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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sympathy

To the woman giving me the evil eye from her comfortable spot on the couch in the children's area at the library today I say, "What, like your kids never melted down in public?"  What is the point in trying to make me feel inferior while I am clearly having a difficult time?  Does it make you feel like a superior parent to watch another mother struggle with an overtired, napless baby and a strong-willed preschooler?  Listen, I didn't like the situation any more than you.  In fact, I would argue that I enjoyed it significantly less than you. By a long shot. But alas, you felt it necessary to shoot me a look that read utter disgust. Had the tables been turned, I'm fairly confident that I would have shot you a look that said, "I feel your pain." And then I would have glanced at my children, indicating to you that they are not always sweet, quiet angels that NEVER get asked to leave the library. It's called sympathy, an emotion you may not be familiar with. Which is surprising, considering it's usually included in the Mommy Feelings package. My Mommy Feelings package arrived while I was still in the hospital after giving birth to Buggy. It came complete with guilt, frustration, inadequacy, fear, and yes, sympathy. It has come in handy on many occasions, like when I watched a woman wrangle three under three on a flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix. Alone. Or the times when I get to go to Target by myself, and I hear a fellow mom debating/negotiating with her child over a wanted item. Sympathy. Superiority helps no one. But a little bit of sympathy goes a looooong way.

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