Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Grain of Salt, or a Truckload.

I often have to wonder how the miracle of pushing a baby through your hoo-hoo can suddenly transform any normal woman into a registered expert on the subject of childhood.

Now, don't get me wrong, when I say this I'm not trying to imply that some women who have parented children and had remarkably fulfilling experiences don't deserve the right to spread a thinly applied layer of useful advice to other somewhat eager-to-learn mothers. No, in fact many of these women who have somehow miraculously flitter through mommyhood without a hitch, we're downright tempted to get down on our hands and knees and beg her for a mere tidbit of a clue to what she may have done so 'right'.

I am instead referring to the Hey-Let-Me-Interject-My-Personal-Views-and-Parenting-Ideas-on-You-Poor-Defenseless-Parent- kind of crazyass mother.

Yes, we've all met one. The people who, frankly, usually did a semi-unimpressive job of keeping their filthy brats in one piece and , and yet feel that they are worthy of instructing you on the proper way to get your bouncing baby to suckle more efficiently at the breast. It's ridiculous.
Infuriating. And sometimes downright tiring, forcing yourself to pleasantly accept the way they speak to you.

To speak in general terms, since the day I got two lines on my pregnancy test, I have been hearing oppressive (and admittedly sometimes helpful interjections) on how to get my kids to vegetables, to sleep through the night, and to keep their clothes on during the 'naked-stage'.

To speak specifically, I had the pleasure of meeting one such a gem of a veteran mother while at work the other day. She informed me, not only of what a few 'good names' were for my unborn child, (yes, she really gave me her daughter's name and what she wish she had named her son....???!)but also berated me on the importance of raising a child in religion and frequent habitual reading.

Well, why didn't she remind me to change their diapers intermittently and to feed them when they cry?

ugh. Some people. My favorite of all, was the intensity with which she finished her ramble....she (and I quote!) "No matter what, don't let anyone at this job ever tell you that you need to come back to work. There is no greater job than a mother can do in her life than raise her children. No matter what they pay you, no job can pay you enough to give up that life at home with your child. It isn't worth it. "

Heh. Now, this is right about the time I wanted to chuck my stapler at the witch's head.
You'll be pleased to know (or perhaps disappointed) that instead, I smiled, tilted my head and waited until she left the office before rolling my eyes and thanking God that my very own dear mother raised me to respect my elders and to live in patience.

And that, might I add, is a little well received advice.


Sam_I_am said...

I will never be a stay-at-home mom, because, well, my future children would probably not make it to kindergarten...

Deborah said...

You don't know me, but just so you hear the opposite side of the story--the naked-stage was a lot of fun when it came to my kids. Why would anyone ever want to ruin that?

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