This is a familiar headline to mums ever since that lithe blond breast-fed her preschooler on the front of Time magazine. I think that we all had our own opinion on that one (lets just say that it reminded me a little too much of that infamous Game of Thrones scene).
Usually the battle is a bit more subtle… the giving of the “side eye” at mothers who give their kids fast food, let them watch TV or let them bite other kids without disciplining them…. silent judging. Or, as I experienced this past weekend, not so silent.
My husband thought I over reacted to this incident, but it made me by turns furious, embarrassed and sad.
We took Buds to the park on Sunday morning, as we do almost every weekend morning. The three of us, two coffees and a sippy cup, running around in the sand. This week, Buds was obsessed with the slide. He was up and down that thing about a zillion times! He was having the time of his little life and as exhausted as we were (he was up at 6AM and raring to go that morning) we were loving being able to share the joy with him.
One one of his ascents to the top of the slide, another mother stopped and squinted up at me:
“I always wondered who his parents were”
I felt like she had kicked me in the teeth. She went on to say that she had seen my son with his babysitter and how great it was to put faces to his parents. I probably mumbled an answer that made no sense and she moved on, leaving me feeling like the world’s shittiest mother. To me, she had implied that I was some form of absentee parent that was uninvolved in her child’s life, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Is this how working parents are viewed? As ghosts in their children’s lives?
Have any of you working mothers experience anything like this? Did I overreact? Was I too hard on myself?