I have reached my limit of dealing with judgmental people. I understand that it is human nature to have opinions; however I wish that more people would exercise the basic courtesy of keeping their opinions to themselves, especially when expressing their thoughts does nothing more than hurt others.The past few days I invested far too much time nursing hurt feelings.
During the past week I have learned that my parenting skills have been the fodder for conversations among "friends." The fact that these individuals were talking about me was disheartening. When I learned the tone and nature of the conversation, I was flabbergasted. Everybody has a different parenting style, but to assert that I am not adequately educating and protecting my son (Robby) is simply hurtful. I have grown weary of having to defend our choice of school, and I refuse to engage in the debate again.
A few days ago when I was at the medical center with Timmy, a lady struck up a conversation with me as we were waiting for the elevator. After cooing over my adorable baby, her demeanor immediately changed from gentle to harsh. She looked at me directly and said, "You really shouldn't be walking holding that baby. Somebody like you could fall and it isn't safe." I immediately became defensive, emphatically assuring her that I was perfectly safe holding and walking with my child. It wasn't until she exited the elevator that I processed the gravity of our exchange.
How dare this stranger assume that I am unsafe walking with Timmy. I am not unstable or unsafe, and if I ever felt like I were, I wouldn't be carrying him. I would never do anything to endanger my child, and to assume that I am doing so simply by walking with a prosthesis is absurd. I wish I had thought of a better retort instead of justifying my mothering abilities. I wasted my breath on her because nothing I could have said would have changed the mind of someone so profoundly ignorant.
I left the exchange angry, but also confused about why this stranger felt it was appropriate to share her opinion. I would never have the audacity to engage in that type of exchange, especially with somebody whom I didn't know! I can only assume that she holds such a high opinion of herself that she felt compelled to share her gospel.
I don't mind engaging in debates or exploring other viewpoints. I do have a problem with those casting judgment without knowing all the facts. Life is too short to be surrounded by so much negativity. I think it might be time for me to circle in and reevaluate my relationships.