laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

The Muddy Mommy

on April 27, 2011

I have learned something in my life as a woman, and it was reinforced with my last 4 years of also being a mother: Women are tough. We’re tough on ourselves mainly, but unfortunately it breeds this unflattering fact: we are tough on other women. It starts very young as I have overheard my 2 year old daughter tell one of her playmates about how a certain doll could only be held by other girls who also had “pink” hair. (The doll, as well as my MissE, has a very pretty auburn/strawberry blonde hair color, that Miss E has labeled as “pink.”) And the look on her face as she tells this other two year old to back off, makes it all perfectly clear: You are not good enough. Yikes. Unfortunately, it’s not just 2 year olds, while they’re antics may make you question that statement. These days the playgrounds seem to be filled with moms who’ve become professional mud slingers. (Remember the Mommy Brigades?) Seriously, if you’re tired of life in the trenches of the minor league, and want to join the ranks of the pros- spend some time at any given playground and you’ll be able to learn all you need to know. Or the baking aisle of your local grocery store- you’ll likely find several ol’ Grannies willing to send a few your way. And they’ve been in retirement so they’ve just been aching to get out there and show you what they’ve got.

The best of the mud slingers know how to sugar coat it, so that it’s sticky, gooey, and very hard to wash off. My top ten “favorite” mudballs? I got ’em here:

  1. (Within a week of a miscarriage, while my “big Es” were about 2 1/2 and just under 1 yr) You still have 2 sweet babies, what business did you have trying for another?   ….yep, that still stings.
  2. Good thing he looks just like his Daddy! This little gem was due to the fact that my then active duty military man had been deployed and biggest E was born almost exactly 9 months after his return. This never fails to infuriate me.
  3. Good thing you look so young, it helps even out that exhausted, I-have-too-many-kids look. Yes, someone actually said this to me.
  4. You look so young, are you even married? Yes, we were married for over 2 years before our first… but that is none of your business!
  5. My aren’t you the overachiever? I know 3 kids in less than 4 years is not the norm, and yes, some days it’s difficult, but I wouldn’t have them any other way. And again, this is also none of your business!
  6. Oh, don’t you feel so sad that you won’t be having any more children? Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. Thank you for rubbing it in.
  7. You’re so lucky you have enough/make enough that you can stay home. I am blessed to stay at home, but it has nothing to do with luck. We made that decision and have made specific choices to keep it that way. The best part was that this was said by someone who’s income is roughly the same.
  8. What do you think you’ll want to do when you’re able to have a real job? This is offensive on so many levels. And leaves me digging my teeth into my tongue so that words are impossible.
  9. Didn’t you ever want to have a real job? See above statement. x12.
  10. Well, I hope that works for you. I would never parent that way. Let’s meet up again in 20 years and compare notes on how our parenting styles worked out.

I am not one for confrontation of any sort, and I believe in supporting other women, and other moms, no matter what… but these leave me wanting to attend mud-slinging try out, hoping for making it to the big leagues. And those are just the ones that are on the tip of my tongue, off the top of my head, and maybe seared into my heart. I try not to hold onto it, but sometimes that mud is just so sticky that it leaves me one muddy mama.

But as I listen to Miss E tell Biggest E, “My honey bunny, thanks for having a playdate with me, your little girl sister.” And when I ask where they’re off to now as they head down the stairs, Biggest E shrugs his shoulder and says, “Just having a playdate with my best friend, you know, the girl that is my sister,” I know that for our family, this is exactly where I need to be, and my children are better off for it. Which helps the mud start sliding off, except for a little clinging to my shoes. So I take a deep breath, and wash what’s left off… after all, these shoes are way too cute to have mud on them anyways.

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7 responses to “The Muddy Mommy

  1. Lisa says:

    Your post made me think on so many levels. How people can say things and never know how it affects another person. I try to be sensitive to this because like you I still have some mud clinging to my shoes.

  2. Todd Koeppel says:

    Awesome post. I’m not a woman, but I often get splattered when the mud flies in my wife’s direction. God bless you.

    • Thank you! Unfortunately, spiteful, hurtful words do not discriminate against age, race, or gender… we all feel it. Only treating each other with “the Golden Rule” will make a difference.

  3. Domestiç Reclusë says:

    Hmmm. There’s a godlen rule?? 😉 Seriously though, I think not everyone attended that class, or else they were out sick the day the Golden Rule was taught. It seems like there are so many thoughtless people in the world today, that it makes me wonder if something happened to create such an epidemic. It’s hard to not get sucked into it; I’m not one to bite my tongue when someone says something uncalled for or inappropriate. Sometimes it seems like people don’t realize what they’ve said, and other times they don’t care about what they said or how it came out. I usually retort with my typical, “Why don’t you open your mind and shut your mouth, both are empty anyway?” response… How do you handle thoughtless people?

  4. Domestiç Reclusë says:

    Oops.. spell-check on Aisle 9: “golden” (vs “godlen”). 😉

  5. […] talked about people’s thoughtlessness before (and outright rudeness as well), and thankfully today I had my wits about me, and was ready to turn […]

  6. […] back on it made me think about when THIS happened, or when I wrote The Muddy Mommy. After my cry (and a few days to calm down) I realized that it wasn’t just that I […]

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