Why don’t you…..?

Why don’t you use cloth diapers? Why don’t you handwash the baby’s clothes? Why don’t you take up a job?Why don’t you stay over at your dad’s for a few months? Why don’t you celebrate the baby’s birthday at your dad’s?

What is it with people these days? Just about everyone has some pearls of wisdom that they want to share with me.Is it well-meant advice or just a judgement of my choices? Well,whatever its irritating me like hell!

An old friend recently moved back to USA.And I was really happy talking to her,catching up on the last 2-3 years.We talked about this and that and then,like all mommies,got to talking about our babies,deliveries,etc.What seemed like an innocent exchange soon turned into a Question and Answer round or should I say the game of one upmanship!

A- Did you have a normal delivery or a c-sec? C-sec.

A-Ohh if you had tried harder,you could have had a normal delivery. Well, No..the baby was in distress,so C-sec it was.Did you have a normal delivery?

A-No..But I was in labour for almost 10 hours.hmm..it doesn’t matter,as long as the baby is fine.

A- So, who came for your delivery?No-one.

A- Your sis doesn’t know what its like..she hasn’t seen anything, you should have called MIL!She could have helped.Umm..Helped? How?Surely I wasn’t going to ask her to help me change or anything.And what’s there to know..wasnt there a doctor just for that!

A- Ohh with your shower n stuff..I think we managed pretty well.(I was active till the last day of my pregnancy,took a shower the day after my C-sec and helped DH warm food the day I came back from Hospital.And even took care of sick DH and Sick MIL at one month post-partum! So,I think we were fine.and no,I did not tell her all this.)

A-(Changing topic)-So,do you use cloth diaper or nappies for the baby? No,just good ole’ Huggies.No time or energy to wash after every poopy or wet diaper!

A- Why don’t you use cloth diapers.You have washing machine at home na?! Yes! (but just two hands and only 24 hours!)

The rest of the conversation is a blur in my mind. All the excitement I had of catching up,kinda fizzled off! May be there is nothing wrong with this conversation.But,when I think about it..A spent 2/3rd of her pregnancy and 9 months post-partum at her parents place,because she was too tired.Her only job was to feed the baby(self-confessed)..Someone who doesn’t even know how many times her baby needed a diaper change, certainly doesn’t have any business asking me why I don’t use cloth diapers for my baby.

Another friend who spent more than 6 months post-partum at her parents place and always jokes about how her baby knows her grandparents better than her father..started explaining me how its no big deal whether DH is present with us on Aadya’s first birthday or not.Apparently,it is a big deal to me and to DH.It was my choice to stay with DH through out my pregnancy and I stood by it.Sure,I have my downers and crib about how I never got pampered or how tired I am..but,I would never trade those precious moments we spent dreaming of our baby,together.

Breast-feeding or formula? Are you breast feeding?Yes! Then why are you giving her a bottle now?because! When do you plan to wean her off?umm haven’t thought about it! OH you should have weaned her off by now!( Umm don’t I get to decide that?)

Are you working?No,I am a SAHM. Were you working before you had the baby?No,I didn’t have a work permit and besides,I was happy moving around places with DH!Oh..you should have worked!(Can I decide that,Please? Please?)This is a question so many of us are asked. Somehow,a lot of people find it hard to understand that may be this is what I want to do,right now! I have these moments when I think that may be I should take up a course or a job.. and then I bug my good friends AP and V, about what I should do! AP is the sweetest person I know.She always has something nice to say..she has her calm way of explaining,all the while trying to understand where I am coming from. V on the other hand, has a lot of experience and knows exactly what she thinks about ABC.. and she doesn’t hesitate to give me a piece of her mind. But,I love them both and don’t mind what they say. And besides,they tell me when I ask or share my confusions with them.I always come away with a probable solution or some idea worth saving .We are a mixed lot truly-AP- quiet and serene.ME-excited and confused.VD-A lot more assertive and just Precise.Anyway,I digress..

So..back to pesky Questions- This lady,DH’s ex-classmate met me on chat( what are all these people doing on my list-Don’t ask!) and asked me –

So, how’s life?Good!

Did you guys apply for GC?No, we are not going to.We want to go back!

So, are you working now?No,I am a full-time mom.

Ohh,not working ,May be if you were working you would feel differently about GC!No,I dont think so! are you working?

No! But I keep busy taking courses at the community college. Oh so don’t you have classes today?

No! I am on a break!

See what I mean! I don’t even know this person well enough for her to ask me all these questions.We were at a party last year and this woman tells the group in general,”Oh I hate these housewives”..She paused then, turned to me and said.”Oh no offense haan”I said “why would I take offense, when 2/3rds of the women were housewives in that particular group.I asked her later, she was a housewife too, then… and has been ever since…And she was meeting me for the first time!I don’t know.. when I meet people like this,I wonder if they ever think before talking.I mean how can you judge another person’s choices?

You make a choice-because you think it is right for you.If anyone has a right to question your decision,its you!I wish people would just mind their own business and not tell me what to do? And,then sometimes I wonder if I have “Punch Me” written in big red letters on my face!

I just had to get it off my chest and so just typed without editing..so,if you are still reading,sorry its a jumbled up mess !

Posted on December 12, 2007, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. i’m reading a really great book, called mommy wars and in of the essays i read, they mention how it would be better if women started suppoting each other’s decisions instead of always chewing them out about it.what makes us do that to each other though is our own insecurity – our own fears that our decisions are not the right ones. and we can only validate our decisions by finding people who make similar decisions or converting people who make radically different decisions.made some sense to me.

  2. Classic post..Wonder why people always find fault with others and think that only they are right!

  3. i SO understand where u’re coming from. i HATE it when people tell me that i’m capable of doing so much more and HENCE, i shud get back to work. one of them *whom i barely know* even went to the extent of commenting on “how diff can it be to get a work permit?”… well, none of her biz really, is it! don’t u worry, gal! all that matters in the end is if u guys know what u’re doing. use whatever diapers u want.. she’s ur baby! 🙂

  4. Oh man, I know what you mean. When we moved to Boulder, CO I met this group of 10-12 ladies who just irritate the F@CK out of me.And when they hear I have FOUR kids, they all cannot believe it. One actually asked me whether I was kidding.They do their bhaajans and their potluck and fight and argue abt petty things…arghhhh

  5. “I wish people would just mind their own business and not tell me what to do? “Oh honey, how would you get material for your blog then? Huh??:DI feel you! I have had these irritating questions and assumptions flung at me too.

  6. Hahahha..what a conversation with your friend! Err..I think interrogation is a better word..right? :DI’m so used to this that I’ve become a total thick skinned person in this respect.

  7. Only one solution to all this: “Don’t Sweat the Small Things: It’s all Small Things” :-)In one and out the other ear 🙂 You too will pass thru this irritation phase. Get some sleep. ~AP

  8. Anitha(Nikki's mom)

    I am used to all this now. There are a lot of SAHMs around here who think we are greedy because I work. That is the reason Nikki is gaining weight slowly, he took 9 months to master crawling while theirs crawled at 5 months, but they conveniently forget lot of things (that I breastfed Nikki until 10+ months in spite of getting back to work at 3 months, that Nikki could stand well at 3 months itself, that I withstood abuse from my MIL so he will not go to daycare before he turns one, etc). They do not know much about the struggle we have been having with his eczema(& his food allergies), acid reflux. Develop thick skin, that is the best thing you can do.

  9. Hey girlie! Don’t let these people get to you. Though it is hard. A lot of people don’t think before they talk and they are just hypocrites. We know what we are doing good for our kids, and it will be well reflected as Aadya grows up to be this happy baby. We know our challenges and we don’t want another person to harp it for us. Chins up.

  10. All of us get that I think, whether we are SAHM or working out of home ! I will tell you a secret – I couldn’t understand how educated woman could sit at home and look after their babies, giving up their careers, untill one fine day I decided to quit my job for exactly the same reason ! The only difference from that annoying woman who was interrogating you,was,I kept my opinions to myself as I never thought it was my place to ask anyone about their choices. Moreover I am an introvert, so that helped ;-)And before you throw me out of this place for judging people like this, let me tell you that, Thank God, I soon learnt that people have their own reasons for choosing to live the way they do depending on their own thinking, their experiences, their circumstances etc and who am I to judge anyone.So, can I still come back and comment here at your blog, now that I am good girl ??!! my secret is out though. ptch.

  11. Got here from 2bm’s post.. I know you meant this in every seriousness.. but I was laughing through it.. I have faced this so many times too and want to laugh most times.. oh my these people must be really frustrated with their lives to find fault with others dont you think?? i do pity them…cheers

  12. Its been my experience that sahms who call working moms “greedy”, are simply jealous of the fact that these women have double incomes.

  13. It felt nice to read this rant of yours. Some times, I get frustrated by some questions but just cannot think of an appropriate retort. My hubby’s cousin called me on my anniversary and questioned me why I was not calling her? It seems I was sitting simply at home (as if she has seen me staring vacantly into space). Now with my pregnancy, the questions and advices have just reached the ridiculous limit.PS: I came here via Indian Mommies. I am gonna link you up at my space.

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