Friday, April 23, 2010

We have all judged, we have all assumed. I try not to, but I am human. I try hard to remember this when I feel judged, and when people make assumptions about my family or me. I try to remember we are all more alike than different, we all need the benefit of the doubt.

Still, here is what I want to say to those people who have assumed they know what it is like to raise my children, and who make judgments without compassion:

I don't know what it was like the first time you had a crush, or what it felt like when someone you loved suffered or died. I don't know what it feels like when you wake up in the morning, or how you dream at night. Even though, like you, I have loved, I have lost, I sleep and dream and wake, I can't know your experience. And I don't think you would like it if I assumed that I do know, that I could tell you how to pursue your career with more ambition so you wouldn't have such a lousy job, that I could teach you how to get in shape the right way so your backside wouldn't look like a nursery full of babies' dimples. If I have never walked in your shoes, you might find it callous of me to suggest you don't know the right way to put a spring in your step but that I do. You might think your business plan, your cancer diagnosis, or your dream to run the Boston Marathon are your own business, and you would be entirely right. You might resent it if I suggested you simply chill out, or take a class, or try it my way, as you work through your divorce or your partner's infidelity. I get that. Because I have encountered people like you who think they know what it's like for me to raise my kids, and who believe they have all the answers -- they can't fathom why I don't just get some therapy, a great sitter, some serious antidepressants, a stiff drink, a massage, and a different school for my child and just be done with all the whining already. Some are sure I should be more aggressive while others think I just need some inspired yoga, but the truth is, the one thing I need to be more of is just RESPECTED without judgment. I need that, my kids need that, and even you who stand in judgment need that.

And no, I'm not talking about you. You are the choir, of course. I'd tell the judgers, but you know what they would say... I'm telling you because I bet you know EXACTLY what I mean, and I thought, for a moment, we could stand together and, hypocritical or not, point back at those who choose to point at us.


Anonymous said...

While I think whining is a most important piece of how we get through some of the things that we do, I will always advocate a stiff drink, a massage, respite care, and some good yoga. Now, if someone would just step up and pay for all that instead of just suggesting it, think where we would be! ;-)

But in all seriousness, I get it. Of course I do. Hugs.

Stimey said...

Right on.