“Nosy people, & how to avoid being one”

(It’s Guest Blogger Week here on KNOX-esque. Today’s post is by my new gal pal, Joe @ “20 to Life”)

You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I’m a 30 year old Mom to 5 kids, one of whom is 14. (I’ll save you the math. I was 15 when I got pregnant, and 16 when he entered the world kicking & screaming). His father & I, while obviously too young, weren’t destined to last from the beginning. Although my mother tried like hell to get those nuptials to pass our lips, we both refrained, I think sensing we weren’t going to be growing old together.

I was young. I was stupid. So why, 14 years later, am I having to pay for this lack of
judgment? (although I wouldn’t change one thing. My son is definitely a blessing) 
I’m a Mom on the PTA, I do “play-dates”, I even bake our neighbors cookies every Christmas – even the grumpy elderly couple who don’t return friendly waves and calls of “How’s it going?”. I consider myself a good person.
But every now and then, I meet that one person who grounds me with a harsh dose of reality all because 14 years ago, I had a (beautiful) child.

The conversations always start off nice enough “Where do you live?”, “What does the Hubbs do for a living?” the small talk that may or 
may not turn into a friendship, if you have enough in common. Inevitably the “How old are you?” question will pop up, & this is where my
stomach will start doing flip flops, because I’m waiting for the look of concentration as they figure out that I’m 30 and my son is 14 so that
would mean … *GASP!* I GOT KNOCKED UP AT 14! That’s the part where the small talk dies, suddenly the dirt on their shoes just got 
really interesting, & they “fake” an “Oh – I forgot! I’m supposed to be … where you aren’t.”
By now it shouldn’t hurt my feelings, but it does. And I get angry – because my son is a fantastic human being – kind, boisterous, the best 
big brother EVER, so why should his birth be something to be ashamed of? 

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t agree with teenagers going around having unprotected sex – but sometimes these things happen. And in my
case, I made the very best of it – married the man of my dreams eventually, and continued with the family I had already started. So why
the judgment? The hard part is – my son knows. He see’s the “look” in his friends’ mothers faces whenever I run into them at football, or 
school, or when he’s hanging out and needs a pick-up. And it makes me irate, because I know he’s not embarrassed of me, he knows
the details of everything that went down, but it’s almost as if – to be accepted, he should also condemn me. I feel like I should be sporting
some kind of Scarlett Letter. 
The funny thing about it all is, now – I’m one of THE most non-judgmental people on the face of the planet. So, other than this great guy 
I have as a son, some good came out of it huh? But should you happen to run into someone who has done something you would never
have guessed possible of them, I suggest a quick top 10 list of what & what NOT to do.

1: Don’t ask questions if you’re not prepared for the good the bad and the OMG! (Because you never know)

2: Cover your look of surprise – and if you’re not quick enough, fake a sneeze. No one likes feeling like they’re being looked at as if they 
accidentally broke wind.

3: Keep smiling and nodding, even if you’re mind is racing and you’re adding 1 and 1 together – bring up the weather if you have too!

4: Ask questions. Maybe they aren’t the axe murderer you now feel like they are. There may be more to the story than what they’ve decided
to tell you in the 3 seconds you’ve been talking.

5: Sympathize! Imagine you’re the bug squirming under the magnifying glass & what you would want someone to say to you to make you
feel less like you want to throw up lunch.

6: Consider the person. How do they interact with their kids/other people. Are they berating them, being rude & dropping F-Bombs? Or are 
they playing Peek-A-Boo endlessly, just to delight a 2 year old & her friends?

7: Realize that everyone is human. Have you never done something you would just DIE if someone else found out? Would you want people
knowing how you secretly enjoy watching MTV reality shows with a bag of popcorn & some soda?

8: Go with your gut. You held a conversation in the first place for a reason, no one held a gun to your head. There must be something you
liked about that person before “Confessions of a 30-something Mom” started. Stick to your first impression.

9: Change the subject. There is nothing better than feeling like a crisis has been averted, and it lets them know you could care less.
And hey – while you’re at it – throw in a compliment about how fabulous her hair looks, or how jealous you are of how thin she’s gotten.

10: Take a deep breath – you’ve made a new friend, and she’s not perfect, but you score brownie points for not judging someone
And you have one more person whose closet you can raid!

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16 Comments

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16 responses to ““Nosy people, & how to avoid being one”

  1. I just can’t get over the fact that people are currently judging you for something you did 15 years ago. People that didn’t even know you then. I can go into tons of reasons they are wrong, but we all know they are so I won’t. Just keep your head up, and it sounds like you have taught your son to do the same.

    • Thank you for the compliment. I actually have taught him to stay true to himself, and not cave in to what everyone else “thinks” he should do/be/become.
      People can be such dinks. (And I”m glad you’re not in that catergory 😉
      Joe.

  2. Joe,
    WOW! That would not be easy to raise a baby when you are still one!! But you have done a GREAT job!! That would have been so hard!! Having five children myself – WOW! By the way – you look great:)!! You have the body that people say – WOW YOU HAVE FIVE KIDS?!? I have the body that people say, oh yea, you have five kids.

    Don’t worry about what other people say – even though it has got to hurt! You are a great mom! And look at how well your son has turned out!! People like to talk! And if they can’t take you for who you are, they shouldn’t get you as a friend!! I will take you as you are – if you take me as I am:)

    Great job on the article!!

    • LOL!! You have a great sense of humor, I think we’d get along fabulously!
      My body got this was way from getting sick (Lupus) but I’ll take it however I can get it!
      I”m glad you have 5 kids, so you know EXACTLY what it’s like to be in fifty different places at once I bet, lol.
      And THANK YOU – I for sure take everyone for who they are, so that would mean you 😀
      Joe xx

  3. Merrie L.

    Joe, I’m proud of ya! ~ A faithful blog follower!

    • 😀
      Thank you for saying and leaving a nice compliment.
      I love hearing such nice things when I’ve left something really personal in cyber space, so really really – Thank You!
      I’ll FF you right back (after today, today is family day, and I’m currently holding everyone up, but I HAD to answer you, lol.!)
      Thanks Merrie!
      Joe xx

  4. Thank you for this post. I feel a connection to you, Joe, as I conceived my first son at 18 and so I do feel a little guarded about this topic. These are great tips. Thank you!

    • There’s such a stigma about having kids at a young age – no matter WHAT the circumstances, isn’t there? And what bothers me, is it doesn’t matter if you’ve learned from said mistake, gone on to raise a healthy family, you’re still known as “having had a kid so young” It drives me NUTS!
      I’m glad you left a reply, I knew there was something I always liked about your blog! Kindred spirits 😉

  5. Thank you to all you lovely ladies for leaving such amazing comments, I appreciate each and every aspect that you bring. I should print this off & carry it with me, so when I run into “those” people, I can whip one of these out, leave it with them, and walk away 😀

  6. Thanks for being honest. Thanks for being you. Once in awhile we need to be reminded of how attitudes and words affect people and situations well beyond the time they are said. Great post.

  7. I’m baaack;}
    I am really proud of you for sharing this with us!
    It takes a big person to be nosy, but an even bigger person to stand up to that a$$ hole and tell the truth- Proudly, Happily, and Whole-Heartedly.
    Personally, you don’t owe anybody an explination;}

  8. Girl you have nothing to be ashamed of and for them to make you feel that way is shitty to say the least! My son is 20 and I STILL get that look when I tell someone that he’s never met his real father.

    He took off when he found out I was “knocked up” and never looked back. Never paid child support. Nothing. I never stopped him from seeing his son, he could have done so at any time, and the few times that I ran into him over the years I told him just that. But people look at me like I’m some kind of ho because that coward didn’t stick around!

    Hell just do what I do…walk around with your head held high. Despite the fact that you were so young when you had him it sounds like you raised one hell of a kid and that’s all that matters!!

    • Isn’t it funny how others actions cause YOU to be quote, unquote “tainted”?
      I never met my father either, until after I had my son, and then all the things my mother did made complete and absolute sense (the guy was in a gang and NOT stable) and I adored HER all the more for it.
      Your son is going to laud your praises for the rest of his life, I’m sure 🙂

  9. wonderful post, Joe:):) I totally understand where you stand too. I had my oldest at 18..learned and lived through all that. He’s now 17 and a good son. keep doing what you’re doing, you’re awesome!

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