Via Making Light, an amazing series of posts and threads from Chez Miscarriage. The most interesting one is the thread in which Chez solicits tales of “mother drive-by’s”, horrible, critical comments from other mothers on parenting. It will take ages to read them all, but I couldn’t turn away.
Some are truly, unforgiveably evil: “At the funeral for my 16 year old daughter who took her own life. My mother in law asked how we could have let Marrissa die.”
“I was out and about with my then two year old Sara, who has Down Syndrome. A complete stranger asked me about her “condition”. I told him she had Down’s. He made some “tsk, tsk” noise and told me that I should have had an abortion, and how she would be a drain on society, and then walked off. My jaw was completely on the ground by that point and the tears were not far behind.”
Perhaps this is the worst:
The worst drive by happened to a friend of mine. Her six year old was hit by a car and killed. Someone she knew said, “Well at least it wasn’t one of your “real” kids” (Sean was adopted)
Others just plumb the depths of tactlessness:
the worst was an experience when I went with my second son (who was then less than a year old) to hospital. He had very bad recurrent otitis (yes I DID bf him!) and I told the women next to me that the doctor recommended surgery. She looked at me and said: ‘And you take your child there to be murdered? Don’t you know how many children don’t wake up from such surgeries? Do you want to KILL him?”
There are breastfeeding Nazis aplenty:
“From a realtor who was showing us houses. I pulled out a bottle for our 9-month-old and she flipped out. “I want to know why this baby isn’t being breastfed! Do you work?”
“Well I—we were breastfeeding, and now we’re done.”
snort “Let me tell you something. My four year old daughter still breastfeeds sometimes, and my toddler is going strong. And I work full time. I’m a member of La LEESH.”
Hey, great, good for you lady. I’m hoping that while my children are missing out in terms of the nutritional benefits of long-term breastfeeding, they will benefit greatly from the fact that I know how to pronounce the word leche.
There are anti-breatfeeding Nazis: “That’s sick!” (said of nursing a 4-month-old.) Or this:
I ended up letting my son self-wean, which happened at four and a half years of age. Oh, the comments I endured – “How long are you going to let him nurse?” (I guess until he goes away to college but then again, they do have co-ed dorms), “You’re only doing that to satisfy yourself!” (Yes, I’m pretty satisfied that I have a healthy, well-adjusted child), “Why are you doing that? It’s not like you live in Africa!” (Why should only African children have the benefits of breastfeeding? My American child deserves it too!)
I think this may be my favorite:
After I had my third baby I took a shower (at the hospital, literally within an hour of his birth) and there were no towels, so I rang for the nurse. She comes in with some tiny, threadbare towels for me, looks at my naked, wet, just-had-a-baby body, and says, “You sure haven’t lost that belly yet!”
This is great, too:
Upon telling my mom I was pregnant her second response (after “oh dear”) was “well don’t use this as an excuse to get fat.” Damn, busted, I was SO hoping I could get fat and blame it on the pregnancy.
Halfway through first pregnancy a friend’s mom said “you are getting round in the front AND the back.” Ok now that I’m pregnant it’s socially acceptible to tell me I have a fat ass?
I could go on, but you should just go check it out yourself. The Making Light thread is (as always) good too.
The animosity between mothers who work outside the home and stay-at-home mothers is amazing. I hate to get all blaming the patriarchy, but it certainly seems as if all this mental energy could be more profitably directed towards trying to change society to make life better for parents, rather than in vicious intersororal strife…