Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sensitivity

Thanks for all of the kind words about our kitty. We are doing okay, though we miss her so. Her poor brother kitty seems unsure about where she went. It will take time.

I previously mentioned how I've been trying to 'friend date' a bit with some other new moms. I found a couple of women whom I've had a few 'play dates' with. So far it's been pretty good with both of them -- I enjoy our time together, though I haven't felt a real tight 'click' with either of them. But I plan on continuing to hang out with them because it has been going well.

One of the new moms and I were out shopping together. We were both pushing the babies in a stroller and a stranger smiled at us and jokingly asked, "Which department did you get them?" I smiled and replied, "In the kids department, of course!" and the stranger said something about going to pick up one (or something, I don't really remember). Then my new friend said, "You can take mine!"

I was taken aback by this comment. I said, "That's not a very nice thing to say."

She said, "She's been waking up every hour for the past three weeks. If you had been dealing with that, you'd understand!"

I said, "Because my son is adopted, I'm really sensitive about comments like that. In some sense, he might feel like he was given away by his parents."

She said, "I didn't mean it like that."

I said, "I know, but I'm very sensitive about statements like that. It hits a little close to home for me."

Then I changed the subject.

Did I do okay? I hope I made my point. I'm trying to practice with these things.

13 comments:

Kelly said...

Wow, I think you handled that perfectly! Really. Statements like that kill me now, and I'm sure they will even more so when we have our child home with us. Good for you for taking the opportunity to politely inform your friend about how insensitive comments like that could be.

Natalie said...

Ugh, offhand comments like that really get to me too. And I know people don't really mean it (most of the time), but it's just insensitive to say something like that when you know what struggles the person you are with has gone through! I think you handled it really well.

E said...

I think it was awesome for you to say something. I aspire to do that. I heard the same thing when I told a co-worker about our adoption, but I said nothing and just smiled. There were a few things I wanted to say, but they weren't very nice. You weren't nasty and it was very direct. Good for you.

Almamay said...

I thought it was a prefectly balanced response. Very thoughtful and not really about her. It was about your feelings and you were clear and sensitive.

I've said something similar when I was at an airport once. The woman behind me in the line at a shop was complaining about her children and looked at me and said how lucky I was not to have children. I looked her square in the eye and said, "I'm flying to have my 7th IVF. I'd give my right arm for your kids. You are so lucky you don't even know it." I felt a tear from my eye when I finished saying what I had. Her face fell and she then stoped screaming at her kids.

I told DH what I had said and pointed her out to him. She was hugging her kids tight and looking rather upset. GOOD.

Robin said...

I am always upset at comments like that, too. I had a friend who used to say stuff like "Wanna trade?" when her kid was bad and mine was behaving. It used to bother me because I would never even joke about that.

And then there are those commercials that show a kid being bad and the slogan is "You can't return em, so might as well feed em"- Why is that funny? It makes me annoyed every time I see it. Kids are a blessing! I guess some people who get them easily (non IFer) just think it's cute and fun to say stuff like that. You handled it perfectly!

AshPash said...

Oh, Rachel, I wish I could tell you that will be the last moment of insensitivity.

While planning a baby shower with friends, one of them recommended a game where you are given a "baby" when you walk in the door at the shower. if you "abandon" your baby other people can pick it up. Whomever collects the most "abandoned babies" by the end wins! I didn't want to say anything BUT I HAD TO! (And this woman suggesting the game is a "birthmom"..she made an adoption plan as a college student.) I did say I didn't like the premis of the game...their eyes finally said "oh, yeah" as it sunk in and we didn't play the game.

There are lots of good sites online about how to deal with insensitive subjects. Choose your battles. As your son gets older, he will hear all of thos so we can never sound angry. My rule is never to feel like I "owe" people information..I always protect my daughters and their information.

You are doing great!

Karen said...

I am de-lurking just long enough to tell you how heartbroken I am for you,We had to put Andy(our Sheltie) and I will never have a nother furry friend......to much pain!.....blessings to you and your beautiful family.Karen

ultimatejourney said...

I think you did great!

Parenting is often really hard. In the toughest moments, I've sometimes thought about how badly we wanted to be parents. And about the fact that the actual parenting is never as hard as when we were wondering if/how/when we'd have a child. But some people don't have that perspective.

Though, in all honesty, I can't really imagine joking about giving my child away, IF or no IF. Good for you for speaking up.

My Reality said...

I think you handled it really well. I don't think I could have done it. I just don't find the 'take my kid' jokes funny.

SassyCupcakes said...

You handled that really well. I can't stand it when people talk about their kids like that especially when the kids are old enough to understand what their parents are saying.

Infertility made me sensitive about it, caring for a five year old foster kid who was standing next to her Dad when he dropped her off at the foster care agency and said he didn't want her any more made me really intolerant. Whether you mean it or not, it does a number on your kids self esteem.

scarredbellybutton said...

Very well said.

Deborah said...

Good for you for saying something! I think you handled it just right. It sounds like you want to stay friends with this woman, and you weren't confrontational, but maybe she'll think more next time.

Almamay - wow. Good for you, too.

Kristin said...

Well done! May I borrow your backbone upon occasion? (Or, perhaps Almamay's!)

And, I'm so sorry for your loss. What a precious kitty.