Something that my hubby says to me sometimes has been rolling around in my head for a few days now.

"Today is the first time you've done today."

I've been thinking about it a lot lately. Online discussions about one thing or another and things that have happened lately in real life (I hate that term. It makes everything online out to be fake.) all have me thinking a lot about perceptions, judgments and expectations.

I think that all three of those things are perfectly normal. Even judgment. Try as we may to not judge or say we don't judge, I'll stand up (even if it's alone) and admit that I judge people. Am I proud of it? Of course not. But, I think that it's normal. I'm human.

I have realized something though.

When it comes to parenting, there are so many "hot topics". So many chances to judge other parents. So many times we can think to ourselves "What is she thinking?" or "I would never do that!".

Before I was a parent, I had all the answers.

I knew...

just KNEW...

what I would and would not do. I knew what my kids would and would not do.

And I knew what other parents were doing wrong.

Then I had kids.

And realized I didn't have a clue.

I realized there were things I had never even thought to have a clue about. And I realize there are still things I haven't imagined I need to have a clue about.

So, I started over. Clean slate.

I've had two babies.

I've had two toddlers.

I haven't yet had school aged kids and I haven't had teenagers.

I haven't been a PTA mom. I haven't had a kid in sports. I haven't had to supervise homework. I haven't had to have "the talk". There are a great many things that I haven't done yet.

And today is the first time I've done today.

Every day is a new experience, even if it's the same old stuff. Every day is a new situation, even if it's the same as yesterday. Because every day and every situation presents a new opportunity to make another choice.

Remember the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? I loved those when I was a kid. Now I realize that parenting is kinda like that.

Maybe I had a tantrum right alongside my two year old today. But, when it inevitably happens again tomorrow, I can choose a different adventure.

I don't know what I'll do until I'm there. As much as I just knew how I'd handle all these situations, I had no clue. What I know now is that I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen or how I'm going to react until I'm presented with the situation.

And what does that leave me with?

An open mind. An open embrace for choosing the next adventure. And a little more compassion for those parents I'm so likely to judge. Because, as little as I know about what I'm doing, it's massive knowledge compared to what I know about someone else's situation.

So, yes, "today is the first day of the rest of your life" and "live each day as if it's your last" but, don't forget,

Today is the first time you've done today.

So, choose your adventure. And remember, you may think you know what adventure you'll choose but, until you've walked a mile in someone else's shoes, you can't judge them for lacing them wrong.