Friday, September 2, 2011

Motherhood for Dummies...Don't Diss the Mom!

So recently....I have been spending some time at the different doctors offices. It is just the nature of the beast when you have my life. And while spending time there....you run into all sorts of people. Some you know, some you have met and some you are pretty sure....you never want to meet again. Apparently though to some who enter those sterile walls....a doctors office is much like a priests confessional.....and all of the good, bad and ugly are revealed. Fortunately....I have taken no vow of silence....so I am free to blog about it all...even if I don't come out looking so good in the end. Yes...this is one of THOSE kind of stories!

So as I sat in the doctors office the other day....waiting for a test which I knew was going to require an IV, a lot of noise, and a certain amount of stress waiting on the results.....a young woman and her two children walked in and sat down beside me. This young woman looked to be in her very early twenties and attached to her was a child that looked to be about 9 months old who took turns between yelling and flat out crying. The cause was not evident, but my instincts told me that it might have been past someone's nap time. And racing around from chair to chair and magazines to other patients was this woman's other child. She looked to be about two, with no understanding of sit down and no filter on her mouth as she asked one rather large woman in her 60's if she had a baby in her "big" belly? The young mother looked only mildly embarrassed as the older lady shot daggers from her eyes and let out an indignant snort. I tried to pretend like I was engrossed in texting, but it did not stop this young woman from trying to initiate conversation with me. WHY ME? It never fails and I was really in no mood. So she began:

"These kids are driving me crazy." I wanted to say: So sit your little speed racer in a seat and tell her not to get up and put cranky pants on your shoulder and walk with him. Instead.....I just smiled and tried to go back to my "non" texting. She was having none of that. And so she continued. "You know.....I don't believe in spanking or raising my voice to my children. I believe in giving them space and letting them learn from experience. You know, my mother was always yelling at me, making me do chores and yes.....even spanking me." She paused looking at me for a reaction to this shocking proclamation that she had actually been spanked as a child. I glanced at her sideways widening my eyes which she took as shock but what they actually meant was "Why are you still talking to me?" Once she felt that I had given her story the proper facial expression, she continued on. "And you know my mother was so lame, I had a curfew....midnight if you can believe that? And it took nothing for my mother to ground me. You know once she grounded me for telling a little white lie? I told her I was going to spend the night at my friends house, but actually I went to my boyfriends house.....her daddy," and she pointed at speed racer who was now trying to shimmy up the reception desk and grab the receptionists clip board. Without taking so much as a breath she continued on, "Can you believe that. One little fib and I ended up grounded for two whole weeks. And then she caught him in my room after he had snuck in one night. That's right....I was grounded another two weeks. Man how lame! I am never going to do that to my kids. I am going to be a cool mom. They are going to have co-ed sleep overs and when they are 16 I am going to buy them beer and let them party at my house and I am going to trust them enough that I am not going to give them a stupid curfew or have a cow because they want to hook up with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Nope.....I am not going to make the same mistakes my mom did." And she stopped.

By this time she had my full attention and I am almost positive my mouth was hanging open and I had an "are you an idiot" look on my face. Obviously she did not understand the warning signs that my eyes were giving her because she boldly talked on. "I bet you are a cool mom. I can just see it in your eyes." No dear, what you see is me trying not to strangle you in front of all these witnesses. Meanwhile, cranky pants is now giddy with exhaustion throwing his head and pulling her hair and speed racer is now sitting on top of the magazine rack and tearing pages out of a Soap Opera Digest. All I could think is.....is this really happening? It was!

"Do you have kids?" she continued on at break neck speed apparently oblivious to both of her children. "I bet you do and I bet they think you are cool. I bet you never spanked your kids or yelled at them or grounded them for stupid stuff. You understand what I am saying though don't you? You understand that some things are just not cool to do to your kids and my mom did them all. So like I said, I am not going to make the same mistakes that she did." And then she looked at me and said "Right?" as if she needed me to confirm her last statement.

Okay...speaking of no filters, mine it seemed had hit its limit.  I had heard just about enough and between her overly exhausted baby,  her inexhaustible two year old and her incessant yammering about how awful her mother was....I could hold back no more and so the conversation went something like this: "Will you make the same mistakes your mom did? Absolutely not, because you will be way too busy making your own. And if you are just the teensiest bit lucky, through all those groundings, curfews, raised voices and spankings....yes I said spankings, maybe you just might have learned something. And I hope for your kids sakes, by the time they are old enough to have chores, curfews and be hooking up.....that you have matured to the point that you realize that your kids don't want a "cool" mom. They want a "real" mom. They want someone who tells them to clean their room, be in by midnight and stay away from that boy because he does only want one thing." Without a breath I continued on, "And further more, it sounds like your mom was the real deal and you better get down on your knees every night and thank God that you had a mother that cared so much for you and whether you know it or not.....taught you all the skills you need to be a damn good mom yourself. Now go pull your child off the x-ray techs leg and rock that tired baby to sleep." As I finished my last words to her, her face was ashen and the older woman whom speed racer mistook for preggers yelled out "Amen....you tell her how it is sista!"  I was a bit embarrassed at this point as all eyes were on me, including those of the tech who had come out to call my name and had been attacked by the two year old whirlwind. I started to turn to the young woman and apologize for my out burst....but as I turned to her, I saw that she had already grabbed speed racer and plunked her down in the chair next to her with a stern warning to sit still!....and now she was holding her little guy close obviously trying to sooth his exhaustion. She didn't look up as I walked back for my test and during the  test (about 45 min.) the whole scene played in my head and I felt really bad about going off on the young girl like I did. Maybe it was because I was already in an anxious mood over the test, or maybe it was because I just don't seem to be able to hold my tongue very well anymore, or maybe....and I think this was probably it....I hate to hear someone who has barely lived sit and talk negatively about a parent who has spent this child's entire life trying to make them the best they can be. Whatever the case....I wished that I had gone with the old adage....if you can't say something nice....don't say anything at all!

After my test, I walked back out into an almost empty waiting room. As I was checking out with the receptionist she said, "I heard what you said to that girl and it must have hit a nerve." I was a bit perplexed as she continued on...."She sat right there," pointing to the seat the girl had occupied, "and she didn't let that little girl get up again. She held that baby and he went right to sleep and she didn't say another word to anyone. So thank you. You just said what we were all thinking." 

As I walked out, I still felt bad that my mouth had shot off like it did, as it was not my intention to hurt or embarrass the young mother. It was also not my intention to scold or correct her. I have enough kids of my own to worry about....it is not my place to play mother to others.....especially when it sounded like she already had a pretty decent mom. Still though I wondered.....had my words really had an effect? Had I maybe made her realize that as moms go....we usually only get one and the sooner we learn to appreciate them.....the less regret we end up having? I really didn't know and I really hadn't decided whether I was ever going to share this story or not....until today. Today it just seemed like it fit....and so you have.... Motherhood for Dummies....Don't Diss the Mom!


Hope your Friday is the perfect ending to a perfect week!



11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cmom, this is a perfect example of why I monitor you. Why would you say something like this to a complete stranger? I am at a complete loss. Are you insane or just really out of touch with reality? How do you even live with yourself. Better yet, how do your children live with you? I feel for all that must deal with you in life.

J'nelle said...

Amen sista! Haven't we all wanted to do that a time or two! I am just so proud to read your blog and I think you come out looking just fine in this whole thing. Oh and Anonymous It's time for you to shut up!

Frequent Waiting Room Sitter said...

Oh Lord how I have wanted to do this very thing but never wanted to make that kind of waves. So glad you did and maybe you set this young woman straight. For all of us who have had to endure this kind of woman and her kids in a waiting room, thank you.

LisaAnne said...

Yes Lisa, you are that awful kind of mother. The kinds that expects your children to behave. The kind that checks up on them. The awful kind that worries about them.

As for your outburst. Probably not the best idea to do that out loud. All correction should always be done in love.

However, I am also tired of how we are supposed to be a society of not rocking the boat. Let people live how they want to live. It is their peroggative to live how they want, raise their children how they want, and to partake in any kind of sordid living that they choose.

And while that sounds good, it is not real. Every action that people around us make, causes some type of impact on us. Like an unruly child in the waiting room. While I am not concerned about how that toddler behaves at home, I am concerned about how she treats others in public.

Parenting decisions made in the privacy of your own home impact MY child at school. If your child can talk back to you, cuss and be generally unruly, what makes you think that he/she will treat the teacher with respect? Or my child? Your parenting decisions then become my problem.

I am glad that mom heard your message. Even if it was delivered poorly. lol

Maybe she might see that being a mean and awful mom isn't such a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

LisaAnne, I respectfully disagree with you. Maybe it is time more people spoke out. This mother in my opinion had it coming. You don't go into a public place, let your kids run wild and spend your time ignoring them and blurting out personal information to a complete stranger. This woman needed to learn that none of her actions that day were appropriate and speaking as a mother, if my daughter acted in such a way in public, I would applaud anyone with the balls to stand up and set her straight. I don't care if it embarrassed her to tears. I say way to go cmom. My only sadness in this was that I was not there to see it happen.

Seattle, WA

Marni said...

CMom.....you have only done what many of us wish we had the power to do. Listen...she started it...and THEN she ASKED you opinion. She ASKED what you thought. And maybe just maybe what you said hit a nerve with her and something she realized that she needs to change.
It hurts my heart that there are people out there that dont appreciate what their mothers (or parents) tried to do for them. I wish that I would have had a mother to set boundries on me....
Anyway...dont beat yourself up. Sometimes it takes a villiage to raise the children of the world.
And Anonymous......YOU MONITOR Cmom?! REALLY

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

You're an idiot. Really. I bet you couldn't even raise a dog. And if you do have a dog I can imagine what your house smells like. I'm guessing you don't have the fortitude it takes to train a dog.

A happy child is a love and disciplined child.

It takes balance to raise a children. Do you think Speed Racer was burning energy for fun and the baby was just crying just because it could? No. They needed something. They needed attention from their mom. You have to know when to hug and when to say NO MORE. The baby needed to be held and the 2 year old needed to be kept busy by her mom. And sometimes that's a sit still or a private butt warming.

The young mother needed to hear from an experienced mom. And that's exactly what happened.

And for you Anonymous, you need to sit down and shut up. You're acting like a 2 year old. Again.

Steve J.

Marni said...

Hey Steve....have I ever said you just have a way with words!!? LOL

Anonymous said...

Marni,

Nope. I don't think so. :)

Steve

Thiry said...

I'm not sure if anyone has noticed but the( _______ insert word) Anon. person, does not care what anyone has to say, so wasting words on them is pointless, they have a god complex and you will not win...
There have many times I wanted to say something to a person to let them know they should not be doing what they are doing, but have kept my mouth shut, perhaps more people should speak up, you don't have to be mean about it, just try to let them know and maybe it will make a difference.

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