I know we are not supposed to judge our peers. We are not supposed to call others out on their faults. We are supposed to love God and one another. I know I believe that is the way to be closer to God. I believe in God. I believe he sent us his son to teach us, love us, forgive us. I know. Yet today, I sit here incredibly grateful for all I have in life, however, I am angry at a bad parent.
This parent on a regular basis puts the needs for himself, before his children. He regularly neglects to pay for basic needs such as doctor visits and is perfectly content in sending a such child off to be cared for by another parent because he doesn’t want to cancel the plans he already made. This parent chooses to spend money on frivolous things instead of on his responsibilities for his children. This parent rarely goes to parent meetings at school. This parent relys on other people to pay for repairs to his house instead of living within his means. This parent relys on others to give out information about school needs instead of taking a proactive role in his children’s education. This parent states that he can’t take a day off from work when children need tending to for illness or when school is out and daycare is closed but always seems to have enough PTO for things like Comic-con, Disneyland, and extra days around holidays when children are not there. This parent doesn’t prepare any meals at home and therefore rarely serves his children any fruit or vegetables. Almost never gives his children their daily medication when they are with him. This parent allows his child to dictate when and where they will eat or even IF. This parent thinks nothing of letting his child get soaking wet at night then walking them around in 50 degree weather outside for hours, while he shops. This parent believes it is perfectly okay to feed his child Doritos and churros as a meal for an entire day. This parent even after agreeing to plans says yeah well my child doesn’t want to do that so here, you can have him back.
At what point am I allowed to judge a parent like the one listed above? If it is a stranger, am I allowed to have feelings about this person? If it is one of my child’s friends parent? What about then? What if it is my child’s other parent? What if the children in the story I am talking about are MY children?
Well, the laws now state I am not allowed to judge him. Only a judge can do that and every parent deserves a chance to parent, even if they are bad at it. I mean com’mon, how bad can he be right? He’s not making crystal meth in his garage. Cut the guy a break, right?
What about moral court? If those are my children do I get to judge him morally for being a bad parent? But is he, really? Again, he’s not tying them up in the basement in a cage like those people on the news, so he’s okay. Right?
While I try not to judge there are times when the negatives just stack to tall and you have to do something, say something.
I have worked VERY hard, VERY hard at keeping the peace with my ex-husband for our children’s sake but this list you read above, this is just the top of the iceberg when it comes to him. Add on top of that all the judgement I get from him about my choices for their extra curricular activities, education, behavior and friends all the while he refuses to take an active role in helping guide these areas. For my children so they can be in a room with BOTH parents at the same time without fear or hesitation of what “might” happen, I bite my tongue. I bite my tongue a LOT.
Today though, today I couldn’t. I judged him. During this week when I had been asked to celebrate the holidays differently. To be grateful of all the wonderful blessings we have right in front of us. Well today I am grateful my children have ME. Today, I told him so. I went there without the kids and I talked to him. I asked him, HOW? How can you be like this with your kids? I don’t understand. Help me understand. He couldn’t. I knew he couldn’t. He is incapable of it. Yet, I did it anyway. I was not surprised by his response. I wasn’t even angry anymore when he looked at me not understanding what was wrong with what he did, leaving a freezing soaking wet child out in the cold like that having not eaten more than some chips and a churro all day. He didn’t even understand what was wrong with the fact that the cold wet tired hungry child had to call his mom to come find them where they were and beg me to take him home even though that wasn’t the plan for a multitude of reasons. He simply had no clue. That, that right there, that’s what makes him a bad parent. He doesn’t even TRY!
So, yes, I have judged and I am trying not to beat myself up over that choice. I am trying to choose forgiveness, but sometimes, that choice seems like too high a price to pay for the safety and well being of my children.
So today, we spent the day together, my children and I. They had a warm home, good well made food on the table. We sat down and watched a movie together we had wanted to see in the theatre, but there wasn’t money for. We popped some popcorn and enjoyed the show, in our jammies at home. We picked up our home together, we prepped food together preparing for our friends to come over tomorrow to celebrate the Thanksgiving feast.
This year we are closing in ranks and I did not invite their father. After all that I listed above I just can’t. He can have his time with them on his time, in his home, not mine. I’m still too angry that he is such a bad parent. Even then, he won’t understand why his daughter will text the whole time she wants to come home. He won’t see all his son wants to do is lock himself in his room and play video games until he gets home. But the law says, he gets his “time.”
I am grateful tonight that my children call this place, HOME!