BC-MOMS-COMMENTS:MCT _ youth, lifestyle (800 words)
Attack of the Â… who are these people anyway?
By Nancy Rabinowitz-Friedman
Here are some of the choice things said to me recently by friends and family:
As I was on my way to the gym:
“I so admire you, Nancy. I could never leave the house looking like that.”
As I was entering a dressing room to try on bathing suits:
“Are you gonna fit in those?”
As I was apologizing to another mother whose son my own son teased:
“Well, a lot of the boys have been teasing. But of course that’s your son’s fault.”
As I was saying goodbye to a mother who had come to my apartment to pick up her child from a playdate:
“Is this space adequate for you? With two children? You find this adequate?”
As I was discussing a family issue with a visiting (house-guest) relative on my husband’s side:
“Well, you’re an outsider, so you can’t really understand.”
As I was debating putting up bookshelves in my kitchen:
“Well if you want it to look like a cookbook shop in here, go ahead.”
As I was putting a meal in front of my 9-year-old:
“It’s OK Mommy, but it’s not the best.”
What’s going on, here? Since when did I become a punching bag for everybody in town? Even my kid has gotten into the act!
I know, I know, these are stressful times, and people are on edge. But honestly, do they all have to take it out on me?
I’ve been wondering if it’s because I’m a stay-at-home mom. It’s easy to bash the stay-at-home mom. As Jen Lee said on this blog earlier this week, “the value of staying home has been lost …” But the thing is, most of these things (besides my kid’s lovely comment) came from other stay-at-home moms. These are supposed to be my pals, my buddies, my support system. Good thing they’re not my adversaries. What would they say then?
Why is it that women often hurt each other more than they help each other? The woman in the bathing suit situation, for example, might have said something like “Oh _ I hate trying on bathing suits! Good luck! I’m sure you’ll look great.” Thereby commiserating, supporting and positively reinforcing me all with a few phrases. Instead, she went for the kill.
The woman with the problem with my (perfectly adequate, thank you) apartment might have said … well, how about NOTHING!!!!! Just “thanks for the playdate” buh-bye. What makes people think I want to hear their opinion about my life, my clothes or anything else they choose to pick on.
But I learned long ago that you can’t make people say what you’d like them to say — or not say. I can, however, in the hindsight of the blogosphere, say what I wanted to say (but didn’t) to these perfectly nasty women.
To the mother who endlessly (and snidely) comments on what I’m wearing:
“Well, not all of us are so shallow that we only care about how we look.”
To the friend (friend!) who is concerned about my bathing suit size
“I’m going to try these on and see. But it’s nice to know your foot fits into your mouth without a problem.”
To the blamer mom:
“Yes, and my son is also responsible for the all the fascist regimes throughout history.”
To the “OMG, you live in a hovel” mom:
“It’s OK as long as you’re not in here filling it up with your ego.”
To the family member who thinks I’m an outsider:
“You mean I’m not one of the family? Great! Now I won’t have to see you again.”
To the cookbook hater:
“I’ve eaten at your house, honey. Trust me, you could use a trip to a cookbook shop.”
To my kid:
“You don’t like it? Don’t eat it.” (Actually, I did say that one. Yay me.)
Bottom line? Well, it may be an old cliche but it’s a good one: if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it. And I’d add my own: And if someone has something not nice to say, zing it right back at ’em!
This is an original post from the NYC Moms Blog (http://www.nycmomsblog.com). Nancy Rabinowitz-Friedman writes and rants about momming, aging and her 20-year quest to lose the same 10 pounds at Ageless Body, Timeless Mom.com (http://www.agelessbodytimelessmom.wordpress.com/).

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