What I should have said

The truth is I second guess a lot of my parenting decisions. There’s something therapeutic about typing that out. I don’t have to pretend I’m confident in every choice I make. How could I be? We all know “babies don’t come with manuals,” but I haven’t even read a book. I’m a first time mother, and I don’t even have a younger sibling.

It should come as no shock then that I am sensitive to criticism. The tricky thing is that criticism comes in all shapes and sizes. Often it is subtle. At times, I wouldn’t be surprised if the critic didn’t even realize how flagrant his actions were.

So what do you do when someone criticizes your parenting? I’ll tell you what I do. Nothing apparently. I hate this about myself. Normally I’m not afraid to speak my mind – to a fault at times. But lately I’m a mute.

That, of course, doesn’t stop me from drafting up a rebuttal after the fact:

“Did you really just (fill in the blank)?  That’s completely inappropriate.”

Scratch that.  I could never muster the guts to actually say that.

“I understand that when you (fill in the blanked) you were doing it out of care and concern for Ruby, and I appreciate that.”

That won’t work.  I didn’t appreciate it, and honesty is important.

“I understand that when you (fill in the blanked) you were doing it out of care and concern for Ruby. But, like we already discussed, (fill in the other blank) is not a concern of mine. And when you (fill in the blank) it makes me feel like you have so little faith in my judgement that you have to step in and take over. It’s inevitable that we won’t always agree. Because we’re two different people. Hell, Jason and I won’t agree on everything. What I hope is that we will agree on enough that you will trust me and respect the choices that I have made.”

I like this one.  I should have said that.

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9 thoughts on “What I should have said

  1. Oh man, I hear ya! I am terrible at standing up for myself when it comes to parenting. I hope to someday be able to say so much as, “we’re fine. Thanks (or NOT) for your unsolicited advice/comments.” When I ask for advice, I love all feedback from all perspectives, but when I don’t want it I’m secretly going off on a lot of people in my head, usually after the fact when I think of the best comeback 🙂

      • Well thank you SO much for the flattery, but the truth is I’m just a regular girl who has no idea what I’m doing with this mom thing! Just trying not to screw my kids up too much 🙂 I think YOU are a wonderful mom though. Screw people who criticize.

  2. I also do nothing. Mostly because it only really bothers me to be criticized by people whose parenting decisions I respect. And those people aren’t very critical.

    Although, when people I don’t respect criticize my decisions my preferred method is to talk smack about them later with Brian and/or my sisters.

    P.S. you’re always welcome to call me if you want to talk some smack. Even if that is a totally non-productive way to deal with things.

    • Ok, this cracks me up because I was seriously going to email you and say we should Skype because I need to complain. Ha! I actually think it’s important not to let things fester inside and, thus, talking smack is productive. So yeah, we should chat.

  3. I don’t have kids, but have a lot of friends with kids, and it blows my mind that people actually tell them how they think they should raise their children. I think I would not know what to say back either… I would be too shocked!

  4. I don’t have kids, but I have the best answers to inappropriate remarks. Sometimes, I even get to voice them. But of course, this is why everybody thinks I’m a huge *** I like the last response. You should memorize and use it when needed 🙂

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