Sunday, November 9, 2014

You Can't Sit With Us!!!

 Anyone my age knows where my title comes from. I swear I can quote the Mean Girls movie word for word, and frequently use those quotes to express myself, sometimes on a daily basis. For those of you who don't know the premise for one of the best movies in the whole world: New girl enters school, the mean girls change her to fit their group, new girl realizes it's a pretty crappy group, chaos ensues. You'd think the mean girl thing would end after high school and people magically mature and become super cooperative adults, right?

Wrong. Women (and men, although in my opinion, not nearly so much) deal with this at work, at the gym, and even online. What's worse, is that special needs parents are sooooooo entirely guilty of this also and don't even know it! I am guilty too. I am guilty of thinking to myself "Quit your whining about ________, we have it so much worse". I'd never actually say that to anyone, but I totally think it. I recognize it's wrong, which is step one to solving the problem, right? You know what else we do? Anytime someone vents, we automatically say "Oh yeah, Callie did that and, and, and." Wait, did I just change the subject about your child to my child? Yep, I did. And I for one am sorry for the habit. It's one I've worked very hard to break. Instead, I remind myself to say "I am so sorry you're going through this" because that's what those moms want to hear, what they need to hear. Not some competition about who has the neediest child, who had the most surgeries, etc.

I read through some comments today referring to cliques within the special needs community and I can't say I disagree. I've personally never felt like I fit in anywhere, but everyone has been pleasant to Callista and to me. But there's always a sense of importance assigned to some, and for others we just hang out in the background. Some have their questions ignored, others get ten thousand "likes" on their photo *exaggerated for emphasis*(not that that defines you, hopefully!). How the hierarchy is decided is beyond me, all I know is I'm not in it ;)

I know it's hard to not worry about what others think of you, and at this very moment, I am doing it! I am doubting whether or not to publish this blog for fear of offending someone (none meant) or someone automatically assuming it's about them (it's not about you, I promise). It's just based on observations I've made after seeing a friend feel abandoned online by women who should be building each other up instead of making frienemies. I challenge you, female members of society, to work on complimenting your fellow women and practice your "reflective listening" even if it's only online.

As for me, I compliment every single SN mother who has ever touched my life in some way. I know without you, without those groups, without your many beautiful blogs and pictures, I wouldn't know half the things I know today and my heart (and friend list!) would be very empty without you.

Everyone can come sit at my table!