Dear Other Women In The Supermarket

Dear Woman-in-the-supermarket,

Let me break this down for you. I am the mother of two small boys. They are aged two and three. Do you know what that means? No, really. Do you KNOW what that means?

That means:

In three years I have not taken a wee on my own.

Most days, I pray for the day when my body will be mine again, and not a malleable comfort blanket to my kids. In fact, most nights, I am grateful for the ten minutes I have before one or both little bodies creep into my bed and sleepily grab my hand or arm or stomach.

I am usually at my wits end by 9am. You see, by that stage, I have lived a whole day. We get up before the birds do, and by 9am I have a day’s work done.

So. You understand, when I am DUMBFOUNDED by your lack of empathy while I am attempting to do our weekly shop. You get it, when I pale as you trundle towards me, shaking your finger at me while telling me to “control that child”. You can’t be that stupid, surely. Do you think I WANT to be crouched in the freezer aisle, beside a two year old who is howling because the toolbox that he insisted that carting with him won’t close properly. The toolbox that is almost as big as he is, and yet, which he insisted upon dragging through ten long aisles to get to here. Do you really think I want to be there? With my three year old sitting beside me, arguing the toss with his brother?

Thank you for adding colour to my day. Although I feel like a terrible mother a lot of the time, it’s not usual for it to be thrust upon me, with the vim you displayed this morning. I assume you have no kids, and if you do, live in hope that these stressful moments will be so insignificant in my future that I won’t even remember them.

But I won’t be like you, other woman. Oh no. I hope to leave that judgey side to people like you, who are so brilliant at it. I hope to be able to offer a sympathetic glance, or a rub of the forearm to a woman who is clearly in the weeds, and whisper to her that it will actually be ok. Soonish.

Until then, you will excuse me, as I drag my unkempt self up and down the aisles, offering chocolate treats like the witch out of Hansel & Gretel. I may have a heat rash from the humiliation of it all, but I am getting there. Just trying to get through the day. Just like you. I don’t know what’s going on in your life, and I hope it’s not stress-filled or horrible. But it would be lovely if you could be a little bit nicer to people like me. Because I’m not horrible, or terrible or even mean. I’m just a Mum, who’s finding it hard to get through the day at the moment.

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About Ciara McDonnell

Ouch My Fanny Hurts was born in the late stages of my first pregnancy. I was sick and tired of everyone going on and ON about how brilliant it is to be pregnant, when actually, lots of it was quite crap really. And, my fanny hurt a lot. So, I decided to tell the truth about my experience while I was pregnant, and the journey I have been on since, as our little fella grew a little bigger, and we brought our second son into the world in what turned out to be fairly scary circumstances. It’s my story, and I am delighted to share it.
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11 Responses to Dear Other Women In The Supermarket

  1. If you tell me the supermarket, I will print these out and hand them out at the door.

  2. fsmum says:

    Oh how I empathise with this situation! My little boy is now six but when he was younger he was something of a live wire. Well, even more of a live wire than he is now. I remember vividly to this day the look of disgust an old dear gave me when he started throwing my shopping out of the trolley. She remarked to her friend that you need a licence to have a dog, maybe people should have licences for kids too! I couldn’t get out of there quick enough!

  3. Dunnes is my nemesis. My middle fella ALWAYS has a meltdown there. Aldi and Tesco are grand (well,no meltdowns just hyper children). There’s something in the lights there I tell you, the number of people who asked me when I wrote about interfering biddies in the supermarket who asked me if it was Dunnes was mad. There’s got to be something in it. Also, the nicer the area, the less nice the old biddies.
    I feel your pain, I am you and have been you and it’s rotten. I’ve also taken people to task for interfering, for trying to make things better and for making things worse. FUCK them all

  4. Katche7 says:

    So glad you’re in Ireland as sadly it’s the kind of thing my mum would do. x

  5. I really hate these pompous, woe-is-me, self-absorbed wankey articles. I am also the mother of two small children – except one of my children died suddenly and unexpectedly 4 years ago. There are worse things to be dealing with in life than having two healthy, developmentally normal children having a turn in the supermarket. Do an internet shop instead.

    • Hi Susan, I am so sorry for your loss. I do know that there’s much worse things to be dealing with, as one of my sons was extremely ill and almost died shortly after birth. I have written about this quite a bit on the blog. I am sorry you find me so wanky, self absorbed and woe is me, but I am sure if you knew my work at all, you would find me to be not at all as horrible as you think I am. I can’t imagine the daily pain you live through, sending love your way. Ciara

      • Thanks. I just find it very depressing that the Blog of the Day on netmums is another hysterical rant about how hard parenting is. I didn’t say you were wanky or self-absorbed – just that your article was, which is quite different. However we flipped onto your next page, where you’ve done the standard am-dram OMG my CHILD almost DIED post. Can’t tell you how annoying this is to people who have lost children in accidents. Yeah, yeah, I know you’re just trying to make it engaging and popular, but it still drives me bonkers. Sorry.

      • No worries. Don’t read anymore in case it makes you more furious! Best of luck to you and your family in the future. (And when your child has actually almost died, BELIEVE me when I tell you, you are entitled and thrilled to be able to write “standard am-dram” posts like the one you are referring to.) happy Sunday to you!

  6. irishjackie says:

    I really enjoyed the article Ciara, and no doubt lots of other women have as well. There’s nothing like a good old rant, and the way you write, of course, make is funnier. My heart goes out to Susan, who has made the previous comment, and of course it is easy to understand how it must feel as a parent who has either lost of child or has a very ill child.

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