This week while scrolling through good old Netmums, I found a thread titled “The four-year-olds who are still in pushchairs”.
I sat and questioned it. Are there four-year olds in pushchairs? Whats wrong with that? Perhaps they can’t walk?
It got me thinking about how we as parents always put a cut off age one everything yet we all like to point out that children do things at their own rate. It’s the same with crawling, standing, talking and more.
Why would you care if someone’s four year old is in a pushchair.
Lily is my first child, so I never really know what to expect, all I know is what age she has learnt to do things. Lily turned two in September, but hasn’t used a pushchair since the start of August. It wasn’t something I planned or thought about, it just sort of happened after weeks of taking it shopping, but her walking everywhere.
I no longer saw the point in it. We had been taking it for when she naps, but she has also dropped her daytime naps and the pushchair became redundant. There are children her age though who still use a pushchair. I’ve never thought that means they are behind or under developed, just they still need it.
I guess my main question is, why do we feel the need to judge other parents?
Admit it, you’ve done it. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we’ve all done it. Even when we’re pregnant we do it. We look at each others car seat, pushchair and feeding choices and judge. Surely if our children are being cared for, are safe and are healthy, it shouldn’t matter. It stems back to the great feeding debate. Whether breast or formula fed, sure what matters is that the child is being fed and growing well.
I’ll admit that there are some areas for which I am more than guilty of this. When I was growing up, my mum was practically obsessed with us being “dressed properly” and I have inherited that!
When I pick clothes for Lily, I try to avoid things like glitter transfer, sequins, anything that is associated with Barbie and most of all, tracksuits. I personally hate them and grew up with my mum refusing to let us wear them.
Sometimes I see children Lily’s age wearing these and I think “argh why would you buy that?!” then think, well if that’s what they like then why not? I’m sure there are people out there who hate the way I dress Lily, I know that amongst my friends i’m known as “the bitch mum” because I am quite strict with Lily. If she does something wrong, she is told it’s wrong and I have never really talked to her like a baby. As a result though, she is advanced with her speech and I like to think that maybe that has helped. You never know.
I used to really care what people thought of me. I remember when Lily was a newborn that someone commented on how I didn’t buy all these fancy toys for every month of development. I didn’t really have the money for it, but it made me feel like I was failing her. As time went on though, I found that Lily was “ahead of schedule” on her development and clearly not having these space age toys made no difference!
I’d love to know what you all think about parents judging each other. It’s something which happens all the time, yet we never really talk about it. What gives us the right to judge each other.