state of the world today,” and “our dependence on electronics,” I’ll be quietly tucking my children into bed tonight, singing them their songs, and teaching them to pray. The whole while knowing that my children are not neglected, and I am right here where they need me to be.
What you don’t see is that I can tell you, with a simple glance, what is going on in my children’s heads. I can tell you what they dreamt about last night and what they ate for lunch. Because I am there, I’m the first one they see in the morning and the last one they see before bed. I fix their meals and play games with them. I am blessed to be the one to teach my children, to be the one who kisses their tears away, and hold them when they are scared, all. day. long.
So much more that you don’t see
Sure, I’m not hovering over them every single second. I’m balancing my time to work with my time to play as best as I can. I’m not waiting with baited breath to address their every need. That is not my job. My job is to teach my children how to be independent, how to think for themselves, and how to be strong when life is hard.
So yes, it may not appear as if I am “cherishing every moment” or “engaging with my children” there is so much more that you don’t see. Yes, you see me scrolling Facebook and typing on my phone. I know you are busy judging me, I see you. But what you don’t see is so much more important.
So while you are standing there, judging my from your pedestal on high, take a moment to think about what you don’t see.
Of course, like most moms, I struggle with my own Mom Guilt. I feel like there is always more that I can do, that somehow I’m managing to mess up this whole tough mom thing. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. But like you too, I’m sure, we are both just doing the best that we can. Perhaps if we had a little less judgement in the world, we would all be much better off.
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