Feeling judged? Remember Thoughts are not Facts

It’s been one of those days.  I feel like that rubbish parent who some people cast a withering glance at before inwardly thinking ‘thank God that’s not me’ or something along those lines but possibly less sympathetic.  One thing’s for sure it certainly has NOT been easy to approach life following the principles of mindfulness today.

  • It was my two who were shouting and screaming so much on the school run that another Mum commented that she could hear them from all the way down the road.
  • It was my two who were beating each other up in the buggy (who knew hair could be pulled so effectively in a side-by-side buggy?!) so the screaming carried on all the way to the playground.
  • It was my two who were running amok at playgroup frequently having to be told to use their ‘gentle hands’ as they battled with other toddlers who dared to get in their way.
  • It was my two who refused to sit at the table in the cafe, instead setting up camp on the floor and then running around screaming ‘no’ at me whenever I tried to persuade them to eat some lunch.
  • I was the woman pushing a screaming child in a pushchair while nearly dropping carrying another screaming child who refused to get into the pushchair around the streets of Lewisham when most toddlers would have been napping
  • I was the woman abandoning the buggy in the middle of aisles in Sainsburys so I could quickly ‘grab’ things to get the clearly upset children out of the shop as quickly as possible.

Basically I was the woman who felt judged today…. ALL DAY.  By other parents, by teachers, waitresses, by shop assistants, by other shoppers.  Put simply by the general public of south-east London.

If anyone had cared to listen I would have told them that toddler twins are great but TOUGH when they’re both ‘on one’ and I’m sorry but I really don’t have eyes in the back of my head especially as we’re all a bit grumpy having been up since about 5am each morning this week.   I might also add that I’m tired after a half term of teaching teenagers, that twin 2 is refusing to eat her meals holding out for snacks and so I’m trying to be more mean disciplined trying to wean her off her diet of Pombears, oatcakes and bananas.  Oh and my final defence would be that we have work going on at home today which makes it difficult to just ‘hang out’ in our own space because of the twins’ curiosity in all things sharp and heavy.

And yet when I have time to give myself a little time and space and show myself some self-compassion this mindfulness mantra pops into my head:

thoughsnotfacts.png

So what does this mean?

It means that the parents who I thought were annoyed by the antics of my little ones may have just been thinking ‘there’s another toddler acting like er…..well….. a toddler’.

It means that the teachers at the school gates probably weren’t even paying attention to my little ones writhing around trying to climb out of their buggy.  Instead they were probably just nodding and smiling away to parents on auto-pilot while thinking about their holidays and how well-deserved they are because they’re feeling bloody knackered.

It means that the waitresses who I thought were cursing me under their breath for being a  bad mother may well have been thinking ‘oooh those kids are being a bit loud today, but they’re usually fairly sweet, they must be having a bad day’.

It means that the shop assistants who in my mind condemned me and my children as being a ‘nightmare family’ were almost certainly thinking more along the lines of ‘here’s another harassed mother trying to get in and out of the shop as quickly as possible’.

It means that the other shoppers who  I believed were immensely irritated by my screaming children and massive buggy were probably not really tuned into their volume or the space we were taking up at all.

Ok so SOME people may have judged me and my family today.  SOME people may even have wished we hadn’t chosen the same cafe as them to have our lunch in but I’m pretty sure that, contrary to my imaginings, the whole of south-east London is not talking about that horrendous mother and her feral twin toddlers.

Clearly my thoughts ran away with me today.  However in a more mindful moment I am able to reflect and remember that these thoughts are just my thoughts, not the universal truth.  The more we remind ourselves of this mantra the less judged we will all hopefully feel.

The Pramshed
My Random Musings
This Mum's Life
One Messy Mama
Tammymum
One Messy Mama
My Random Musings

66 Comments

  1. October 22, 2016 / 8:52 am

    What a wonderful read! I struggle so much to focus on the positive and not the negative. I think when you are in that moment with two children driving you mad it’s hard to see light at the end of the tunnel but you have given a fresh perspective! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • October 23, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      Ah thank you and so pleased the post has given a fresh perspective. x

  2. October 22, 2016 / 9:22 am

    Very true. Its easy to let our imagination run wild whilst having a bad day. So many days I think everyone is watching and judging as the kids play up and really most either haven’t noticed or are just thinking ‘that was my kids the other day!’

    • October 23, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      You’re so right Helen. Thanks for commenting. x

  3. aliduke79hotmailcom
    October 22, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    The thoughts and judgments of these people are often not worth thinking about at all. I just try to carry on and not worry about what others are doing or thinking.
    #fortheloveofBLOG

    • October 23, 2016 / 9:26 pm

      Yep and often are artificial projections of our own anyway! Thanks for commenting x

  4. October 22, 2016 / 8:00 pm

    That is a very good way of thinking. I think you’re right, most people do not walk around judging everyone else – we are all far too involved in our own worlds and thoughts to do that. Sounds like you had a difficult day though. Twin toddlers sounds fun but exhausting! Thanks for sharing on #fortheloveofBLOG

    • October 23, 2016 / 9:25 pm

      Thanks Fi – yep better not to think the worst of everyone around us. You’re right life with toddler twins can be exhausting. x

  5. October 22, 2016 / 8:21 pm

    This is a great post. I always feel bad for mums who are obviously having a hard day. If I look at the screaming toddler it’s usually because the sound caught my attention and I reacted, I try not to judge for kids being kids and I’m sure many mums are the same, don’t worry! xx #fortheloveofBLOG

    • October 23, 2016 / 9:24 pm

      Ah that’s kind of you, yes I agree we look over out of impulse rather than anything else. Thank you. x

  6. October 22, 2016 / 10:01 pm

    Oh god in those moments where you get paranoid of being judged the worst thoughts run through your head!
    Trying to see the other end of the spectrum is hard in the moment but on reflection I suppose it can help any lingering feelings. Let’s just try to train our brains to think like this from the outset!
    #fortheloveofBLOG

  7. October 23, 2016 / 4:15 pm

    I feel like this everyday lately. Amelia has been a total nightmare this week with early starts and screaming every 5 minutes. It’s always worse out in public where you just feel judged #fortheloveofBLOG

    • October 23, 2016 / 9:21 pm

      Sorry you’re having a tricky time at the moment – hope this post helps a bit. x

  8. October 24, 2016 / 7:08 am

    It is easy to slip into that negative mind frame I will certainly remember this mantra and attempt to employ it myself. Thank you for sharing this! Thank you for linking up to #EatSleepBlogRT 🎉

    • October 25, 2016 / 9:02 pm

      So pleased you find the mantra helpful Catie. Hope it helps. x

  9. October 24, 2016 / 11:44 am

    Brilliant post. My mantra is thoughts are not facts. They’re not indicative of the truth. If people were more aware of this, I think it would help in times of stress and anxiety #eatsleepblogrt

    • October 25, 2016 / 9:00 pm

      Thanks so much for the lovely comment and very wise words. xx

  10. Hayley Mclean
    October 24, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    Great post! It’s so hard to think this way in the moment but its so true…everyone else is usually too preoccupied thinking about themselves to even pay attention to anybody else, let alone judge! #AnythingGoes

    • October 25, 2016 / 9:00 pm

      Thanks Hayley, yes they usually aren’t bothered at all! x

  11. October 24, 2016 / 4:43 pm

    We can be our own worst enemies, sometimes thinking too much into things. I’m glad you took the time to realise it might not have been how it seemed.

  12. October 24, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. I’m sure lots of people have felt they needed eyes in the back of their head or more pairs of arms at one point or another. #tribalchat

  13. October 24, 2016 / 8:15 pm

    I USED to be constantly hard on myself and be increasingly paranoid about what other people were thinking about me and my son’s behaviour (he has autism)…now I try not to give a flying…;-) Great post #AnythingGoes

    • October 25, 2016 / 8:58 pm

      Hee hee – yep best not to worry about other’s judgement if they are even judging anyway. Thanks for commenting x

  14. October 24, 2016 / 11:05 pm

    Great post, so very true that the way we feel is not the whole truth, just our truth for that day but yes so many people are not judging us in the way we might think. Oh and toddler twins can be crap but it gets so much easier, I promise. Mich x #Bigpinklink

    • October 25, 2016 / 8:57 pm

      Thank you and good to hear twins aren’t always so full on! x

  15. October 24, 2016 / 11:10 pm

    Ah what a great read. We all have days like this, that much I’m certain so next time I do I will remember your wise words! 🙂 #anythinggoes

    • October 25, 2016 / 8:57 pm

      Ahhh I hope they help… they’re words I have nicked from someone else but help me heaps! Thanks for the lovely comment. x

  16. October 24, 2016 / 11:21 pm

    Lovely, really need to remind myself of this!

  17. October 25, 2016 / 5:03 pm

    Oh I needed this today. It’s been a trying day. When you are actually in that moment, you just think the whole world is judging you and always will. But we most definitely are the ones who are hard on ourselves. #fortheloveofBLOG

    • October 25, 2016 / 8:56 pm

      So sorry to hear you’ve had a tough day – totally agree we are usually our own hardest critics. Take care x

  18. October 26, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    When we are having ‘one of those days’ it really is so important to remember not everyone us judging and if they are.. So what! Getting through the day is far more important than what other people think! #familyfun

  19. October 26, 2016 / 4:26 pm

    I love your posts. You click in to just the sort of ways us parents (especially mums) like to beat ourselves up. And then you give us ways to stop doing it! I’m going to remind myself that thoughts are not facts all the time now, thank you x #familyfun

    • October 26, 2016 / 6:16 pm

      Thanks so much for the kind words – I’m so pleased you find the posts helpful. x

  20. joysofamum
    October 26, 2016 / 10:14 pm

    Loved reading this, in so many ways I could relate! It just shows there are so many of us in the same boat we really need to give ourselves a break. We are all trying. Some days will be harder than others but then you have an amazing day the next day. Well done for managing all those things with toddler twins and still seeing the bright side. x #GlobalBlogging

    • October 26, 2016 / 10:57 pm

      Ah thanks for the kind words and encouragement – yes you’re right – so many of us feeling the same. x

  21. twotinyhands
    October 27, 2016 / 6:42 am

    Yes. It’s so hard not to feel judged but yes I guess you just need to practice this. People are living their own lives too! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

    • October 27, 2016 / 10:27 pm

      Yep – all of these mindfulness principles are just about practice…. the neural pathways we tread every day are the ones that get the most worn (if you see what I mean!) x

  22. thismumslife
    October 27, 2016 / 4:15 pm

    I actually feel like we are the same person!! I don’t have twins, but the boys are 14 months apart, the same size (actually the little one is heavier,) so most people think they’re twins. And they both seem to be in sync with their ‘off’ days. And we seem to be having LOTS of those recently-days just like you described, where they scream everywhere you take them, and you feel judged by just about everyone. I feel like I’m constantly on the defensive because of it. I was once in the supermarket, and the littlest was screaming, and one of the people working there said ‘oh flipping shut up.’ Instead of just dismissing it as silly, I went on a huge rant about how he’d been ill, and we had been housebound, and I was soooo tired, and I wanted to see the manager. I then made the same rant at a manager. That’s just not me, I’m not that person, I usually have a sense of humour about these things! I let my sense of being judged, take over! So you are very right-people can think what they want (or might not be thinking what you think they’re thinking!) but that doesn’t make it true-thank you for helping me regain perspective!!
    #bigpinklink

    • October 27, 2016 / 10:26 pm

      Ahhhh thank you for such a heartfelt comment. I’m so pleased you found the post useful – yes it sounds like you have your work cut out too! We may indeed be living the same life as your story of the incident at the supermarket is very similar to one I had with my eldest….. I too complained to the manager about the cashier and I still won’t go to her till now – 4 years on – even if she doesn’t have anyone there!!!! Maybe I need to let it go! Luckily there are lots of other lovely people around who are understanding and helpful but yes those who aren’t can really stay with us! Take care xx

  23. October 27, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    The end of those kind of days are the worst for me. The negative thoughts that plague us! What a great post! It makes me think of those lovely cashiers that sometimes distract my children so I can quickly pay and leave ! I don’t think they realize how thankful we are! Thank you for linking up to #GlobalBlogging

    • October 27, 2016 / 10:23 pm

      Ah yes those negative thoughts… yes people can be so kind and helpful – one year a cashier gave a Xmas pressie to my son they’d built up such a lovely relationship :-). Thanks for commenting. x

  24. October 28, 2016 / 7:53 am

    This is great. I often feel judged if my toddler is acting up. It sometimes feels like everyone is staring at you and thinking that you should just take the unruly child and bad parenting home, but like you said, it probably hasn’t even registered to them that my child is acting up. We would all do good to remember than ‘thoughts are not facts’. Thanks for sharing and for the advice. I shall definitely be reminding myself of this the next time I feel judged.
    #familyfun

    • October 28, 2016 / 11:08 pm

      So pleased you found it helpful advice. Thanks for commenting. x

  25. October 28, 2016 / 8:05 am

    You’re totally right, thoughts are not facts. The people in the shops and the teachers outside the school probably were alright, and thinking oh those cute little toddlers, even though they were crying and screaming! It’s in our minds, but it’s not actually what might be happening. Thanks for sharing with #GlobalBlogging!

    • October 28, 2016 / 11:08 pm

      Ha ha – they could well have been couldn’t they? Who know and I guess that’s the point… thanks for commenting x

  26. October 28, 2016 / 10:41 pm

    This is such a better way to look at things. I would definitely be feeling judged and like I was doing it all wrong but you’re right they may well be my sisters in arms and feeling my pain. Who knows but they could be thinking whatever I want them to – I love this mantra – thoughts are not facts. I will be taking it with me. Thank you for sharing with us at #FamilyFun

    • October 28, 2016 / 11:04 pm

      So pleased you found the post helpful and thank you for the lovely comment. xx

  27. Family Makes
    October 29, 2016 / 3:15 pm

    This is such a great reminder, and one I really need to remember myself too. As I read about your day, my heart went out to you, as I often feel like I’m ‘that parent’, and wonder why it’s always my kids doing the worst things imaginable in public. Your post reassured me, and I hope it worked as well for you. #FamilyFun

    • October 30, 2016 / 7:54 pm

      Thank you so much for being so kind – yes I felt so much better after hammering this post out, so pleased it reassured you too. x

  28. randommusings29
    October 30, 2016 / 12:48 pm

    I think we often imagine people are thinking bad things about us, when in reality, as you point out, people have their own issues, their own thoughts, and we probably didn’t even enter their heads.
    Of course, there will always be one, but as you say, a thought is just that – their opinion, and as a total stranger in a store/café etc, why would we care what they thought about us?
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂
    Debbie

    • October 30, 2016 / 7:46 pm

      Thanks for such a thoughtful comment Debbie x

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