It was a mom’s gathering with activities for my oldest two. There was a meal included, and I could bring my youngest two with me. Free food, fun and fellowship! How could I refuse? Oh, but I wish I had.
I didn’t know any of the ladies that I was placed with but was happy to just be able to visit with some other moms. However, it did not turn out to be enjoyable at all. For every subject that was introduced, there was a mom at the table who knew ALL about it. The right way. The only way.
Someone had just taken their child to get his immunizations. Oh, my goodness! A lady grabbed her by the arm and told her exactly how horrible immunizations are and what will probably happen to her child as a result of getting them.
The lady closest to me said she had just spent her morning at the mall. I waved my arm and said, “Oh, I don’t ever get to the mall these days.” Well, the other women really jumped on this one. By the time they got through you would think a morning at the mall was the cardinal sin. The poor lady who had dared to say she went tried to defend herself. I sat in horror, thinking I had caused this one. I had to jump in. “Oh, I used to love shopping. I used to go once a week, and it was so much fun. It’s just that shopping isn’t fun anymore with four kids, so I don’t go unless I absolutely need something. It would sound wonderful to me to be able to go by myself and get a new outfit!” Everyone just stared.
This is what the entire time was like, with every subject that was brought up. By the time I left, I was exhausted. I felt like I had been beaten up. I was even feeling weary in my job as a mom.
You know, I think these women were probably well intentioned in their advice. The old saying from my college teaching classes comes to mind, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I wonder if I’ve ever been guilty of caring more about showing how much I know than about showing concern for the people I’m talking to. I didn’t enjoy my time at that gathering, but I have thought a lot about it and have learned from it. When I am tempted to share my “expertise” on a subject, I want to remember this little outing.