Unintended Obliviousness

So there's this guy who has been in three of my classes this year. Our classes are quite small, so we are fairly well acquainted. He is super nice, very articulate, friendly smile, wry sense of humor, teaches literature at a local university, is writing a novel at the moment, and, did I mention, he's very nice?

Oops. I should clarify. This is not a post about a schoolgirl crush that I'm entertaining while my husband is at home taking care of our boys and reading my blog. It's just that the guy's niceness and astuteness are admirable, and do play a part in this story.

So Mr. SmartNice and a couple other classmates invited me to sit down with them in the coffee shop between classes last week and we were chatting about our end-of-term stresses and getting the final papers in, blah, blah, blah when he said to me, "Are you working right now, too?" I said, "No," because they were talking about their jobs at the moment. Then he said, "So you basically just hang out with your kids and come to class?"

Uh, yeah.

See, if he wasn't a nice, smart guy who I could just see simply does not know what three small children entail, I might have, er, filled him in. As it was, I just realized that there are actually people who truly don't mean to be demeaning or to minimize childrearing or stay-at-home motherishness. They just have no idea. These smart nice types are in a decidedly different class than the power-suit blondie that says in mock empathy for my lot in life, "So what do you do all day?"

I do wish that Mr. SmartNice would have said it earlier in the term, though, because I would have invited him over to hang out with my kids while I went to the library.


Real said...

Reminds me of a time I was telling someone who had no kids about what a terrible time I was having cleaning and getting my house ready for 30 Thanksgiving visitors! She commented that she was not a great housekeeper either and was having a hard time getting ready for Tgiving and she didn't even have kids to help her!


NOBODY said...

Kids to help her. HA! That is funny.

So Uh, T---I wasn't going to say anything, but since I'm smart and nice too, I'm going to take the risk.

Once you started going back to school and finish a Masters degree, which you have gotten entirely after having children, I was thinking, "Wow, she's just not the powerhouse she used to be, I can't believe all she's pulling off is 3 children under 5 and a Masters."

Even if going to school gives great blog posts about tripping up stairs, couldn't you be doing a little more with your time?

When I shower at 3pm and take the cheezits away from my kids at 4pm and dress them in different pajamas at 6pm and "all I've done" is one load of dishes and paid the bills---I wonder why YOU can't be doing more with your life.

You know, I like your perspective. Clearly his comment was made out of innocent ignorance. When people say stuff like that I just imagine them in 5 or 10 years, getting a taste of what "hanging out with 3 kids" is like and either laughing or feeling a little embarrassed at their ignorance. It helps me be more charitable. I know people wouldn't say certain things if they knew certain things. :)

NOBODY said...

Can we say hijack?

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Um, yeah, so is that *all* you do all day? Ha!

Gabriela said...

LOL: "uh, yeah" Yes, some people are just clueless about what motherhood entails.

(thanks for the reminder on the pork tenderloin recipes, I remember looking at those!)

Lei said...

Lol, I think you still SHOULD invite him to hang out. I think YOU are nice for giving him the benefit of the doubt. :)

Susiewearsthepants said...

I work now, but that wasn't always the case. I stayed home for a while after my youngest was born. I could never seem to get anyone to understand that when you are a SAHM, you NEVER get a day off. Your shift is NEVER over. And the pay is lousy. Mr. SmartNice obviously does not realize what "hanging" out with your kids means. I better after a day with you, he would see things differently!