Dear Mom on the High Horse, Let Me Tell You What YOU Don’t See

I see you over there, givin me the stink eye as I check my mail.  It must feel good to sit there in your righteous judgement, huh?  I mean, you are the example to all the other moms:  you dress well, you shower daily, you make bread from scratch and you are president of the PTA.

But Mutha, lemme tell YOU what you don’t see right now…

That mom over there spent all morning trying to get her kid services he so desperately needs, and all her friends have abandoned her because her child is not like theirs, and it makes them uncomfortable.  And she feels horribly alone and she worries about her child and how he will be treated every minute.

But you can’t see them because all you see are dirty sweat pants and unwashed hair.

That mom over there could really use a friend, because she recently gave birth to her third child and her post-partum depression is off that charts.  Right now she might be thinking about making sure the kids are with their grandma before she takes the pills tonight.  She might be thinking about leaving her husband.  She might be thinking of running away.

You’ve seen her before, but have never offered her more than a cool nod, even when you noticed she looked frazzled and spent.

She sees it, and thinks she must be a horrible person because she can’t seem to make friends.

Now you are talking to one of the moms you do know, but you can’t hear the story beneath her story because all you can focus on is your own parenting, and you can’t hear that her marriage is faltering and she could use a shoulder.  You only think that if there is a problem, your friend must be doing something wrong.  Because marriages, like your own, work well when you do everything right.

Take a minute to LISTEN and HEAR and SEE the men and women around you.  Not the face they show to the world, but the underlying story of hardship with which they might be struggling. Enjoy the camaraderie that comes with making adult connections.

Put your eyes back on the prize:  COMPASSION.

Recognize that not everyone has the same views as you do, and not every parent is going to parent the way you do.  EMBRACE it, and them.  I’m not saying accept truly poor and abusive parenting that puts children at risk, but for godsakes, don’t  put someone who wants a few seconds to decompress in the same category as a negligent parent.

Eventually all you will have is your blog and your righteousness and nothing else, because no one wants to know they are being judged all the time by the people around them.

When your children are grown and out of the house, no one will be there to go on grand adventures, or to play card games.  No one will invite you to join their book club because they all know that you hold your opinion to be the most important, and no one feels that you are at all kind.

In fact most of them think you are mean.  And will not be sorry to see the back of you.

You’ve shown them how judgemental you can be, how, when they need a few measly seconds, or minutes or even a freaking hour to hear their own thoughts and grab a little peace in whatever form it can take, you will look down your nose at them and call them bad parents and think yourself better than them because you have tried them in your court of personal opinion and found them guilty of being themselves.

I know you think you are trying to help them.

I know you only want to show them the joys you experience being a parent the way you want to be a parent.

But those other parents can’t hear your joy.  They can’t hear your urge to help.  Because your judgement is screaming way too loudly.

May you never know the loneliness that can sometimes accompany parenthood.  And if you do, may someone far more compassionate and caring than you come to your aid, for heaven help you if you come face to face with a mirror during those times.  Because your kind of noisy, high-horsed judgement and disapproval?  I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Categories: Uncategorized | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Dear Mom on the High Horse, Let Me Tell You What YOU Don’t See

  1. You stated this very well. These things needed to be said. I admire the fact that you got your point across in a classy but clear way.
    As you said, it can be difficult to make and keep friends when your child has special needs. Perhaps they don’t know what to say. Maybe they feel like they don’t have much in common with a parent of a special needs child.
    Whatever their reasons, the world becomes more lonely when someone disregards your feelings and acts like you and your child don’t matter, just because you might be living a life they don’t completely understand.

  2. Reblogged this on Maxine Owen and commented:
    So few people really “get it.” I’m glad that the point was made that just because one person may not understand what another person is going through, doesn’t mean that they’re unworthy of a valued friendship.

  3. Thank you. Compassion is my passion and you nailed it.

  4. Lindsay

    “all her friends have abandoned her because her child is not like theirs, and it makes them uncomfortable.” Not all, but many.

  5. extremeparenthood

    PREACH IT SISTER!!

  6. Angie DuBroc-Edwards

    I love the way you got your message across.
    I, myself, am not a parent of a special needs child, but I do have close friends who are. This is what I’ve learned so far from thier kids and themselves… Special needs children are indeed special! Watching these kids grow has given me a perspective that I never realized was so important… My heart rejoices with every accomplishment they make and every hurdle they clear.. (I never realized that a persons heart could be so full) My heart has become overflowing with love, admiration and compassion, not only for these kids but for the parents who raise them.
    I think it’s far past time to recognize and respect the parents of these kids!! Far too often thier efforts go unnoticed and most definitely unappreciated, and that is just sad…
    So, to ALL you parents of special needs children, KUDOS!! You so ROCK!! I DO understand what you go through, as I’ve seen it up close and personally. Having said that, I also see the love, patience, understanding, and sacrifice that you all make to make a difference in a child’s life and I feel that’s beyond commendable!!
    Raising “normal” kids is a tough job(I have 2 sons) all on its own, I can’t begin to imagine how I would handle the daily struggles that you all tackle. Again, YOU ALL ROCK!!
    God doesn’t give special needs kids to just anyone to raise, He gives these kids to very special people … “Special parents”.
    Keep fighting the good fight, because you ALL ARE making a difference in the lives of people you may not even know…

    • Angie, your words brought tears to my eyes. The people who are in our corner as we raise our special needs kids may sometimes be few, but they count more than they know. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  7. SING IT, SISTER!! *arm wave*

  8. *STANDING OVATION*

  9. Ruth Bryson-Burkett

    I would like to meet your mother. She raised a beautiful, oh never mind.I don’t know what I clicked on to be here on your space. But it feels like this is where I was meant to be. Your story moved me. Thank you for that.

  10. i have commented somewhere that the community of shiny happy people tends to easily not only ostracise the special needs child but also their parents… it’s true you have to probably widen that to anyone who is going through any kind of special needy time (and doesn’t everyone, at some point in their life??) and is inattentively pushed down further in the black hole, simply because someone at the school run was to judgemental to even smile at them when they pass by..

  11. Pingback: Don’t Judge Me…I’m A [Rhymes With 'Frogger'] | Their World We Live In

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