I have blogged before about how I am a dweller, mentally beating myself up for things that I could have done or said differently. The same post discusses how I am overly empathetic, feeling such empathy or embarrassment for characters in works of fiction that I have to turn away. Yet, despite these acknowledgements, I continue to suffer from foot-in-mouth disease.
A few weeks ago a mom I know that recently miscarried late in her pregnancy approached me with a container of formula, asking me if I wanted it. She caught me off guard, I was in the middle of a conversation, and I must have given her an odd look as I shook my head and said, "No, thanks," thinking to myself that I intend to nurse Bun and really had no need for it at this point. A few seconds after she hurriedly left the room it occurred to me how much more compassionate I could have been. She was just trying to get the free samples that randomly show up in the mail out of her house. I should have just taken the freaking container and chucked it if I didn't want it. Doh! What a crappy person I am. To be honest, I was so thrown off that I didn't even connect all of the dots when she initially asked.
Later in the evening I gave her a call to apologize. I really felt just awful. She was embarrassed, thinking I thought she was offering me the formula for LP, who has obviously outgrown the stuff. I mean, really, how was she supposed to know that I try to exclusively breastfeed. I felt better after talking with her, but I still can't get the episode out of my mind.
I have also blogged about my complete awe of stay-at-home moms. Seriously, these women amaze me. There are dozens of reasons that I couldn't/wouldn't be a full-time stay at home mom and I hold women that take on this charge in the highest regard. Unfortunately, when I encounter one, like this past weekend when we ran into a colleague of the Hoos' and his family, I tend to say something stupid. Instead of saying, "I commend you, I know it is really hard work." I said something like, "I don't know how you do it, I would go crazy." I really don't intend for this to sound derogatory or condescending. In the moment, in my cluttered, sleep-deprived head, they sound identical, but of course, they aren't.
I know that in general it would be smarter to be more thoughtful and contemplative when caught off guard. I should take the time to think about a situation and collect my thoughts before responding. Maybe that will be my "new month resolution".