Yesterday I took Raf to a playground where he met a lovely little boy and they played together nicely. Typical toddler stuff – took a bit of encouragement and getting used to each other (without forcing) before they warmed up, but they were quite happy to play hide and seek within a few minutes.
I got talking with the little boy’s mum – let’s call her Gwendolyn (mainly because I didn’t actually get her name) – and we made light conversation and chatted about our boys. She asked me if Raf was in daycare at all – that’s a fair enough question and I get asked that all the time – to which my response was “no, just me and him at home throughout the day”. She then proceeded to inform me that it’s important that, if that’s the case, I should make sure I get some time to myself. Some “me” time.
I quickly and politely (and very honestly!) told her that my dear husband gives me as much “me” time as possible when he’s home and, even during the day, Raf is an awesome napper so I get plenty of “me” time every day.
She replied with, “well, that’s so great if you’ve got that luxury to stay at home”.
IF YOU’VE GOT THAT LUXURY TO STAY AT HOME.
I’m sorry, but this sort of bewilders me a little bit.
Here’s the background story as to why I’m at home:
I fell pregnant, Matt got a job transfer to a different town, I quit my job, therefore I don’t have one to return to.
I’m not going to go into all the detail as to why it’s a little difficult for me to return to work, but I would like to say this: I would be returning to work just to pay for childcare. If I’m going to do that, I’d rather stay at home.
This lady didn’t know me from a bar of soap, nor did she have any clue as to why I haven’t returned to work, but that just highlights my point even further.
It’s not that I have the luxury to stay at home. It’s that I don’t have the luxury to return to work.
Don’t get me wrong, I would like to return to work one day, but I LOVE being at home with Raf. I WANT to be at home with Raf. Matt WANTS me to be at home with Raf. When am I ever going to get this time with him again at this age?
It’s not like I sit around all day doing nothing, either. For most of you reading this, you would have found this through my instagram and therefore would see just how productive I can be. I’m trying to contribute to our household as best I can, and what I can’t do financially I make up for in the most important job in the world.
Here’s my point: Whether you know someone or not, don’t assume that they have certain benefits or luxuries just because of how their situation may appear. Everyone has their own long, complicated story and it’s just not fair to decide how someone lives within two minutes of meeting them.
What frustrated me even further was that she later informed me that she didn’t need to return to work either but wanted to just to get her own space. She then proceeded to inform me of how much more developed her son is because he’s in daycare and how he knows so many words.
UGH! I’M SICK TO DEATH OF THE WORD COUNT!!! Am I right? ah, that’s another whole topic, along with the “so do you think you’ll have more children?” question.
But that’s for another day.
I’d like to finish with this: I read so much about how every child is different and how we need to support one another in motherhood. After all, it really is the BEST and CRAZIEST job in the world, and I would love nothing more than to know that every mother in the world, no matter what stage of motherhood they’re in, feels as loved, nurtured and supported as what she gives. But in order to achieve this there needs to be a unified, fist-pump-to-the-air, “woohoo! I’m on board!” agreement that everyone will participate. So, please, stop pushing your “my child is better than yours” remarks on me and we could be friends.