This year I would like to thank all of those delightful people who still insist on judging me for being a full-time mother. I'm having a difficult time lately, so thank you, granny at a birthday party, for insinuating that I'm a bad mother because I go to work. You probably have no idea how critical your statement, "I assume P is in nursery part-time?" sounded, or perhaps you do and think working mothers are all there for judgmental cows like yourself to patronise. When I confirmed that in fact I do imprison my child 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, you clucked and turned back to attending someone else's child. This other child is no doubt looked after a doting and attentive mother all day, every day, rather than sucked into the bosom of the uncaring nursery foster mothers like my poor child.

I would also like to thank you, anonymous grandmother, for twisting the spike ever deeper into my chest by remarking how very tiny my malnourished, unloved child is. "She's soooo much tinier than all of the others!", you say, a weak smile on my lips as I hear this sentiment, again, for the thousandth time in my daughter's brief life. I suppose you, too, would be small if you were chained to a crib slat all day with only a festering bottle of formula as your sole source of nourishment. My poor, poor, baby. Starving for attention as well as food.

Because parenting is the gift that keeps on giving, today as yet another nosy bitch passive aggressively passed judgment on my decision to put P in nursery. Ironically, it was the head of the programme. I was explaining that P would be picked up early by The Dude, which clearly delighted this champion of toddler rights, who smiled and said, "That will be nice! It will be good for her to leave early for once!" So to you, yes, I get it. Despite me contributing to your paycheck, it is still apparently your place to advise me as to the best way to raise my daughter. Perhaps I should pay even more fees, a consultancy fee, if you will.

Comments like these annoy me on so many levels, but I'm far too tired and lazy to get into those at the moment. In brief, I am frustrated that it is perceived that I need to explain my decision as to why I work full-time to a random stranger, or anyone for that matter. The basic point is that I like to work. I like to work full-time. My daughter, though currently experiencing periods of complete and utter two year old-related madness, is nurtured and adored by both of her parents. I can't imagine being any closer to her than I am, and defy anyone to prove that our relationship would be better if I worked less.

Thank you ladies. My child may be in the care of people other than her parents for the bulk of the work week, but I am raising her to be fair-minded and respectful of others' decisions and points of view. I'm sorry for you that no amount of staying at home will make your children or grandchildren more likely to be the kind of person that I am helping to shape my daughter to become. Thank you for making me realise that I am a better mother than I sometimes think myself to be.

Ahem. Deep breath. Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate! Below are my favourite Thanksgiving-related cards from my beloved someecards.com. Laugh until stuffing comes out of your nose.


Aunt Becky said...

Blerg! I hate people sometimes. I get the opposite end of the spectrum: the people who insist upon turning up their noses at me because I stay home. They assume that not only am I uneducated, but I am pretty much worthless aside from wiping butts.

People piss me off.

IdleMindOfBeth said...

LOVE the ecards! too funny!

and as for other people's opinions... all you can do is try to remember that YOU are doing the best for YOUR family. it's really nobody else's business!


OvaGirl said...

And yet Pru...if you didn't have these assholes in your life you wouldn't get to blog such fab responses! You parent Miss P perfectly. (ooh alliteration!)Love the cards too!

Anonymous said...

Oh God, it's opinions and assholes again, isn't it? Some topics just bring out the inner foot in people, just ready for insertion into the mouth.

Aunt Becky is not alone: I also feel judged when I tell people that I haven't gone back to work. I often get a distinct undercurrent of 'Oh... fancied the easy life, did you?... bit of parasitism?... Job not very good/well-paid to start with, was it?'

Meh. Screw 'em all.

Nic said...

I am wondering if there is less judgement of working mom's here in the US, as I haven't gotten comments like that much if at all. Or maybe it's just here in the rarified air of the Northeast ;-) Or perhaps I've just been lucky.

I have to agree with the others - you are doing a fabulous job of raising P (if she ends up with anything like your sense of humor and wit you'll have done well!) and screw the arses and their opinions.

Anonymous said...

if they did not judge you, they might have to find some other way to feel superior. you are contributing to their self image. consider it a public service.

Kristi said...

So sorry you had to endure such crap. Can you just imagine anyone talking to a man that way? Me either.

Those cards rock!

Anonymous said...

Love the cards - hahahaha

And I think HFF hit the nail on the head - if you were staying home they'd still tut and turn away over something else.

Only you know whats best for your daughter. Having you at home stressed and wanting to not be home wouldn't be good for anyone.

Keep up the great work!

statia said...

I knew you were chaining her to her crib slats. Or as you crazy Brits call, cot slats. The pretty bracelets were just a cover up for the rope burns.

Seriously dude, people judge others to make themselves feel better. I don't have to tell you that. They're obviously feeling guilty about their shitty parenting abilities. Just like anything else, staying home isn't for everyone. And neither is feeding your child. I mean, come on,they're EXPENSIVE.

Magpie said...

People! Why can't they keep their mouths shut? There's no winning the SAHM vs. WOHM dilemma/debate. Sorry you had to contend with that. But thanks for the cards!

Molly said...

Oh dear. People are pains in the ass.

And so are you, my love. Happy American Thanksgiving!

Tash said...

Oh for fucks sake . . . is this truly a relative? Or an in-law? (Because, I've found, there is a difference. Can you invite ME to the next gathering so I can unload?

Nothing like the holidays to put the U back in GUILT, huh. goddamn, so sorry you needed to listen to all that.

I'm clenching my jaw in anticipation of the familial holiday emotional trainwreck tomorrow. CANNOT WAIT. I'm sure mothering will be involved, and I'm a fucking SAHM. Seriously, some people just look for it and it's a no win.

Lotta said...

Oh man. That's my holiday only in reverse. My mom was a very liberal feminist from the 70s and is appalled that I DON'T work outside the home.

She's got a double masters degree and thinks it's bizarre that I have no desire to further my education.

There is a reason people bring wine to Thanksgiving dinner. It's called sedation!

calliope said...

sheesh. People can just be wanks. Sucks that we have to be related to people without doing some sort of screening process.

May said...

Wow. People suck.

Happy turkey day, my dear.

Major Bedhead said...

What a couple of cows.

When I first started working at the Big Box Store, another woman there asked me if I was a student or "just a mom."

People never cease to amaze me with their complete and utter lack of tact.

Seriously? - Erin said...

Here from ICLW. I have to say I DREAD these comments. I am already being subjected to the comments and this at six months pregnant. People in my town are shocked that I am STILL working. Then they ask with a look of horror if I am returning to work after the baby is born. Um, yes I am actually. I don't even bother to try and explain that I would like to pay my mortgage and I would happily stay home if they want to finance it!

Stacie said...

Ugg. I hate people like that. And yes, I get similar comments a lot, too. I am sorry that their ignorance and inconsideration have hurt you.

Here from ICLW

Amy said...

I'm sorry you've had to deal with these people. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving though!


Kristin said...

Love, love, love the ecards!

I hate that people feel the need to judge mothers for any of the working or feeding choices we make.


DeadBug said...

I leave the house at 9 a.m. and get home at 8:30. I keep my toddlers up till 10 p.m. or later and they have different nannies for the different days of the week and I even let them watch television. If I had a nickel for every time someone has tried to guilt-trip me over the lack of routine, lack of stability or some other aspect of my parenting, I could personally bail out the US auto industry. (Not that I would, mind you.) But you know what? My kids are fantastic. They are happy, they are smart, they are curious and they are incredibly well adjusted little people--you know, despite the awful parenting.

Your beautiful girl is full of life and energy and interests and fun; I hope you can let that kind of asshattery roll right off your back.


Helen said...

Poor P. Poor, poor P. She's clearly headed for a lifetime of red-light districts, so desperate she must be for affection. She'll meet my kids there, too then. They'll own the place.

I've been getting it constantly too. A few weeks ago from my sister-in-law and today from a doctor.

"And I'd like to offer up a big 'Fuuuuuuuuuck yooooooooooooooou' to those who judge."