I've had ENOUGH of your Petty Judgement: Mum of Four
- Parents Only
By: Loren Hanny, mum of four kids & ellaslist reader
Two petty comments fired me up today. They follow a long list of at best impulsive, and at worst, mean, comments. You see I have a large family. Boo hiss! Four children! I come from a large family and I have always sought to perpetuate that legacy.
I believe that we are all able to make informed choices and I was taught that it is rude to criticise other people’s choices without their invitation to do so. So how come you feel free to voice whatever opinion you have, even if it’s insensitive, hurtful or stupid? My obstetrician told me to write a blog about this experience. So here it is, for you, Dr R.
Plagued with Pregnancy Pettiness
This pregnancy, I have been bombarded with judgement and snide ‘humble-boasts’. I have been told, that I am crazy/mad, huuuuuge/tiiiiny, round/pointy, glowing/haggard. Every comment came from a place of insecurity. That was obvious.
Let’s, for a moment, see how you feel when I follow your example….
Reality Check #1
You: “Oh my gosh, I just can’t get Oliver and Georgia to behave and eat their separate organic, sugar-free, gluten free dinner.”
Me: “Well, that’s what happens when you indulge two undisciplined, spoilt children’s egos 24/7. Mine thank me at meals and PUT THEIR PLATES IN THE SINK. Oh, and they eat vegetables. I am a LEGEND!”
Reality Check #2
You: “You are so brave! Taking your poor child to the supermarket/dentist/hairdresser with you. I would never torture little Fifi like that, she’s at home with our fabulous nanny who cooks, juggles and talks in two languages”.
Me: “Yep, my kids are so deprived. How cruel I am making them spend time with me- or worse- helping load the supermarket trolley! How HOPELESS you must be that a) you can’t cope bringing your child to the supermarket/dentist/hairdresser and b) unbeknownst to you, your precious flower is actually at home playing Killshot on your old iPhone while your non-English illegal maid is talking on Skype to her beloved children overseas.”
Here are a few other things Imaginary Me would like to say when I am confronted with people’s negative comments.
- “Yes, it was planned- thanks for asking! Do you want to see the video? Noooo we haven’t heard of contraception! What is it?”
- “No kids? Are you pregnant yet? WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO START TRYING FOR A BABY?”
- “One kid? Aren’t you SELFISH. Shame on you”.
- “Two kids. It’s time you lost that baby weight. YOUR kids are at school… I am back in MY size 8 skinny jeans. And I have no stretch marks. Look at me in my bikini! How sad that you have to wear a big sack with those thunder thighs.”
- “Three kids? Middle child syndrome. Crap…the middle one is a girl. She will definitely turn to drugs and prostitution by year 8. Sucked in!”
But, I don’t. I would never dream of openly criticising your choices, because we all have different needs, wants and resources. I’m not asking you to feed/pay for/entertain them, and nor do I boast to you about how much pride I have in them, because sometimes my kids are LEGENDS. That would be rude. MY children will be the tax base that will pay for YOUR pension and middle-aged hip replacement. So in reality, YOU are the irrational, crazy, drain on society.
You Won’t Be Hearing An Excuse Out Of Me
I know I have made a choice that is bloody hard and I’m not under any illusions. But I still stand by my choice and get myself, or my children to your party/sport match/band practice, without excuses. And it’s not easy! So I smile and may or may not be honest with you about how things are going but I definitely will tell the cold hard truth to my friends. And they will laugh, cry, and swear with me, without judgment, pity or spin.
My son recently asked me if we are going to have any more kids. I emphatically said, ‘NO! We have enough!” (enough for us; but maybe not enough for another family) and guess what he said?
“Mum, family is everything.”
P.S. This article would not have been possible with my cheer-squad and mentors who have between 0 and 5 offspring, who I regularly lean on. You know who you are.