Headed to Work.. Or Not

work at home mom

This past weekend, my family laid my sweet Grandma Louise to rest. It was bittersweet. While we were able to get together for the holiday week as a family, it was for a sad occasion and we were riddled with grief. Needless to say, Thanksgiving just wasn't the same.

I was tightly bound all up in my feelings because of the loss of my grandmother, so any and everything seemed to make me emotional. That would include nasty comments from the peanut gallery on the night of my grandmother's wake as well. People, please know--if you are going to pay your respects to individuals who have lost a loved one, please keep a nice encouraging word in mind. And if you can't offer an encouraging word, please just offer a hug or a warm smile or whatever your forte' may be. But please, under no circumstance, take that opportunity to cast your wit and not-so-humorous "humor" and snide remarks on to others.

So... While I am up, standing less than one foot away from the spot where my grandmother's ivory and rose adorned, trimmed in gold casket is resting--surrounded by mourning family members, peace lilies, and beautiful floral arrangements, this lady from the community comes up to greet me with a hug. After we exchange pleasantries, she asks how my 10 week old son Jj is doing. As I proceed to tell her that my son is doing just fine, she tells the person beside me "I'm going to babysit for her so she can go to work." Really?

I look at her and politely respond to her, letting her know that my 10 week old is a full-time job and she corrected her statement by then saying, "I'm going to babysit for her so she can get a FULL-TIME JOB." Okay, wait a minute. I know what you guys are thinking. Is she gonna get at this lady and really let her know what's on her mind? And I really want to, ladies and gentlemen. I was one part stunned that this woman had the nerve to even say anything like that to me (or perhaps, about me, because she looked in the other person's eyes as she talked about me as if I wasn't there). The other part of me thought to carefully choose my words as I was standing in a chapel surrounded by family and friends. I didn't want to show out because my grandma was resting within a foot of the conversation and I wanted her to know I could be humble and a lady of few words just like her. But I was steaming on the inside. Having to make a split decision on how to handle this lady while maintaining my cool resulted in giving her a stink eye and walking away. However, her comments haunted me for the entire ride home. I wish I would have said more. You know how it is once you leave a confrontation and you ingeniously think up all the clever things you could have said but didn't, right? That's what I did for a good thirty minutes, I promise.

With everything that was going on, I totally blocked the comments out of my mind until a few minutes ago when I sat down to catch up on reading blogs. I wondered to myself what some of you fellow moms would have said. I wondered how some of you would have felt had the comment been directed to you. And I also wondered what it was about this comment that bothered me so bad.

For one, I wanted to know how this lady knew I wasn't working in the first place.  She is indeed a lady from the community I was raised in, but I have no dealings with her. I haven't seen her in months. How and why is she in my business anyways?

Secondly, why did it bother her that I wasn't working? I mean, bothered to the point that instead of saying she was sorry that I had lost my grandmother and that she would keep my family in prayer, she brought that ish up?

Thirdly, and most importantly, I wondered, did it bother me because I thought she was right? 
Not right in being rude, but right in the fact that I do indeed need to go back to work? Did I feel a tinge of guilt and was I mad that she called me out? Ooh the shade!  And crazy is it that the shade can show up anywhere, even at the wake of a funeral?

Something in me is growing angry as I type. What business is it of anyone's if I am staying at home with my baby? And with all the unsolicited advice I've received in my last 9 years of being a mom, why am I still getting shade from folks about the way I choose to raise my children?  At first, I wasn't going to share these words, as I just wanted to blow off some steam in writing.  But then I decided that perhaps I should.  Maybe another mother can shine some light on this subject and offer me some words to help me cope with the rude folks around me.  Or maybe some rude individual will read this post and see the error in their own ways and stop saying discouraging things to others, especially when they are grieving.

Fellow SAHMs, how do you deal with folks who don't understand why you choose to stay-at-home?  

header photo credit- essence.com
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