Juniper Files: Don’t Judge Me

Juniper Files: Don’t Judge Me
April 26, 2016 3 Comments For Authors, Writing Advice Amanda Hester

Grocery Shopping With Kids

beeki / Pixabay

Ok, let me set the scene for you: I’m in the grocery store checkout line with my three minions. At the time they were 9, 10, and 12. If you’re a mom, you probably already know where this is going. Did I mention my girlie has bipolar disorder, ADHD, and ODD? If you’re a mom raising a child with emotional disabilities, you feel my pain now. I have to watch her like a hawk. At 9 years old she was a runner. At 30, I was not.

Unless, of course, there were cupcakes involved. But she usually ate them anyway. So, I am standing in line amongst all the strategic impulse buy shelves and repeating a small prayer of safe passage.

And Then It Happens

And then I see it. The look. The “I-just-spotted-the-one-thing-in-the-checkout-line-I-can’t-live-without” look. It doesn’t matter that we’ve already had the “I’m not buying anything extra. /Yes, mommy, I understand.” talk. There’s a storm brewing and I have knots in my stomach.

“Mo-om?” Crap. “Can I, please get (Insert any item here, because, who are we kidding? It doesn’t matter what it is)? Please, I asked nicely.

“No.” I answer nicely like that’s really going to matter, and then I wait. Next comes the begging, to which I calmly reply ‘No’. Then comes negotiating. (I don’t know about you, but I do not like to negotiate after ‘no’.) I proceed to remind her that we are not buying anything extra and explain why, if applicable (like, moms broke).

And then? The dreaded meltdown. Only for us, this is a daily occurrence.

Let The Judgment Commence

ArtsyBee / Pixabay

I’m going to pause in my POV here, because as we speak, Supermom two lanes over, is giving me that look.  You know the one. The “can’t-you-control-your-kid-some-people-shouldn’t-be-allowed-to-procreate” look. I have a few choice words in mind for her, but I stop and think. Ok, from her point of view, how does this look? What is she really seeing? A (not so little) girl throwing a (pretty loud and heartbreaking) tantrum. An obviously way too young mom, barely paying attention, giving said child seemingly vague responses, at irregular intervals. Two bored looking siblings, tagging along and apparently oblivious to their little sister’s fit.

Ok, back to my POV (because truly Supermom can bite me). I know that by following this routine (that we do almost daily) she will be sniffling as we leave the line (and will ask for a hug or other tactile affection) and she will be calm by the time we reach the car. Our ride home will be peaceful and she won’t even remember what she asked for. (Yes, this last part totally confounds me, but, whatever.)

Now, if I decided that appeasing Supermom with my totally awesome mood adjusting powers was my first priority, all hell would break lose. Think I’m kidding? She has to work through her desires and emotions just like the above scenario. If I were to try and intervene in any other way, or heaven forbid, use my “I’m The Boss Of You”  voice, she would, at the very least, run away from me (I sooo do not enjoy that game). Worst case scenario? Let’s just say “You break it, you buy it”. And then, the ride home? Yeah, there’s goes my daily ration of sanity and probably my dashboard…

I realize it is impossible to know exactly what the dynamics are when we encounter scenarios like this but I usually like to just give a stressed mom a small smile of solidarity.

So, Supermom, while I can totally see things from your point of view, mine just makes more sense. And, until you’ve been in my shoes, Don’t Judge Me.

[bctt tweet=”Have you ever wanted to explain yourself to judgy strangers?” username=”OurWriteSide”]

Until next time, scribe happy and stay sassy!


Amanda Hester Amanda Hester is the founder and CEO of Our Write Side. As an author, she enjoys writing in all genres and forms, even grocery lists. She is an artist and Wiccan who has an obsessive love of vampires, kilts, and blue butterflies. She is passionate about many topics and her posts are often laced with the snarky sense of humor one acquires from raising five teenagers, all at once. In her downtime, she can be found with her loving husband, Shawn, exploring the wilderness. She maintains her shreds of sanity with yoga, tea, and cats.
Leave Comment
  1. 3 Comments

    Adan Ramie

    I know the feeling. When that sort of thing happens with my autistic 6-year-old or ADHD 10-year-old, I take a deep breath, ignore the on-lookers, and deal with my kid my way. And when I see a kid flipping out in public, I usually give the parent a sympathetic smile, too. Sometimes it can make a parent’s day to see that at least one person on the planet isn’t judging you.

    1. 3 Comments

      A.L. Mabry

      I think that small act of compassion works both ways. I always feel a little bit better about the world when I can give a struggling mom that smile.


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