Ok… The dream job that I started last year, started trying to kill me pretty quick. It’s honestly like working in high school some days. Bickering and backchatting… be clear, it’s not ALL the staff, it’s just one. And that’s all you need for a dream to become a nightmare.
Just like highschool, my mind is spinning with all the stuff I should have said or done, and with all the scenarios of future problems that may arise due to actions that were insufficient or overzealous. In tackling this one woman I spend an inordinate amount of time holding my tongue, trying to rise above it… But I can’t anymore. She’s rude, confrontational, condescending and downright judgemental.
One day while chatting to this co-worker, I mentioned how my son had had pasta the night before. It wasn’t even what we were talking about, but before I could continue our conversation she looked at me surprised and said “pasta?” Before scoffing and rolling her eyes. The idea I’d given my then 14 month old pasta for dinner was met with the judgemental tone of “you fed your baby pasta? such bad parenting, so unhealthy.” I was so shocked that I ended up justifying my choice of dinner! It’s not the first time she has been judgemental over what I feed my boy. At daycare he requested the bread snack as well as his rice and vegetable snack, in the afternoon. I didn’t give him much, but I joked about how much bigger he had gotten lately and called him “chubby”. Without looking at me she muttered “well, yeah, it’s because you give him two snacks”. Quite apart from that being the first and only time he had asked for both, that comment was unnecessary. He isn’t fat. He is normal sized. Perfectly proportioned. Bigger than Japanese boys his age, but normal by Western standards.
On another occasion, I came in one morning and his temperature was 37.4 when we arrived. At 37.5 children get sent home. A different daycare worker said we should check it regularly, say every half an hour, until it was either up or down. So as I was free, I took his temperature at the time we needed and again I get a scoff and some audible back chat about me to a coworker: “if he’s so sick she’s taking his temperature again, she shouldn’t have brought him in”. Forget rude and unnecessary, that was unprofessional. If she’d had asked “hey, why are you taking his temperature again?” Then I would have told her, but she scoffed about me and implied that I’m either a bad mother for bringing in a sick son, or a hypochondriac, overly panicky about her son.
She’ll tell me how something being where it is, is dangerous. I’m thinking about how it needs to be moved just as she says it, but she tells me like my child didn’t survive the last 15 months in my care without her. I’ll have her tell me that he shouldn’t be having formula anymore or should be breastfeeding less; That I hug him too much or should be stricter on him when he’s being loud and babbling excitedly while other kids are sleeping. He doesn’t get it! He’s 14 months old and excited about life! I’ve got a better chance of getting down 3 dress sizes in the next month than he does of being quiet when told. We’re even working on that now, but he thinks that you need to scream first and then say “shush” after…. His daddy played a game and now we’re fighting uphill. As for breastfeeding, she can shove it.
She’s a daycare worker with years of experience with all kinds of kids, but she is, herself, childless. Now when I was younger and I gave unwarranted advice to mothers, they’d say “you don’t have any children so you wouldn’t know/understand”. I always thought that they just didn’t like that I was right. Now I know I was an arrogant **** that didn’t know jack. You can train all you like with as many children as you like, but unless you are with your child all hours, have experienced pressures of work and children and sleep, and everything else being a parent entails, such as knowing your child; then you shouldn’t be giving advice. You should keep your thoughts, opinions and musings, and all that crap to yourself because you don’t know ANYTHING about the child, the parent, the home life, the background to the situation, temperaments, usual responses to stimuli etc etc. Even other mother’s will only give advice with a “based on my experience this *might* work”. They’d never condescend to the way you raise your child because they know better. So now I spend my time fielding off crap like this, I keep trying to think of how to make this ***** know better. Do I tell her to shut it? Do I calmly tell her her opinions are not wanted?
I’ve tried taking the high road and talking calmly, ignoring stuff she’s saying when it’s clearly to get a rise, but it does get to me. It’s unbelievably sucky to go away and have a PERFECT come back pop into your head, or after preparing mentally for a fight you know that’s coming, but choking on all those words you wanna say when the time comes. That woman has had me so stressed, but you can bet I’m not gonna let this lie.
If you are mumming it and getting the judgemental condescension from someone, you don’t have to take it. You are doing GREAT. Silence, as I’ve found out the hard way, only encourages them to talk more. They think they’re helping. They think that whatever experience they have, is somehow equal. It’s not. Not even close. We don’t have to take this with a smile, it is NOT appropriate to do this and you should stick up for yourself. But whatever you do, remember there are other mother’s dealing with the same crap, and you can always lean on us when you’re need to.