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.