Mom of Children With Special Needs Gets Incredibly Rude Note on Her Car

judgy momsWhen it comes to motherhood, things aren't always as they seem. We may see a mother in the grocery line snapping at her kids. And we may judge. But what we don't see is that same mom who is exhausted after weeks of her husband being away and has already told her daughter 15 times she didn't want to give her candy, and by the 16th time, she is snapping.

All we see is that moment where we get to feel superior. Yay us. We would NEVER snap at our kids like that and oh how sad for those kids that they don't have a better mother. It's so nice to sit on our smug thrones, isn't it? And yet we really have no clue. A blog post from Suzanne Perryman reminded me just how true that really is today and I am so grateful.

Perryman had taken her young daughter out and somehow the person who parked near her had not noticed the handicap placard on her dash and instead left a judgy note reading: "You are clearly not disabled. Shame on you." But who was really shamed?

This note writer clearly missed the fact that Perryman has two special needs children, but even that is beside the point. That rush to shame and to judge is all too common.

As an Internet writer, I see it all the time. People who think they know other writers from a few paragraphs on a blog post. They think they can judge everything about you from one parenting mistake you chose to highlight on a given day. But the joke's on them.

The reality is, we live in a world full of shades of gray. Smart people know that. Compassionate people know that. Happy people know that.

Sure, it's easy to react with knee-jerk certainty to just about everything, but that is way too simple. People and life are more complicated than that. We don't know a person's inner life from a 20-second interaction at a grocery store. And hey, that's part of the beauty of it, right?

Looking in black and white at everything and assuming you know the full picture when you are only seeing one portion of it is one of the biggest problems with modern motherhood. Maybe if we dropped the judgment and the assumptions and worked with more positive assumptions, things would be better.

Rather than assume someone is parking in a handicap parking space, why not assume you made a mistake or that they have some reason to be there that you can't see? Instead of assuming that a mother who runs into trouble with her child just made a rash decision, why can't we assume that she did a lot of research, it's just that things went wrong? Let's give people the benefit of the doubt more.

Motherhood is hard enough without these knee-jerk responses. Besides, the reality is, it's not the person who made the perceived mistake who ends up feeling stupid. It's the person who rushed to judgment without even attempting to know the full picture.

Do you ever rush to judge other moms?


Image via F Delventhal/Flickr

special needs


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keelh... keelhaulrose

I once had someone yelling at me the moment I got out of my handicapped van because I'm not handicapped. I ignored them and went to the other side where I put down the ramp and started getting my wheelchair bound grandma out. Then I looked at them and said "you were saying?"

Shut them up quickly. If you don't know the situation, keep your mouth shut.

youth... youthfulsoul

When there is anonymity, people are self righteous assholes.

I had an injury that needed surgical repair and left me in incredible pain when standing or walking, but I couldn't fix it because I was pregnant at that time. Some lady confronted me in a parking lot because of it when i used my placard to park in a handicapped spot. Jackass.

Brain... BrainyMommy

Given the tone of most blog posts on The Stir, I find this post to be incredibly hypocritical and hope you share it with all your fellow Stir bloggers. Stir Bloggers often leap to judgments with limited knowledge of the subject and often without having done any research. Y'all need to work on your own house before criticizing others. 

NatAndCo NatAndCo

This was a rather long article to write about a non incident. Especially considering the lengths you made to connect it to a topic you clearly wanted to write about. A stranger missed a handicap placard and that somehow leads to a bleeding heart article about not judging people?

abra819 abra819

Mamatobtoblahblah, you're nasty. YOU go away sweetie. No one likes you.

nonmember avatar Lilac

Dear Stir please get your facts straight. In her blog post she mentions that maybe it was a day she had her older daughter with her, who apparently has the same problems but can walk just fine, and not her younger wheel chair bound child. Also she goes on to tout how her life has changed after becoming the mom of a special need child...She says child, indicating one, yet claims both daughters (including the one who can walk) are special needs. These special tags are given out too often and abused alot. So much so there is a handicap space fraud website. My boss at my first job had one because she sometimes drove her niece around who had sickle cell anemia. She would park in the handicap space everyday at work and best part is we worked at a nursing home! There were real people who could have used that space. Not just a cow who didn't want to park over in employee parking and walk the 500 feet to the building.

sammy... sammyy401

I think some of you missed the point the author was trying to make which possibly was the fact that people don't know situations before speaking and oh yeah I am a disabled person so this story is something I can relate to.

dearg76 dearg76

I am ashamed to admit that yes I have judged parents, but that was also before I became a parent. 

nonmember avatar MammaMel

Pot, meet kettle.

nonmember avatar Christy

This has happened quite a few times to my husband. He was a license plate, not a placard, and we've received a few nasty notes on his van. The thing that they apparently miss when writing out the note is the large power wheelchair lift just inside the doorway. We've also gotten quite a few notes when he's forced to park across two spaces because he cannot put the lift down anywhere and all of the wheelchair spaces are taken. I would also just note that please also be aware of the stripes beside a handicapped spot. Because some people park sloppily or decide to park inside the stripes because someone is "just going in the store for a few minutes," my husband has been unable to get in his van at all until the person blocking his lift returns to their car.

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