Home > Balance, Paige's Favorites, Parenting, Working > My Speech to a Judgy Mom

My Speech to a Judgy Mom

Tonight is my daughter’s first ballet recital.  She is excited, as am I.  But I have a little unpleasant business to attend to while I am there.

One of the other mothers from the class is on thin ice with me (seasonally appropriate don’t you think?).  Last night at rehearsals, I found her to be so offensive and clueless that she has penetrated my normally namaste demeanor (I am on my way to yoga shortly). 

The first time I met Judgy Judy (too much like Judge Judy) “Judgy Janet” (not her real name, in fact, I can’t seem to remember her name), was at the park.  I was with my daughter and Janet said hi to her by name.  I walked over and introduced myself and she explained that the girls are in ballet together.  I said, “Oh then you must know our nanny, Jessica” (who takes my daughter to ballet).  She interrupted and said, oh yes, I have known Jessica for years, and I always wonder “Where IS this girl’s mother!”

Eh hem, excuse me, while I capture my composure and take one step back to help diminish the cartoon in my head of me shoving tan bark in your mouth to silence you.

The conversation didn’t improve, she talked about how she used to work, but quit because she wouldn’t dream of letting other people raise her children (although, it might be better off for her daughter if someone else taught the girl tact).  Throughout this first conversation, I remained calm and polite.  I was internally trying to determine if the woman was a condescending bitch or just socially awkward.  I decided she might be just lonely and awkward, so I didn’t say anything in rebuttal.  But the conversation bugged me for a few days.

Fast forward to last night.  It was the only second time I had spoken with her since I do not attend my daughter’s ballet class very often.  I attended the rehearsal with another working mom friend whose daughter is also in the class.  We were sitting with our girls, waiting for their turn, when Janet sat down behind us.  Her opening comment: “You must be their mothers. You never come to class.”  The conversation didn’t improve.  My strategy was to keep my back to her, in order to avoid giving her a piece of my mind in front of the girls.

Which leads to tonight.  Me, the duck, who normally lets things roll off my back is quite sure that one more comment from this miserable mom will force me to politely share with her my thoughts.  Much to your surprise, I do mean politely, because I am a believer in having more weight in my message when coming from a place of kindness, balance and class.  So let me share with all of you what I plan to say (and secretly hope I have the opportunity to do so).

“Excuse me, I am not sure if you are aware that you are being rude.  In the two times I have spoken with you, you have mentioned my absence at ballet over ten times.  I am trying to decide if you realize you are being rude or have merely made an unfortunate choice in conversation topics.  Either way, I feel you are in desperate need of some education.  It is narrow of you to make any assumptions regarding someone’s life or how one raises children based upon their attendance at one activity. 

I share this with you not out of concern for my own feelings, but to help you avoid offending other’s who are not as calm and forgiving as me.  You see, you don’t know what keeps a mother from a ballet class – what if she’s a single mom and working to put food on the table, what if she’s an ER doctor that may someday have to help one of your children, what if she’s at home with a newborn.  The point is, an absence does not speak to the character of a woman.

Furthermore, since my absence is because I have a career, let me share the “consequences” of me being a working mom:

  • My children are independent, but loving
  • They are confident, yet kind
  • They are comfortable in any social situations
  • They are being taught that they can be anything they want when they grow up.  My daughter can be a pilot, a doctor or a stay at home mom – each holding equal weight in my mind.  My son can be a CEO, an artist or a stay at home dad, as long as he is passionate about what he does.
  • My children travel frequently and see other cultures and have unique memories, while always returning to a happy home. 
  • And most importantly, we are rasing our children not to judge other people based on their profession, home, socio-economic status or any other life situation.  We choose our friends based on character and kindness and see the benefit of diversity in our circle of friends.

So, do you think she’ll stay quiet long enough for me to say all of that?

I’ll keep you posted.

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  1. Jen
    December 17, 2011 at 8:22 am

    You go girl! I love it!

  2. December 17, 2011 at 8:23 am

    You plan to be nicer than I would!!

  3. keri johnson
    December 17, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Oh you better keep us posted on this one! I can’t stand people like that and your the perfect person to stand up for all of us!!

  4. December 17, 2011 at 10:41 am

    You forgot “nana a boo boo..stick your head in do do!” That’s just if calm collected and classy doesn’t work

  5. December 17, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I HOPE she gives you a chance to deliver that speech. Someone has to tell her. she is JUDGING.

  6. December 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    While I am SO SORRY you’ve had to endure this woman’s rudeness already on more than one occasion, I do so hope you get the opportunity to say these words to her tonight.

    I admire your desire to remain calm and classy; and perhaps you actually CAN make a difference in her perception. I love the reasons you cite here (single mother, ER doc, mother to a newborn) but the bottom line:

    This woman must see on a regular basis (at all these lessons and practices she attends) that your daughter is CLEARLY well-cared for and loved; not the victim of neglect and abuse.

    And therefore, this woman has absolutely NO business throwing her opinion around.
    Cheers to you for being the bigger person and I hope you update us on what happens.

    Namaste, my friend. And much love to you, too.

  7. December 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    I kinda like nana nana boo boo. That said, I’m always in favor of being calm and classy in the face of rude behavior, especially when it involves my children.
    Hopefully she will listen and take to heart your words and while the two of you may never be friends, perhaps she won’t burn any future bridges with her presumptions.

    Good luck and good luck to your little girl…how exciting.

    So glad to see your words again!

  8. the naughty neighbor
    December 17, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Miss Paige…. I am dying to hear how the night turns out… the evil “twin ” in me would love to have her push your last “button” so that you may relay this amazing speech!

    Namaste… MOther F@#$#ker…

  9. December 19, 2011 at 8:08 am

    All – she may lack tact, but apparently can read people and stayed very clear of me all night. After the show, I was disappointed I hadn’t had an opportunity, so I looked for her and coudn’t find her. I may just have to show up at ballet class one day.

    One more thought: I would defend a stay-at-home mothers choices just as agressively! The point is not to judge any mom!

    PS – My daughter knew the routines so much better than hers, so nanny nanny boo boo!

    Okay, back to my regularly scheduled classiness. 😉

  10. December 19, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Great to see you posting again, Paige. Love your response. I would have been a rude bitch after getting a comment like that. I might have said something like, “Well, my meth dealing business keeps me pretty busy so this is the only time I could make it.” Or how about, “It’s really tough being a stripper these days. The hours are so long but the pay is good so I’ve gotta keep at it.” I have no patience for judgemental busy bodies. Good for you though. Maybe she’ll think twice before making another jackass comment like that.

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