Just Smile And Nod, Mammy - The M Word

Just Smile And Nod, Mammy

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There’s an unwritten rule that some swear words are worse than others.

The B-words are widely tolerated. The F-word… not so much. The C-word? We reserve that for special people, but rarely mutter it aloud.

Some words are acceptable. Some are simply not.

It’s like childbirth. It’s okay to say certain things to a new mama. And there are some things you SHOULD NEVER SAY…and yet people usually do.

So here are just a few such things that I heard when I started to go out and about again after my last baby was born.

Mostly, my response was to politely smile/laugh/nod. But what I was really thinking usually contained expletives. Shock Horror!

1. ‘Oh you had a section? (Usually accompanied by an expression of either sympathy or disapproval.) Yes. I had a section. It’s the most fun thing in the world ever! (*Sarcasm)

2. ‘How’s your scar healing?’ Fabulously thank you. How’s your vagina doing?

3. ‘Sure the second section is much easier than the first.’ Is it really? My body obviously didn’t get that particular memo.

4. ‘You shouldn’t be up and about so quickly.’ OK. You’re so right. I’ll tell the toddler look after herself, shall I? What am I thinking!?

5. ‘Oh? You’re not breastfeeding?’ (There’s that look.) No. I’ve made a decision to NOT give my baby the best start in life. I’m a selfish failure and I deserve your disapproval and judgement. Thanks for that. It’s incredibly helpful.

6. ‘You’re not going back to the gym already surely? Sure there’s nothing wrong with you!’ (Yep…there’s that look again!) Yes. I am, because I enjoy training and I want to. It’s as simple as that. Last week I actually replied ‘God yes. I need to lose at least 4 stone.’ That’s an exaggeration, but it was worth it to see the look of disapproval morph into one of utter disgust.

7. ‘OMG! I didn’t expect to see you out so soon! You’re some Doll!’ (Expression of disapproval added to at sight of very large glass of wine in my hand.) I’m so sorry if my decision to venture away from my baby for a few hours makes you uncomfortable. It actually took a lot of nerve, copious drops of Rescue Remedy, ridiculous encouragement from Hubby and support of my friends to get here tonight… but all you see is the wine.

8. ‘Where’s the baby tonight?’ At home with the Dog of course…where else?

9. ‘You’re OK leaving the baby with her Daddy?’ (Yup…cue that expression again!) Erm… is this a trick question? YES!!! He is after all, her Daddy? He may not have pushed her through his nether-regions, but he did make half of her and he’s just as entitled to (Shock Horror!) look after her all by himself as I am!

10.’Is Daddy babysitting?’ Noooooooo…. Daddy is looking after his daughters while Mammy does the shopping/has a coffee/pops to town for an hour. He is not hired or paid by the hour. I do not feel the need to leave snacks on the coffee table or to go through her routine before I leave. He’s as able to care for her as I am. Imagine?

I could go on.

Yes, most of these things were said with the greatest of good intentions, but still. They were said…in some cases by numerous people.

I’m sure I could add more. I’m sure many of you could add your own. It’s a terrible thing to be judged, (intentionally or not), especially by other parents, but the easiest thing to do is to smile and nod and remember that you can say as many swear words in your head as you like, and no one can judge you for that!

Maria Rushe
Maria Rushe
Maria Rushe is Donegal's Mammy Blogger. She writes at The S-Mum Blog where the S could stand for ANYTHING. She is Mammy to Mini-Me, Princess and a furbaby and married to Emmet. An English teacher with a passion for theatre and fitness, Maria writes a brutally honest and sometimes hilarious portrayal of the trials and tribulations of parenting