I'm a pretty laid back person. I'm not easily offended and don't get riled up about things. This subject has been pushed to the forefront of my mind due to a couple of things (other than the constant flow of comments from complete strangers who feel the need to pass judgement on me so freely and openly): as usual, I read another blogger mom-of-four who is dealing with this issue; and I saw a movie about motherhood (but I'll address those thoughts in another post).
To address the first point: why do people think they're opinions and their judgements should always be expressed? Obviously they think that those of us who don't share their opinions and don't posses such "good judgement" would benefit from their wisdom and that we are encouraged by their dirty looks and comments. Well, they're wrong. And, it's not like I was dragging three fit-throwing, snotty, ratty-haired, foul-mouthed children through the store. Baby girl, sat happily in the basket and the big boys were holding hands and walking beside me while they jabbered quietly to each other about super heroes or something. I wasn't sweating or breathing hard or struggling in any way to get my children and our purchases through the store. And even if I were, dirty looks and comments are less than helpful.
These tend to happen whether your a mother of one "It must be nice to have so much free time on your hands,"!?!? or unmarried at 31, or married for seven years with no children, or home schooling, or working or not working or long-haired or short-haired or ... the never-ending list goes on and on with reasons others can judge you because you're not like them.
My husband's funny answer to rude comments is, "I always say nice things about you." Ha ha. In truth, there's not a whole lot I can say. I generally smile and keep going if at all possible. I think of the witty retorts later and I'm glad I didn't come up with them in the moment - no need to incite violence - ha! But for myself I can strive to speak encouragement to others rather than judgement of their choices or the life that has been dealt them.
"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Eph 4:29