We can have pretty sharp tongues, can’t we? I think some of the most hurtful comments I have received have been from other women. We cut each other down quicker than lightening. I imagine moms that stay at home are hurt by comments and stereotypes as well. I think working moms are insulted in some pretty hurtful ways, though. Much if it is meaningless or unintentional, but it gets kind of hard to shrug it off, doesn’t it?
We get comments from our parents, our co-workers, our church family, our friends, moms in other situations, and sometimes even our spouses. Sometimes one comment is enough to wreck our entire emotional state, add on tiredness or fatigue or projects…whew! It can be disastrous.
What in the world do we do? I think the first thing is to respond with gracefulness. That’s what this blog is about, right? At the risk of sounding redundant, I truly believe acting gracefully resolves a lot of the hurt. We can’t erase the zing but we can extend them grace. We don’t even have to go into justifying our situation or comparing ourselves. Just answer simply and calmly. Easy, right??
I certainly struggle with this, but the past few years I have realized that most of the comments just don’t matter. It doesn’t matter if someone asks if now are you going to stay home, now will you go full-time (vice versa), how many more kids are you going to have since you work, how do you expect us to cover for you since your child is sick again, you seriously aren’t going to stay late, too bad you have to use daycare….it just doesn’t matter. We need to focus on what makes us great mothers. I think that is hard for us to internalize sometimes, but we are GREAT mothers. We are still mothers 100% of the time.
I admire women that can come up with zippy answers, funny comebacks, but be careful of lashing back or being hurtful yourself. In most situations, I find it best just to say, “I am doing the best for our family. I am following Christ. My kids are loved and nurtured and happy. Thanks for your concern.”
How do you reply? Do you find it hard to respond gracefully?
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (ESV)