A lovely meeting yesterday, but with one small hitch.
The hospital where we have our meetings has been really good. They encourage their patients to join the group and have put up posters advertising us in the waiting rooms etc. The sister in charge clearly sees the need for a group like ours and has been great.
Everyone from the linen bank staff, porters, admin and security has been lovely (mostly MEN, I should add).
But not every body agrees.
We had a new mom join us yesterday, she brought her two children with her. One 3 years old, one 2 months. It was her first visit, to a place where she was supposed to feel welcomed, accepted and supported.
As she was walking down the passage, a random hospital employee (kitchen staff I think) made comments to her along the lines of “are these ALL your children, why do you have so many children, you shouldn’t have children at your age etc”
My sister was there and saw it happen, and gave the lady a piece of her mind.
I spoke to the new mom later and she didn’t seem too fazed. She said she doesn’t pay any attention to what people say and “I just hold my head up high”
Which is good. And she should. But it still hurts.
It was NONE of that woman’s business. Our mom could have had 6 children by 6 different fathers and it STILL wouldn’t have been any of that woman’s business. The only way it becomes somebody’s business is if she was abusing or neglecting her children. That kitchen woman had zero way of telling what kind of mother she was in the 30 seconds that she laid eyes on her.
In that 30 seconds, she decided she knew all there was to know about her and open her mouth to put her down. Just because she could.
It’s wrong. It’s all the more wrong because she wouldn’t say such a thing to me anymore. Once, yes, when I was young and quiet and scared-looking. Why not anymore? Because people like that only ever pick on those they believe won’t fight back. Those who will just stand there, shoulders hunched and eyes downcast, and take their shit.
It’s called bullying. The very reason why we started our group. Our new mom was brave enough to come in to a room full of strangers to find support and is met with censure and preaching by a random haranguing stranger in the in the first five minutes.
I’m sad. Angry. Feel like we failed her.