I’m so cautious about entering a conversation which I know will turn defensive. I can see it from a mile away and I usually pass right on by without saying a word even if I have a strong opinion about it.
I didn’t stop this time.
I have no idea why. I just didn’t. I said something. And…of course…the person got defensive. The funny thing is, she tried to pull rank with me as if to tell me she knew more than I did as a mom. “14 years and 4 kids.”
Really? You think that alone impresses me and makes me want to bow down to your awesomeness? No, it doesn’t. And…I still disagree with you.
The thing is – there are women who have never had children who I look upon in awe. There are women who have two children who I think have it all together. There are women who have 13 kids and I think she’s doing better than me at times. I don’t think the number of children you have or the lack there of qualifies you on a scale of quality mom wisdom. It’s your experiences, attitude, effort, patience, and love that impress me.
The entire reason why I got caught up in the conversation is because someone made a comment about a mom who must not have been watching her children very well (a mom who did not take the safety of her children seriously) because her two young children covered her living room with a bag of flour. I made the comment that it could have been done while she was in the bathroom – because unless you’re setting your kids down in the bathroom with you or leaving the door open and telling them not to move from the doorway – there’s opportunity for mischief. That’s how parents get these stories – a bathroom break, changing a diaper, trying to nurse a baby, a phone call, pulling one child out of the bathtub while the other(s) are supposed to be getting dressed for bed.
Why did I say anything?!?! Arrrrgh!!!!
Realistically…because I’ve been that mom. That mom who found a kazoo stuck in her wall after tucking her kids in bed – when I had been with them the whole day. That mom who found maple syrup covering her entire kitchen floor and part of the dining room after I was done changing a diaper. That mom who had to accept that no matter how hard I tried, if a child does not want to go potty in the toilet or pull-up, I couldn’t stop him. (Don’t get me started on this one because it still gets me going.)
Today…I didn’t impress myself. I showed I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I said something because there’s a part of me that hopes someone would stick up for me if someone criticized me like that – nobody’s perfect. Even if, for some reason, that mom was being neglectful, I have no doubt that experience was a huge lesson for her and it won’t happen again. Therein was God’s mercy in the works. Why criticize her? She had to clean up the mess.
I despise judgement especially when you neglect to attempt to put yourself in the other person’s shoes first. Until you’ve gone through it and lived it – you cannot judge them and I’m pretty sure that if you have gone through it, your reaction would be a hug instead of criticism. Amazing how that works.
Stupid facebook. I deleted my two responses, one of which included my ending of “19 years and 7 kids.”
Pride before the fall. I feel horrible I ever commented at all.
The kicker is I’ve been finishing up my book this week – my foster care memoir. It makes me nervous to share it now. How many people are going to tell me I was an unsafe mother because my boys did all the things they did? Do they even realize how many times I cried at night as I told Les I tried to prevent xyz and couldn’t?! I think that’s why foster parents just don’t talk about life inside their walls – people just don’t get it.
Hopping off the soap box and going to search out that last piece of chocolate I have hiding in my room.