I am sitting outside my daughter's first week of ballet class. She could not be more excited -- which is an understatement. As a normal, functioning human being I slightly fear her persistent pursuit of ballet, the theatre, and dance and all that will come with it -- and I'm not talking about the cost. I'm talking about the fellow mothers.
Right now, us mothers are hanging out outside our daughters' ballet class reading books, catching up on email, or in my case -- blogging about the other mothers. Joke.
One mother is a bit of hot mess -- which I say with great affection . . . of course. She has been at least 15-30 minutes late each day to class and is continually tripping over herself -- much in the same way I often trip over myself while in a scramble to survive life, or the next demand of my child.
Across the room is another mother. A bit more on the stern side, with her hair in a tight bun and perfectly ironed clothing. She has a serious-looking resting face, if you know what I mean. In turn, her appearance is the exact opposite of the Hot-Mess Mother.
I am sitting at a small table across from the Mother With the Bun, and observing her as she observes the Hot-Mess Mother. I am fascinated. The scowl and look of blatant criticism would make anyone paranoid enough to run.
But see, this whole week, the child of the Mother With a Bun left class several times with small tantrums. Her mother had to give her mini breaks through each class.
Then my child yesterday accidentally missed the toilet while using the restroom at class, creating a rather large puddle on the floor -- which the Mother With the Bun was present to witness.
Each of us have had our challenges this week as no child is perfect -- and none of us are perfect. But, no one is supposed to be perfect.
So today I sit here observing the Mother With the Bun, who is observing with judgment the Hot-Mess Mother and I can't help but laugh.
Being a mother in some respects has made me less judgmental. Sure, I watched the Mother With a Bun pour Gatorade into her child's water bottle yesterday and almost gasped -- sorry Gatorade-approved moms! -- but I also know I have given my child items in the past that have made others gasp.
We are all guilty of judging and of being judged. But, what do we gain from the judging? Perhaps a self-esteem boost. Perhaps the reassurance that we're better than someone else. Our need to judge comes from our ego. It's our mind's way of saying, "I have doubts about myself, but look at that woman over there -- she's way worse off than I am." We look for someone weaker to prey on.
The scowl across the room coming from the Mother With a Bun helps no one. I mean, it helps me -- it gave me a story to share with you all today. But, it isn't helping the Hot-Mess Mother. And sure, she's not exactly someone I'll become best friends with -- and I say this because I've talked with her enough times to know the chemistry isn't there, and that's ok -- but I also can see that she is a very sweet-natured individual, who loves her daughter and is trying her best.
So, next time you see a mother in need or struggling -- just give her a hug, a smile or a nod that says, "You've got this lady!" After all, Karma always comes back to get you!