This Bugged Me

I was painting my nails tonight and couldn't get this conversation that I had out of my head. The other day, I was talking to another Mom who had a little boy just younger than Geddy. We had just met casually at an activity and she was friendly enough.

We started talking and she was explaining how hard it is because she is going to school and her son is only a year and a half and I was trying to be really friendly and likable (which is hard for me because I get anxious in social situations). I was even enthusiastic about the fact that she was majoring in Psychology. I applauded it because good for her! I did start the conversation after all. After she had said her 10 cents about her school situation, she turned to me and asked me if I was still in school.

Being that I am not and the fact that I am totally okay with that, I explained, "I was going to school at UVU but stopped after my son was born and haven't had the desire to return since".

She made a face.

This is a face I am sure we have all seen before.

 It was a fake, closed mouth, fading, smile and a slight nod of the head with no comment as she looked away.

Apparently, she was so put off by the fact that I haven't decided to further my education that the conversation stopped dead in it's tracks and we said nothing more. That was it, our conversation was over. And it was a good conversation that was really engaged and it had more places to go like "where are you from" or "is your husband going to school" but she said nothing more. And it's not like something else distracted her, we sat in silence until some other Mom's came over.

I must say, I was insulted.

I find this type of thing happens a lot here in Provo. A lot of women are focusing on their educations which frankly, I think is great! If that is what you want then you should go get it. ABSOLUTELY! Don't hold yourself back. "Get it girl!" BUT the moment that you judge me for not doing the exact same, is the moment where you lose my respect.

It was almost like I told her I didn't know what came after A in the alphabet, I felt like I was dubbed "unintelligent", therefore not worth talking to.

Now, I don't know what bothers me the more, the fact that she acted that way or the fact that I care.

Ultimately, the things that I am interested in, I am SURE she wasn't. I can tell you a crap load about different dog breeds. I absolutely love them and read a ton about them when I first got married. It was interesting to me and important. Also, I can name at least 5 modern day designers that I am sure she knew nothing about. But that's not important to her, which is cool. But don't judge me because it's different from you.

I find it hard because so many times people see stay at home Moms as unintelligent or sheltered. "They don't speak for themselves because their Husbands speak for them" type of thing. Which is so far from the the truth. I think in this day and age, it takes a lot for a woman to choose to stay home. I know that we don't have all the luxuries because I have decided that I want to be home with my kids instead of working (if at all possible). That is what I wanted to do. Because of that we don't have a big house with multiple fantastic cars but I spoke up and said, "this is what I think is right for our family" and I had a husband who supported me.

Now, let me be clear, if you are a Mom and you want to work and further your education or you need to work, props to you! I don't think it's a bad thing to want to have a degree or to really want to work outside of the home. It's about what works for you and your family. Many women feel like they are better Mom's when they are able to get out of the house and focus on other things during the day. I TOTALLY get that. I can't tell you how many times I have thought "I need to step away for a bit because I am not being the best Mom I can be". And not everything works the same for every family, we are all so different.

So to close. We are all women (well, not everyone but you get the point). And those of us who are Mother's should be a bit more respectful to each other and lift each other up, regardless of our working status. Because honestly, I didn't give two hoots about your education lady but I was trying to be uplifting to another Woman and Mother. I wish you had done the same.

Happy Saturday.



Jenna Christensen said...

I'm so glad we ended up next to each other at work almost 5 years ago. You still make me want to fist pump as much as anyone I have in-person interactions with. Stay at home mom, childlessness, work, college, singledom, or any combination of those (except childlessness and stay at home mom, cause that makes no sense), we should support each other in the choices we make and respect those choices.

Haley said...

I had a similar conversation once and it left me frustrated. You're right, we all have been dealt a different hand and our job is to do our very best and celebrate others as they do their best. That's exactly what you are doing! I've been reading and rereading the talk "mothers who know" by Julie b beck and it has helped me to refocus my energies and priorities. It's awesome.

Eliana Smith Designs said...

Oh Hilary, you are preaching to the ever growing choir. I feel like I'm a chill mom. I love to hear what other moms (whether older or younger) do or the routines that work for them, I love research and love to learn but I feel, now having entered motherhood, that the hardest and most judgmental people are other mothers. This is a truth in Utah and outside of Utah where I'm at. It's sucks!
"Oh you use disposable diapers?"
"You don't co-sleep or baby wear?"
"You let your daughter have chocolate?"
"You immunize? Don't you know what's in that stuff?"
"You had an epidural?"
"You buy name brand for your baby?"
I have heard all this crap. I don't understand how mothers can be so hard on each other or so rude. There is no one right way to do something. Everyone has different values and opinions and just because I don't buy strictly organic doesn't make me a bad mom.
It's time we start supporting each other and not judging each other. Thanks for posting your thoughts!!!

Read this article too! I know you'll love it: http://www.mothersmovement.org/features/05/f_fox_0504/judging_mothers_1.htm