Today I was having my coffee and watching the Today Show, just moments ago and there was a woman who had written a book about motherhood in response to some negativity she received after a comment she had made during a previous interview. Today's interview focused on how mother's tend to judge other mothers and the pressure we put on each other to be perfect. OMG I thought just yesterday I dealt with this. I have a bumper sticker on my ugly, dented, blue minivan that is filled with spilled goldfish crackers, randomly thrown sweaters and forgotten toys rolling around on the floor. The bumper sticker reads "I love my rotten ungrateful children." In general this bumper sticker gets nothing more than chuckles, thumbs up as I drive by or people just shaking their heads.
Yesterday however one of the physical therapists I share a patient with asked if the van in the driveway with this sticker on it was mine. I said yeah of course it was mine, she knew who the only other car in the drive belonged to. She rolled her eyes and said, "really you're children are rotten and ungrateful. Well mine never were. I guess its because they were raised poor with nothing and are thankful for everything they have." OMG I wanted to slap her. I don't know this woman from anything other than the 30 minutes per week she spends with my patient. I reply, "You have heard of sarcasm haven't you??"
Holy Moly! Obviously this woman has no idea that previous to my adequately paying career (she earns equally as much!) I was in school in my mid thirties finishing my last semester on welfare, divorcing a husband with a psychiatric condition that presented itself in my third year of school just six months after my youngest child received a Fragile X diagnosis. My children are far from privileged. What gives people the right to assume things about another? Really what are they ungrateful for the ten year old dented and somewhat broken minivan the stickers are applied to? Or are they ungrateful that their mother spends her time caring for other disabled children so they can eat and have a roof over their head while she has her own special needs child at home? I wanted to scream and slap her across the face. Instead I simply said, "Really, its not literal, I tease them, and unlike others they get that its a joke!) Just like the bumper sticker along side of it that says, " I like poetry, long walks on the beach and poking dead things with a stick!" Like I have time to go around and poke road kill!