I was talking with some fellow working moms (WMs) the other night, and I heard a story that got me so fired up I’m writing a column about it. Read on and be appalled …
WM was feeling guilty about not spending enough time with her children and decided to take a day off to simply play with her kids. They’d sleep in, go to Starbucks and “pretend” to work on laptops while they sipped coffee and hot chocolate, ate a fun lunch out, and then maybe saw a movie or went bowling. They’d talk, laugh, hug and create beautiful memories. More importantly, WM would assuage her guilt and all would be right in the world.
But of course everyone was grumpy the morning of the much-anticipated Bonding Day, and no one really wanted to get dressed and go out. But damn it, chillin’ at the coffee shop was on the schedule, so WM plowed ahead. An hour later, after her sugar-crazed rugrats had completely ignored multiple harshly whispered pleas to calm the frick down, she decided to cut her losses and pack up. Better luck at Stop No. 2.
Here’s where it got interesting. Another patron, a woman mind you, had the nerve to criticize her parenting as she was leaving. To. Her. Face. I know! Instead of empathizing with a “Don’t worry about it, honey, we’ve all been there,” or even better, offering a “Can I help you?” Ms. High-and-Mighty touted her Christian beliefs and suggested that maybe WM should have just stayed home. Can you believe that? I just want to punch her! WM ended her morning crying in the car and feeling even guiltier than before. Way to go, lady.
We’ve all witnessed our kid meltdowns in a nice restaurant or the checkout aisle at Meijer, but who in her right mind actually says something when she sees the chaos unfolding? And I’m sure this woman thought she understood the situation perfectly, and that she was doing her good deed for the day, but all that hag managed was to ladle a huge helping of guilt on WM, who was already beyond frustrated and disappointed.
Admittedly, I judge other moms all the time, but I would never express it out loud for two reasons: I’m the blackest pot on the stove and karma’s a bitch. Listen, people: Being a mom is tough, and working moms constantly struggle to find a good balance between career and home. Please don’t add to the scales by dishing out unsolicited advice. Instead, try putting yourself in her position and remember how challenging parenting can be. A few kind words in solidarity can make all the difference, particularly to WMs. Peace out.