A little anecdote for a Tuesday afternoon.

A few days ago I was with my mom, and we were struggling to get El Chico to get out of the car to come into a store with us. It was about 25 degress F ( -4 C) and he was refusing to put on his coat to walk across a long parking lot. There was a guy loading his kids into an SUV next us, and the whole time I was thinking, "He’s got to think I’m a horrible mother who can’t even get her kid to wear a coat in the freezing cold." Finally I got the coat on El Chico and glanced up at the man, and he was smoking outside the SUV, while his kids were inside with the doors shut. He looked at me and nervously said, "I never make them breathe secondhand smoke!"

I had this flash of realization that we parents are expecting to be judged at all times by other parents. He didn’t care if my kid was wearing a coat, but I thought he did. And I don’t care if he smokes outside his car, but he thought I did.

Why do we do this to ourselves?