I have to get something off my chest. It drove me absolutely nuts.
Yesterday, Lizzy wore a cute little sundress to church. The dress from this post actually. She looked cute as a button. So before church, I was trying to put Lizzy to sleep while gabbing with Justin and my parents. Suddenly, a fellow church-goer (whom I have know for a long time) turned to me, and we had the following conversation:
Church Lady: Meredith, it's so nice to see Elizabeth all dressed up and looking like a girl.
I stare at church lady blankly.
Church Lady: Well you usually have her in all these little gender neutral outfits. It's nice to see her finally looking like a girl.
My mom's mouth drops open
Me: Actually, she's worn a pink outfit every time we've been to church here.
Church Lady: Well but today she is actually in a dress. She looks very cute and feminine.
And then I turned around and went back to talking with my family. It was all I could do not to go on a long diatribe. Because the conversation kind of irritated me. It does just so happen that she has worn pink every Sunday...but even when I don't always dress her in pink (which I don't), it is really not anyone's business.Girls, even little ones, are allowed to wear colors other than pink. And they're allowed to have green car seats (which is something else that I'm often chastised about from both people at church and complete strangers in the grocery store).
It's worth mentioning that nearly every time I've posted a shady or offensive conversation, it has occurred at church, which I think is really sad. Churches are supposed to be places of love and support, not places where we tear each other down. And let's pretend for a moment that I wasn't someone who has attended regularly. Maybe someone that had only attended two, or three times. Do you think that person would ever come back? I know that I wouldn't.
While I was still pregnant, my mom gave me a cartoon from the newspaper. It shows a new mom, struggling with balancing an infant and all of her gear as she's sitting down on a park bench. Next to her, sits a little old lady who is knitting. The little old lady looks over at the mom and says, "Excuse me miss, but do you realize that everything you're doing with that baby is completely wrong?"
To be honest, I have found that cartoon to read very true, and not just when it comes to little old ladies. I'm often stopped by strangers to tell me that I really should feed my child because she's hungry (no, actually she's tired), or that putting a car seat in the baby section of a shopping cart is extremely dangerous, or that letting her stand on my legs will make her bow-legged, or that using a pacifier increases the risk of SIDS (actually, just the opposite is true), and all sorts of other things that basically say 'You're a bad mom. You don't know what you're doing.'
I know that I'm not a bad mom, but the thing that bothers me MOST about the situation, is that the mom bashing almost always comes from other people who are moms themselves. Occasionally, I'll get a silly comment from someone that doesn't have kids ("How long is she gonna cry like that?"), but those I'm much more apt to forgive. It is honestly the nasty comments from other moms that get me fired up because they've been there. They KNOW what it can be like. And I'm sure they know that there are very few mommas out there who don't do the best they can for their kids--and that's coming from someone who used to work with kids in foster care.
Sometimes, I just don't understand. Has our society really lost that little filter that causes us to think before we speak?