Earlier this week I saw a great post called The SanctiMommy about how other mothers judge you as a mom. Give it a read ... it might just hit a nerve. I was thinking about this phenomenon in the context of raising the kids with food allergies and it has made for some interesting circumstances.
On the one hand, there is the time I was giving Little Guy potato chips at the grocery store in order to keep him occupied, happy and less likely to pull the displays down. Out of the corner of my eye I see another mom looking at me with that face. The face that so obviously says "how can she give him fatty potato chips? can't she at least give him pretzels?" I so wanted to slap her upside the head and say "NO, I cannot give him pretzels since he is allergic to wheat!" But in order to avoid jail time, I chose to ignore her. I was unfairly hit with the judgement of the SanctiMommy.
On the other hand, one day I was dropping Big Guy off at preschool and, following my usual routine, I checked with the teacher to see what the other parent brought in for snack that day for all the kids. I had to do this to see if Big Guy could eat it ... much of the time he could not, so the teacher would give him one of the snacks I brought in earlier in the year. No one made a big deal about it, he just ate something else.
On this day, I was told that the snack was mini-Twix bars. I quietly told the teacher not to give it to Big Guy and instead give him a bag of Teddy Grahams. Then I overheard the mom who brought the snack tell her husband, "She won't let her son eat our snack! She thinks its not healthy enough." So she thought I was being a SanctiMommy and wouldn't loosen up and let my son eat a candy for snack. Umm, NO! He is allergic to milk and can't eat your candy. I wish he could, but he can't. Of course, I did not go up to her and tell her. Maybe I should have. Instead I was just pissed.
In both situations people judged my actions with my kids based on their assumptions. They didn't know me or my kids. They thought they knew what I should be doing, but they had no clue. For me, it all goes back to the old cliches ... "don't judge a book by its cover" or the one about walking a mile in someone else's shoes. I guess they are cliches because they are so true (and I think even saying that is a cliche!)
In the end, we are all trying to do the best we can with our kids. I wish we could try to be more supportive of each other rather than judgmental.
Okay, I am done with my rant/soapbox diatribe.