Dear woman without a child; I see you watching me as I get out the pool holding my baby. I see you watching me with my shorts on, trying to cover up the golf ball dents in my thighs; the muffin top pouring over the side; the flabby arms that resemble those of a chicken; the un-maked-up-dark-circle under my eyes; the boobs that don’t quite fit in the bikini top. Oh I see you sitting there in your couture swimming costume while you give me the look. I see it on your face how you judge me. How you think “I’ll never let go of myself like that!” I see you wondering why I even bothered coming out to the pool; why I even bothered with a swimming costume and should rather have worn a baggy t-shirt to cover it all.
Dear woman without a child; I see you watching me as I drag my kicking and screaming preschooler through the shop. I see you watching me as I try to stay cool while my almost 5-year old is throwing the biggest darn tantrum in the shop because I refuse to get him a blowing-effing-irritating-noisy whistle. I see you glaring at me that I can’t control my kid. I see you shaking your head when I ignore him and walk away from him, leaving him to scream even louder. I see your expression and wish that I could just have left him home and not bring him with. And I most definitely see you when I give him a small tap on the bum, which as always only results in him yelling even louder.
Dear woman without a child; I see you watching me as I sit alone having a coffee with only the company of a 7-month old. I see you feeling sorry for me. I see the way you’re trying to figure out why I’m there alone. Pondering through the different possible scenarios. Bouncing between me having lost all my friends over choosing my kids before anyone else. I see how you crave being the center of attention between all your perfectly manicured girl friends and how you sip your piping hot, fat free, chai latte.
Dear woman without a child; I see you watching me as I’m walking carrying a baby and strolling behind a preschooler, my wet eyes clearly giving evidence of me crying. I see you running past me; I-pod strapped to your perfectly toned bicep, pony of hair clearly washed just the day previously, eye liner and mascara fit for an actress on the red carpet. I see you shaking your head as you think I must be a failure as a mother, it’s not even 8 am and already I’ve been crying. The red glistening eyes are giving me away and you can see I’m seconds away from another outburst.
Dear woman without a child; I see your comments on my post telling me how I’m doing it all wrong and throwing some sort of “new scientific study” at me. I see your rolling-eye-tone through your “advice” you want to give me on how I’m running the house, my kids’ bedtime or what we’re having for supper. Sitting there behind your screen, pounding that keyboard with each huff and puff on how I can’t look after my own kids as I’m doing it all wrong.
Dear woman without a child; I see you watching me from under your Armani sunglasses as I push the stroller into the lift. I see you trying your best not to make eye contact. I see how you wish the lift would open up to your floor faster than what it is. I see how the sight of me and a baby makes you uncomfortable.
Dear woman without a child; I see you watching me as I board the plane and drag 2 tiny humans behind me. I see the shaking of your head to fellow passengers; the “almost” silent whispers of “She better keep them quiet” and the “I hope she’s giving them a sedative to chill and sleep”. Please, don’t get up and offer a hand while I try to strap a preschooler into his seat, make sure the newborn is still asleep, arrange the baggage into the over-head, take the backpack back down so toys can come out for the preschooler to play with, ensure the milk-filled breasts aren’t leaking all while I give an apologetic nod to all the closest passengers. Trust me, to fly with kids, with or without help of a spouse, relative or friend; is the biggest darn challenge for us and I promise you, we have threatened, begged, promised rewards and pleaded the kids for a quiet flight so that YOU are not disturbed too much.
Dear woman without a child; I see you watching me…
And until you have children of your own, I’d like to tell you something:
You can glare at me all you want. You can shake your head at me and my children in disbelieve or even disgust. Silently, yet clearly judging me for not getting my pre-baby body back after a few weeks of having my second child; for publicly showing emotion and near-breaking point; for disciplining my little offspring best I can so that one day he will be considered a gentleman; for letting go some day and just not giving a f*#@ anymore; for enjoying the small giggles and absolute fascination at the steam floating from a hot cup of coffee that my baby shows; oh how I see you.
I wish you could see all these moments, take them all in and really learn from them. Get off your high horse. Let go off your holier-than-thou attitude. Come sit next to me, walk with me, offer a helping hand as I show you what it’s really like to be a parent. Come ask questions and advice, I’m all ears.
And when the day comes that I walk past you with un-manicured fingers and nails, frazzled hair, dark circles under your eyes, milk stains on your baggy shirt, old smell of spat of undigested milk, and holding a wailing toddler while pushing s stroller with the other hand; I will offer you a smile and a look of “I know it feels like you want to run away, but honestly dear; this is the most rewarding, even though tiring days of your life, and it will get better, especially once you realize that you are not alone in this. You have millions of supporters and people who are either going through it right now or have gone through it already and made it out alive.”
Dear woman without a child, I see you…
**And to those women without a child, who look at me with pure love and adoration, with envy and hope in their eyes; I see you too. And I thank you for the assistance and understanding you show me. High five to you and the biggest and strongest hugs to you.**