Friday, August 17, 2012

Mama Bean sometimes can't win

Vignette the first:
Chatting with a patient during treatment, exchanging basic information about our children, boy/girl mix, ages and how many months apart they are. I love having these conversations, I love that I get to meet so many moms at varying stages of motherhood, I feel I am participating in community and shared wisdom and wonderful womanhood, or something. Then I ask if she is home full-time with her children (because I ask everyone about their primary occupation, because it's interesting, and because their occupational activities have a bearing on their spinal health.)

She replies, "Yes, I just couldn't fathom letting someone else raise my children, y'know?" And then, perhaps realizing that I have children and I clearly am letting someone else raise my children, she feels it necessary to ask, "So where do your kids go when you're here?" I don't know, maybe she was hoping, against hope, that (as in the first eight months of each of their lives) my husband was at home raising our children? And I was not the awful mother she had just insinuated me to be? Oh well. 'Tis not so. End scene.

Vignette the second:
Chatting with an older mom about feeling somewhat limited and/or isolated with my small children; describing that I don't always feel able to handle long outings, or poorly timed (vis a vis eating or napping) activities, or that I simply do not seem to have enough hands/patience/wits to parent some days. Explaining that I opt out (willingly, because it's what's best for my kids) but that I fear I'm missing out (on my community, on friendship, on having a life). Expecting (why do I expect things?) some commiseration, maybe, or some encouragement. I would have accepted even platitudes; this-too-shall-pass me, you'll-miss-it-one-day me - I don't even care! Instead, I got, "Yeah, I used to use my kids as an excuse, too, but then I realized I just had to do it. And it wasn't so bad." I don't know, maybe she thought that was encouraging? It wasn't. Call me crazy. End scene.

Vignette the third:
In the midst of a group of harried moments ganging up on me, a progressing-into-cranky-and-irrational Moment, a toddler-and-pre-toddler-with-no-impulse-control Moment, I struggle to gather my belongings, assess any damage that's been caused, and prevent any potential damage from occurring by the barely-wrangled beasts. I struggle to maintain a socially-acceptable exterior, to be polite, to not yell, to not grab and wrestle and throw over my shoulder, kicking and screaming. I struggle with the fact that I love my children, and I accept them in all their moments, harried or not, but even so, the world does not. In fact, the world, at that moment, in the person of someone I thought of as a friend, instead said to me, "Wow, I just cannot relate to that, getting more and more riled up as they get tired. I guess my kids just weren't like that."

End. fucking. scene.


  1. Well...let's see...a stay-at-home-mom sometimes has a hard time understanding how other mother's could think differently than she does. Chalk that up to not really understanding how your way works for your children. The second lady, I have to admit, wasn't giving you comfort, but she was truth. It is really all to easy to use the kids as an excuse not to do something. I didn't go to the post office for that very reason and now I'm just lazy. The third scene.... you should have bitch slapped her. No mom in the middle of screaming kids wants to hear how wonderfully behaved another mom's kids were. We are all individuals... your little people don't do over-tired... it's okay.

    Deep breaths my lady.

  2. I hope that wasn't me, but fear it was.
    I'm sorry you had to deal with these things.