But the end of the school year is especially tough for parents because it’s been a long year of rushed mornings and rushed homework and unexpected sick days and drama-filled tales from the playground and PTA requests and calls home and conflict about dress codes and testing and standards and on and on. Much of this is out of our control and we are left to react or respond after-the-fact. Some of it is larger than our children or our school or our town. But the whole judging each other thing is totally in our hands and heads.
Other people may say mean things or roll their eyes or condemn your parenting choices. And that’s on them. I could go into all the reasons others may feel obliged to publicly comment on others’ parenting choices, but there’s no need. What you and I have control over is how we respond and how much we allow in.
So when a parent who hates crafting makes fun of the cute treats and trinkets you created for the class, smile and know the kids think they are amazing. When another parent raises an eyebrow because you showed up late (or couldn’t make it) to the class play, know that your child will love telling you all about what you missed — complete with elaborate detail.
When you say YES every time the PTA asks for your time and someone rolls her eyes and calls you a busy-body, shrug and know that the we all really, really appreciate your willingness. When you say NO every time the PTA asks for your time and someone smirks and sighs, know that we all really, really understand that it’s not what everyone can or wants to do.
And when the parent who is doing everything you wish you could or would or wanted to looks up and smiles, just smile back. And if that parent looks up and grimaces or looks about to burst into tears, smile back.
Know that we are all just doing the best we can — and that might change from day to day. Other people’s judgement (real or perceived) can’t hurt you unless you let it in. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself.