Allow me to set the scene:
I have been up since 4am. Every day this week. The whole family have colds and it is down to me as earth mother extraordinaire to deal with the fallout. I don’t feel like earth mother extraordinaire by the way. I feel like opening the front door and running to Dunnes and begging them if I can stock their freezers all day rather than stay at home.
I am typing this huddled in the dark, hiding from the seven month old, who is napping with one eye open beside me so he can catch me if I try to escape. Last night, he slept, all night long, with one hand grabbing a fistful of my hair and the other pinching my face. I am not in a good mood.
Yesterday, I was not in a good mood either. It seems to be the week for it. The big one punished me for sending out some work emails by refusing to take a nap, so at 1pm I found myself hauling the two of them around Dundrum, amusing them with a bag of those carroty kid crisps that look like Chickatees.
Anyway, I was delighted with myself. Both the boys were having a great time, smearing orangey crisps all over their faces, and I was getting a tiny second of peace. Then, I felt the pointed glare of a woman judging me. “Do you SEE that woman? She’s feeding her kids cheese puffs!!!! Even the BABY!”. A sideways glance revealed a young woman, perfectly groomed – hair extensions, the LOT, leaning in disgust into a woman I can only presume was her mother. The mother was tutting and shaking her head and saying “I know, I know. It’s an absolute disgrace. Those POOR little kiddies”.
Me. They were talking about ME. If I had been feeling less crap about myself, or having a more peaceful day, I would have shouted in their faces and done some Tyra Banks style finger waving, but I didn’t have it in me. I crept to the car park and deposited my orange, but happy kids into the car, and fled the scene.
So, today I say, before you judge that woman who is giving her kid a milky bar at half seven in the morning, and before you tut at the lady with the five year old in McDonalds, spare a thought for her SANITY.
We are all just doing the best we can, so let’s lay off the bitchy comments, ok?
Right, I am off to prepare a take down speech off by heart so that I can deliver it at will to the next woman who makes a snarky comment about me and my children. And, breathe.