I feel compelled to share a little story with you, especially being knee-deep in mama season which can include a whole lotta judgement. So I invite you to sit back, relax and use your imagination.
A woman picked a perfect spot on a park bench to enjoy a beautiful and peaceful fall day. Birds were chirping, kids were laughing at the nearby playground and there weren’t many people around. She worked long hours so having a free day to find peace and quite was rare, so she intended to take full advantage. She opened the book she brought along, settled in and began to read.
During a very interesting plot twist, she felt something hit the back of her head. A child had thrown some dirt at her and ran off. Considering the day she was having, she felt a tinge of annoyance but let it go. She brushed the dirt out of her hair and looked around to see the kiddo was with their father and two younger siblings.
At first, she felt sympathy for him. But after witnessing that he was distracted and disciplining them wasn’t his priority, sympathy turned into annoyance, frustration and eventually she disregarded his ability to father.
She wanted to continue reading, but in-between the pages she could see that the father had lost all control. One child was pulling a girl’s hair on the playground, the toddler was eating mulch off the ground and the oldest was terrorizing everyone around. She sat there in disbelief – but brushed it off again, and started reading.
A couple was enjoying a picnic near her bench – close enough to hear them, but not close enough to hear their conversation. Out of no where, she hears the girl scream and stand up. The child had thrown a bunch of dirt on the couple and their food.
She had had enough. Being a mother of four, she understood that kids can be kids but she also knew the importance of discipline. She debated saying anything to the father or just walking away. Then, she saw him grab his kiddo and run over to the couple.
Authentically apologetic, he explained that he had just lost his wife, their mother, days before and this was the first time they had gotten out of the house since her funeral.
Feel that kick in the gut? I did too. So this goes out to all of us – whether quick to judge or not.
I love this little saying from my mom – “Thank God it isn’t my place to judge, that is for Him only.” Doesn’t that take a lot of stress off you?!
Full disclosure: I heard a similar story the other day and made it my own. Not because their version wasn’t good, but because I couldn’t remember the details…and I enjoy writing! So if you have heard something similar, know that I was inspired by…and not trying to steal the idea!