Friday, July 13, 2012

Pulling the 'baby card'

So, I'm a mom. 

Right?  You all know that.  Or, well, you should, if you know me at all.  

And part of what makes me who I am as a parent, is the part about putting my child's needs first, always.  Pretty much anyone who willingly signs on to be a parent agrees to the fact that to be a good parent, your needs come second now.  I didn't think this was a novel concept.

"You seriously need to stop pulling the baby card."

And, that's when I went through the roof.  

This is not a post being mean to people who don't have babies/children.  I don't put you down for going out to eat, going to the movies, going to a bar, etc. whenever you want.  Heck, you want to spend every single weekend you have sitting on the couch all day long watching tv with a bowl of ice cream in your lap, it's not my business to tell you whether you should or shouldn't do that.  

I just ask for the same respect.  When I do, or do not, do something because of my child, his schedule, his temperament, or even my overall ability to make myself/my child presentable and decent after spending the morning having food thrown at me, chasing a toddler through the house trying to get a diaper on his bum before he pees on my furniture, and just being pregnant and overall wanting to curl up on my own couch and snuggle my child and read a book calmly instead of trekking all over town, you don't get the right to verbalize your disdain of my actions to me.  Well, if you still want to be a part of my life, that is.  And even if I decide to take my child out to do something, by ourselves, or with other mommy friends and their children, you don't get to be offended that I don't invite you to go every time.  Maybe I just want to be out by myself where the only people who can judge my child only eating cheese are strangers who don't know me.  Maybe I want to go out with another mother who gets it when we make it halfway through a meal and then have to leave because of a blowout diaper or toddler tantrum.  If you are important enough to me, I WILL make time for you otherwise, and chances are I already have.  But even if we don't get to spend as much time together as we did before, or as you want to now, that still doesn't give you the right to tell me to stop 'pulling the baby card.'

Because while my lifestyle is no better than yours, it is very different- and, unlike you, I can empathize with where you are right now.  You, however, have not a clue what it's like to be a parent.  (Babysitting or spending time with your friend's children doesn't count either, it is completely different when they are your own.)  And I can say that, because before I was one, I had no clue either, and probably made some dumb comments like these.  Hopefully, the recipients didn't keep me around too long, because there is no need for that.  

When you only have a few hours a day to yourself, most of which are spent cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, showering, etc., those few spare minutes you get to talk to a friend or a family member are precious.  And if you're going to spend your time being hateful about me taking care of my child the way I see fit, you're not going to last very long in my life.  Because, not once, not ever, will I agree with you and say, 

"Oh, yeah, you're right.  That was extremely rude of me to make sure my child's needs were taken care of first, before your needs.  Next time I'll make sure what you want is my first priority."

For whatever reason, this phrase/statement just really makes me crazy.  (Can you tell?)  Has anyone ever said anything to you about your parenting that has just sent you through the roof?  I need to commiserate.

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  1. I can totally understand that and realize that maybe why i don't have the friends I used to have...that maybe sad to some people but oh well their loss not mine. Actually I had the same problem over 5 years ago when I was diagnosis with RA and could not/did not want to go out when I was not feeling "up to par". I know big differences but some people don't understand when you don't put them first.

  2. "trying to get a diaper on his bum before he pees on my furniture," that made me laugh, oh the things I have to look forward to!

    I'm not a mom yet, but already I'm feeling pressure from my friends with them saying "are we even going to see you anymore on the weekends?" probably not. "we can still go to the mall together all the time when you have the baby because you just bring the stroller" um. no, not as often. & I'm sure it will just get worse! I'm glad for the heads up though, and I hope I don't completely lose it! Good luck!

  3. It is sad but true, life is different and it doesn't mesh well with certain friends anymore. They don't understand how world changing and it e consuming having a baby can be. All new mothers have been thru this transition. Thanks for sharing, it's nice to know you're not alone in things like this sometimes. I'm a new follower.

  4. Thank you ladies. It does feel much better to know that there are other mamas hearing the same thing and feeling the same way.


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