Sunday, August 15, 2010

Judgy Wudgy Was A Bear

I was in a sorority in college so I am fully aware that women can be judgmental. Back then it was "oh you are going out on a Tuesday night, again?" "What do you mean you can't make rush activities because you have to work?" And "I can't believe she's wearing that hot pink sequined tube top out tonight?" Ok, I deserved to be judged about the hot pink sequined tube top, that was awful.

Then came law school where everyone was judgy (and competitive). "Your outline for property is only 15 pages? Mine is 20." "You finished that exam early? I was writing the entire time." And "you're missing wills and trusts again?" Well, everyone skipped out on wills and trusts, it was more awful than the hot pink sequined tube top.

But man oh man, you just do not know judgmental until you become a mom and have to defend your parenting decisions to other mothers. I was at a friend's baby shower this weekend and brought the Beast with me. The grandma-to-be had all her friends there and they all had lots of questions about the Beast. Questions like how old is he, is he sleeping through the night, is he a good baby, etc. But the most poignant question was, "so are you going back to work?" Said with an underlying tone that the right answer is no. So of course I answer that I am going back to work and they all wanted to know when. I told them that I was going back in two weeks. Which led to the next question, "who is going to watch the baby?" I answered that he is going to a very nice daycare by my house. That is when the line of questioning ends with a very disapproving, "ooooh, I see."

The grandma-to-be tried to come to my rescue and announced to her friends that I am an attorney but that just made their eyes grow wider and me stammer, "well, I, um, don't work traditional hours, um, like a corporate attorney (I work in public law), um, so, um, yeah, it should work out."

Now I am not going to see these women again so I do not know why (1) they care about my work schedule/daycare arrangements, and (2) why I care about them caring about my work schedule/daycare arrangements. It is just that initial disapproving "ooooh, I see" coupled with the disapproving look that really gets to me. I shouldn't feel the need to defend or explain my choice to anyone, especially people I'm not going to see again. I do not need to prove to anyone, other than my son, that I am a good mom.

I know this incident (which, in hindsight, wasn't that bad) is going to be one of many where someone makes me feel guilty or upset about being a working mom. But I am going to try my hardest to own my status as a working mom and come up with some kind of good response to such questions so that I don't have to stammer some lame justification. I'll have to work on my response because all I have so far is, "go f**k yourself" and that is considered rude in most circles.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed! I got the same disapproving looks since I announced my pregnancy.