1 Aug
2012

“Poor Mother”

If I hear the phrase “poor mother” when people see me walking down the street with my boys in their stroller one more time, I may blow a fuse. I hear it all the time – walking down the street, “poor mother!”, in the pharmacy, “poor mother!”, grocery store “oh how does she do it? poor mother!”.  During the summer I was walking in the grocery store near my house with the two boys sleeping tranquilly in their stroller. A lady passed me by saying, “Poor mother” the first time looking at me so that I could hear her.  I decided just to roll my eyes and not acknowledge her. The second time, just behind me she said it a little louder, and the third time she practically screamed it so loud you could hear it a few aisles down – so at this point I had no more tolerance for what she said.  I whipped around and said, “Poor YOU, who doesn’t know the joy of having twins. Two babies who eat well, sleep well and laugh all day. Poor you who will never know the joy of having two babies in your belly. What a shame!”

Her jaw dropped. I turned around, head held high and walked away.  Oh that was such a relief to get that out. I think the tension of hearing “poor mother” all the time builds up a bit and when I simply can’t take it anymore, I snap to put these idiots saying “poor mother” in their places.

On the other spectrum, there’s the crazy lady I always manage to see at the doctors office. She’s got a 4 year old boy and a 6 month old baby.  According to her, my “situation” is much easier than hers because her four year old is jealous of the baby and wants breast milk as well when the baby is feeding.  One of her employees (a very polite, middle aged nanny) always comes with her to the doctors. The last time I saw crazy lady our conversation went like this:

Crazy: You have it so much easier than me, having the two babies at once.
Me: Really.
Crazy: Well, my son is four and my baby is six months, and well, you know how boys are so attached to their mothers. He’s so jealous of her, always wanting the same as her, even wanting breast milk when I’m feeding her!
Me: ah, okay.
Crazy: How many employees do you have helping you?
Me: None.
Crazy: None? But who cleans your house?
Me: None. Like the rest of the world, my husband and I clean our house. We cook, we clean.
Crazy: I have three employees at my house to take care of my children. I could never do all that alone. But when do you shower?
Me: Usually at night, when the babies are sleeping.
Crazy: And they sleep in the stroller in the bathroom? I don’t understand.
Me: No. They sleep in their beds.
Crazy: But what if something happens? What if they need you?
Me: They don’t need me when they’re sleeping. They sleep.
Crazy: Well then I must be a stupid person because I can’t do that.
Me: (Nods head yes).
Crazy lady goes on to say how its impossible with her children.  She tells all of her employees that their first duty is to just mind the children. Everything comes secondary. All the while, the nanny is holding the little baby and the four year old is BOUNCING off the walls, literally. The doctor called her name and she went in with the little baby. The four year old is acting as though he’s on a sugar high. The mother comes back from the doctor’s office and throws the baby at the nanny, telling her to hurry up and get her dressed and ready to go. She grabs the hyper kid by the collar and drags him into the doctor’s office.  Perhaps there’s something wrong with him. Probably the same thing that’s wrong with the mother. All I could think was, “poor kids, poor nanny.”

Oh that’s right. I judge back. But I’m right!

My kids get limits (even though they’re one year old and some change) they have a routine, they know what they can and cannot do around the house. They know to listen to me when I say, “no”. And when they don’t listen, I take the time to teach them how to pay attention, with love.  Because that’s what my job is, and nobody gets to say, “poor mother” to me, because I’ve got the best job in the world.

 

So, what do you think?