Some of us might remember our mothers telling us…”if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”…Great advice if you ask me!
I received a message from my gorgeous girlfriend this week asking for some advice on how I would respond to a pretty nasty comment.
My lovely friend, stay at home mother of two beautiful little boys, was dished out some ‘stay-at-home-mum-disapproval’ in the supermarket by an acquaintance of hers as she was minding her own business, buying some milk…and not for the first time. Are you ready for it? Here it is…and I quote…
“You don’t use your brain if you don’t work and it’s the responsibility of any grown adult to go out and earn money for the household. I could never stay home with kids all day.”
I won’t repeat my suggested response except to say it began with an F and ended in Off.
It is completely and utterly beyond me why someone would choose to judge another person on their choices in life and especially another mother! Even if we do have opinions and thoughts about how other mums do it, voicing those opinions in a negative manner is unhelpful, unsupportive and quite frankly, doesn’t do much for the Sisterhood. Goodness knows we face enough obstacles on this journey without criticism and cutting remarks from those who should be on our team. We don’t need anyone’s help in adding to our stores of guilt, we do a good enough job of that on our own!
Now, there are hundreds of reasons why people choose to stay at home with their children and probably an equal number of reasons people choose to return to work. My friend gave up a career as a Chemical Engineer to be there for her two boys. The girl has a brain, believe me, she used to design and operate world-class pharmaceutical manufacturing plants for a living…but the point is, we all make choices according to our own beliefs, values and our individual situations. Sometimes these choices might not be choices at all but decisions reached through serious soul searching and sometimes necessity. I think all mothers deserve the benefit of the doubt…we are doing the best job we know how to do and we need support, love and friendship…not belittling from those who know how tough it can be.
Now, I don’t want to go into the reasons why this lady feels so compelled to air her views every time she runs into my friend because that’s her business. All I want to say, really, is be kind, be thoughtful. Consider the feelings of others and accept that you probably don’t know everything about them, their lives and the reasons they make certain decisions. What’s right for one isn’t going to be right for everyone so lighten up, be positive and maybe even reach out and tell another mum what an awesome job she’s doing, offer some support. After all, as Ben Lee says...We’re all in this together.
Have you ever been criticised for choices you have made on your journey through motherhood? It’s a land mine subject…breastfeeding, returning to work, day care, names, food choices, whether or not your child should wear a singlet if the temperature drops under 25 degrees…the list goes on…and on…and on. Sometimes it seems no matter what we do, there will be someone we fail to please. So I say, please yourself, listen to your heart, follow your instinct. Talk to me! I’ll support you! I think you’re doing an AMAZING job!
Love and light,