Thursday, July 24, 2008

I was THAT mother!

A mother of one infant was at an attachment parenting (AP) playdate, and she saw a woman who was at the end of her rope. She decided to post about it on a private local board to vent her frustration to people who would understand. The mother to one infant posted that the overwhelmed mom was extremely negative toward her oldest child, maybe even to the point of making fun of her. She was preoccupied by blowing up a pool for some children, and then seemed to wander off and leave her young, crawling infant to be cared for by whoever was nearby, while she socialized and continued to harass her oldest child. She was at the AP playdate, but didn't seem to really "get" what AP was, and this mother of one infant decided that this out of control mom shouldn't think that what she is doing is AP, and that the mother of one infant was going to make sure that she was not at any other playdates with this mom who clearly doesnt "get" AP.

Well. Imagine my surprise to log on to that private local board and find a post about ME! I was the overwhelmed mom in question.

AP or mainstream, judgment sucks. But being online on different forums, I sure have seen a ton of "OMG I saw this lady at WalMart today...", and that day, I was the lady.

And granted, if I had one small child and saw a mom flipping out like I was flipping out, I suppose I might have sworn that would never, ever happen to me. Ive gotten loads of judgment from moms of one small child who havent lived through age 2, age 3, or any age past that. Just not ever quite like this. One should never swear that they are never, ever going to do something. It generally has the potential to come and bite you in the butt later.

My oldest daughter and I talked about that day. I apologized that day, and I apologized again. I was forgiven both times. She was horrified that a mom would talk about me like that, and said she was sad that this woman doesnt understand that people have bad days sometimes.

A wise mom friend of mine said something sweet, and true too, about this:
"I would much rather be the daughter of a woman who is open to learning and changing if something isn't working, than the daughter of someone who already has it all figured out."

The mother who posted did apologize to me, and felt badly that she had judged without knowing the full story and had not offered to help. She acknowledged that she had not been in my shoes before., and that she wanted to get to know me better.

I learned that I need to try harder to hold it together when Im in public.


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