Judge not (especially not other breeders)
I work at being as non-judgmental as possible, particularly of other women who have pushed a Thanksgiving turkey-sized human out of a portal in their body only large enough for a parakeet. But when that kid in my son's kindergarten class walked in with the homemade project that looked as if it had been constructed by Martha Stewart on a particularly strong dose of steroids, I felt myself getting a little bit of a ‘tude.
In fact, I was so steamed, I was ready to run home and write a scathing article about parents who do their children's homework for them. Who was this mother who was trying to pass off the exquisitely decoupaged Lenape Indian village as her 6-year-old daughter's work? In the two minutes it took for the class to line up, I had already decided that the dame was probably also a pre-masticator, a butt-wiper and a socks put-er on-er.
I'm quite sure that none of this vitriol stemmed from my comparing her glorious creation to the lopsided and unrecognizable mass that my own offspring was lugging into class. Ahem.
Soon afterward, I invited the mom and her daughter over for a playdate in an attempt to get to know the real person as opposed to the one I had created and crucified in my head. And as you may have guessed, she didn't pre-chew her kid's Goldfish or accompany her to the toilet. In fact, she was lovely. A visual artist, which accounted for the hyper-fabulous diorama, she was also quite self-aware. At one point when talking about her relationship with her own mother, she said "I'm probably too involved in my kids' lives, but my mom was never around. She wasn't interested in our activities or our schoolwork. I was pretty much raised by our housekeeper. So I know I overcompensate."
Well, after that she could have put her daughter's socks on with her teeth and I still would have given her a hug.
This is not about right or wrong, or whether I think parents should be heating up their glue guns to do their kids' school projects. This is about me thinking that I know what's going on with that mom who wears her pajamas to school drop-off, or the one who looks like she would scratch my eyes out with her NailArt, or the super skinny one with the gray teeth, or even the mom with the giant tattoos of her twins on her back, one on each shoulder blade.
So unless I'm willing to put in the time and care to find out what's really going on, I'm not going to put in the time for critical thoughts, sideways glances and judgment.We breeders need to have each other's backs, regardless of whether that back is covered in a hand-knitted organic wool poncho, a moisture wicking tennis outfit, or a technicolor tatt.