This has been on my mind for a while… and it is not meant to sound negative, but no matter how I try to write it, it does a little bit.
Why, oh why in the year 2017 do I still feel like I am defending my family when I go out in public with my children? Why is the concept of a Mom and her young children one that people like to comment on? Usually “Judgey” is an older person, who presumably also has a family. Who once had to bring their children with them to the store to pick up a few things for dinner. Who has grandchildren the same age as my children. Does that somehow give them the right to say nasty things to me? Because, sorry, not sorry… last time I checked I am a married adult who is in the midst of the most exciting and yes, exhausting chapter of my life. But I chose to be there, I want to be here, I love being here. Why do people feel like they are allowed to make these demeaning comments about us?
wow, you don’t look old enough to have children…. Thanks? Is that supposed to be a compliment or a dig?
Ha- you have your hands full, don’t you?…. mhmm. literally. yes, I have 2 small children, my hands are legitimately always full.
(and I can’t believe I actually walked away calmly from the person who said this next one…)
Looks like he just couldn’t wait. *i was too floored to give a civilized response in front of my 2 year old*
I have come to understand and make peace with the fact that I don’t look my age. I am petite and have a “baby face” is what I am told (apparently my hairdresser does a great job covering up my greys. Thanks, Linda!) . When my parents took my brother and I out for dinner the night I graduated college I was handed a children’s menu, I sometimes still get offered a slice of cheese at the deli, and I am mistaken for a 7th grader at the school where I work. But does this give people the right to make a comment about me or my family? NO! So, Judgey McJudgerson… next time you see me out with my children, don’t try to throw digs at me for looking younger than what you feel is an appropriate age to have children. Try saying “You have a beautiful family”. I will smile at you and say thank you.
Any mom can understand the annoyance of the “you have your hands full” comment. I usually roll my eyes or laugh and say “yup!”. A few times, while standing in line, I have responded with a “doesn’t it make you miss these days?”. Interestingly that opens up a pleasent conversation with Judgey who will tell me about how they had their hands full with their children and then will leave us with well-wishes. So why do we have to start with a negative comment? Next time try saying “You have a beautiful family”. I will smile at you and say thank you and we can still have that pleasant conversation about your family.
I still literally can’t believe that Judgey was so bold as to blame (?) my husband for the fact that we have two little ones! (Did you forget bio class? It takes two there my friend). I have actually rehearsed a response to this one in case it ever comes up again… my husband and I mutually agreed that we wanted to have two children close in age. We want them to grow up together, and we want me to be able to stay home with them while they are little. We are blessed enough to have been able to do so without complication, they were born 22 months apart. Next time please remember that you do not know us, you were not part of the conscious decision that we made to have our children close together. Instead, try saying “You have a beautiful family”. I will smile at you and say thank you.
After 20 or more of these encounters I made a vow to myself to never become Judgey. I hope to remember these feelings 4 or 5 chapters down the road and when I see that young mom lugging her children around or waiting in line at the deli I will approach her only to tell her that she has a beautiful family, and hopefully she will smile at me and say thank you.