As mommies (humans?), part of our job is to judge other people’s parenting, as well as lives in general. Disagree with me? Think that you are non-judgmental? Maybe I’m being judgmental, but I think you are a liar. We are all guilty of judging others at one time or another:
Six-year-old kid with a pacifier?
Isn’t he a little too old for that?
Feeding their kids sugary cereals?
No wonder the kid has cavities!
Kid throwing a tantrum in the middle of the toy store?
They probably never say no to their kids. Entitled brat.
Whether or not we ever vocalize these thoughts, they somehow pop up like little mean-bubbles in our overworked mommy brains. We don’t mean to judge (or maybe we do?), but it can’t be helped. I think we are hardwired to, upon witnessing a situation, decide how we would have handled it differently (read: better). It’s just the nature of the parenting beast.
Leave it to Bravo, purveyor of such tantalizing treats as Top Chef (my fave show) and Real Housewives of ____________ (my least fave TV franchise), to exploit our desire to judge other parents by creating a reality show allowing us to do just that! The new series (air date TBD) is called “Extreme Guide to Parenting” (working title, I should add), and according to the press release it will follow “parents who practice unique styles of raising their children. Each episode will give a candid inside look at two separate households with very different forms of parenting—and each family strongly believes their methods are the perfect model for raising successful children.” A few examples they give of the to-be-featured parenting styles are “fiercely competitive, parents who enroll their children in Mandarin Chinese courses before they can spell” and “New Age, parents who raise their children with techniques that complement their child’s aura.”
“Whether you have kids or you’re stuck next to the screaming child on a plane, judging other people’s parenting is a guilty pleasure. We all love to do it,” said Eli Lehrer, VP of development for Bravo, in the release. “The series explores all manners of eccentric ways parents raise their kids, and we’ll let the viewer be the judge of how they’re doing.”
DING DING DING! That right there is the hope on which the network is pinning its ratings—that not only will we get to unleash our judgmental fury on these sub-par parenting specimens, but we’ll be able to do so from the comfort of our own couch, ensconced in sweatpants and our rattiest T-shirt (please don’t judge!). Genius.
Although I keep my reality television viewing to a minimum (Top Chef being my only indulgence and, let’s be honest, it’s actually a good show!), I will gladly tune in to this show with my claws bared and my Twitter page fired up to get my live-tweet on (@robinraskin). I have never claimed to be non-judgmental so this should be a rip-roaring good time for all. Just promise not to live-tweet my live-tweeting, because I don’t think I could handle that kind of insta-judgment.
You know how this column is called “See Mom Run”? Yeah … For the past month it should have been called “See Mom Sit On Her Fat Ass And Eat.” Ugh.
It went like this: Thanksgiving -> Week-long Cruise -> Christmas Chinese Food -> New Years -> Any other excuse to shove food in my mouth … and the pounds just crept back on. Top it off with the fact that my gym membership has expired and I’ve decided not to re-up (being unemployed and having a gym membership are, in fact, mutually exclusive) and I’m all sorts of off track and unhappy with myself.
Giving up the gym membership seems to really have thrown me for a loop. For a solid year, going to the gym was my thing. I loved it. I could drop my kids off at the kids’ club and know that they were safe and happy for an hour. I could pick one of many classes off of the schedule and get a serious sweat on. I was in great shape for the first time in my entire life and, for someone who needs to get out of the house in order to exercise, it was a great scenario. Being gym-membership-less made me feel like I’m missing a limb, and I decided that if I couldn’t work out where I wanted to, I might as well just forget the whole thing and eat my face off. Solid and very mature decision-making on my part.
But then I got sick of myself and my clothes not fitting and decided to get back on track. I dusted off my good ol’ Jillian Michaels Shred DVD, hopped on the semi-broken elliptical trainer in my bedroom, and started doing Zumba with the awesome Bucks County Zumba Girls. If I can’t be with the one I love, I’m gonna have to love the one I’m with, right? The goal: lose seven pounds in six weeks. Wish me luck!
Robin Raskin lives with her family in Bucks County. She blogs Thursdays on Be Well Philly. Catch up with the series here.