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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We All Make Assumptions

I hate it when people make assumptions about me.

Like when I was standing in the check-out line several years ago– holding a newborn in one arm, unloading groceries, and chasing around two toddlers. An elderly woman watched me with doting eyes. She gave me a warm smile and said, “My, you are busy, aren’t you? I remember those days like they were yesterday.”

She started to help me with my groceries and we struck up a conversation. I learned that she had five grandchildren, and her granddaughter had curly hair just like my Anna. Then she said to me, “I know how hard it is being at home all day with them. You must feel like you never get a break.”

I replied, “Well, actually, I work full time as a lawyer. Most days, I don’t get to see them until after dinner.”

Her warm smile turned into a scowl. Then she gave me The Look. She didn’t have to say a word.

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Ang said...

I've seen The Look numerous times. With five boys, usually The Look is accompanied by a snarky comment about "knowing what causes" so many kids.

If I'm feeling like a duck (let it roll off), then I say nothing. If I'm feeling like a goose (honk, honk), then I'll say something matter-of-fact about raising my late brother's children alongside my own birth children. The stupified, wish-I-could-take-it-back look on their faces makes me feel a little better.

Unpolished Parenting said...

What a great post. I do try not to be Judgy McJudgerson, but more often than not I'm guilty of making those same assumptions. And you are right, it is hard to brush off when you are getting the Looks; even when you have nothing to apologize for. Definitely going to do my best to remember this.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Making assumptions about others hurts everyone involved, yet it seems to be a part of our fallen nature.

As followers of Christ we need to follow Him - "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" and not be concerned about what others think. Appearances can be deceiving, so I have asked for this grace:

1. To stay focused on Him and keep my own soul in order
2. To see others through His eyes
3. To fulfill my obligations to others according to my state in life and within the limitations He has placed on me.

Do I fail? You bet. But not because He hasn't given me the grace to do His will.

Just do your best and pick yourself up when you fall and leave the judgmental others in His hands.

adriel, from the mommyhood memos said...

Oh, that's so disappointing to have confrontations like that. Obviously she comes from a very different era and doesn't have the same worldview as many women do today. Unfortunately "they" will always be there (our critics) no matter what subject you're talking about. I hope you get twice as much encouragement as you do criticism! You've got to do what's best for you and your family! Well done to a hard working mama.

Sandra said...

Well here's my assumption: those old cronies forget what it was like to stay at home and how much, when they were at home, they wished they had a life and a successful career....that's my assumption.

Laura said...

I've had that experience, Susan -- and unfortunately, I've done the same. Yes, we all make assumptions. Thanks for reminding us!

Graceful said...

Enjoyed your post over at HCB very much, Susan. You really nailed that one!

I was should ask your editor there (who did you work with on submitting the post) if there is any possibility of listing Chasing Superwoman listed on the books by HCB writers list. You are an official HCB writer -- yahoo!