Let's all be honest and admit that we occasionally judge other people's parenting skills. None of us is innocent of wordlessly slinging mud at another mom and/or dad for some appalling infraction or another. This morning, for example, I felt sick to my stomach when I saw a pregnant mother feeding her chubby three-year-old son a 25-cent bag of Dorito-like chips followed by an orange-soda chaser. I was angry that this mother thought chips and soda were an appropriate breakfast. Please understand that I am not above taking my kids to fast-food joints for the occasional Happy Meal. I'm not one of those moms who believes Every.Single.Thing that goes in their child's mouth must be organic, locally grown, sugar-free, wheat-free, etc. BUT, even if your kids eat McD's every day for lunch or dinner, surely it's not for breakfast.
After I got off the bus, I couldn't stop thinking about the mom. If she's poor (and there are plenty of poor mothers on my bus-to-subway route), there are still options. I know women who use EBT cards to pay for their groceries at the Park Slope Food Coop. I know a family in the neighborhood that gets healthy, free food through the state's WIC program. And who knows, maybe this mother does feed her child good food, but this morning, in a rush, she grabbed the first, the easiest two things out of the kitchen. I know, I know. It's really and truly none of my business. But... I still felt angry and sad.