Today was supposed to be my first day back at work after almost two weeks of not working, yet it didn't happen.
While I was gone, my son contracted chicken pox, though it was such a light case, my husband wasn't sure if it really was chicken pox at all. When I got home on Tuesday I also had my doubts. Last Friday afternoon, I finally went to the doctor and he said, "He probably has chicken pox, though there are only a few that look like it"
So, this morning, after dropping off my daughter I swung by my son's daycare, in hopes that he could stay.
One of the co-directors of the daycare met me outside to check on him, but because he only has about 20 spots total. she also wasn't sure. In the end, though, she told me he could stay. I walked him inside to drop him off with his teacher.
When I came back outside, another mom was red-faced and screaming at the co-director that her son wasn't contagious, that he didn't have a fever, and that she couldn't keep him home. She was totally pissed off and threatened to just leave him.
The co-director was silently taking in the verbal assault and when she had a moment, she said, "I am sorry, it's the rules."
The mom continued to go on her tirade about how her son only had 3 spots on his foot and that he wasn't contagious, that she couldn't take him home, etc.
Another parent quietly intervened, and I took that opportunity to ask the co-director if she wanted me to take my son back home. She nodded her head yes, so I went back inside to get him.
So, why was I so calm about the whole thing, while the other mother was the exact opposite?
It might be because I had prepared myself ahead of time to have him come home, and had moved all my appointments this morning.
It might be because I have more experience and practice regulating my emotions and frustrations.
It might be because I have a flexible work schedule.
What it really comes down to, though, is NEEDS.
By leaving her son at daycare each day, and today specifically, this other mother is able to meet her own needs. Maybe it's the need for PEACE. Maybe it's the need for SECURITY. Maybe it's the need for WORTHINESS. Maybe it's the need for CONTINUITY. Or maybe it's all of the above, or even none of the above.
What I know for sure though, is that every pissed off woman, and every pissed off man that I encounter isn't pissed off because they are a "bad person", they are pissed off because one of their vital UNIVERSAL NEEDS is not being met. The same universal needs that you and I both share.
I could sit here and judge this other mom and criticize her for her behavior and mistreatment of the co-director, or I could find the compassion and understanding that she surely needs.
The next time you encounter a pissed off person, or even become one yourself, I invite you to do the same,
PS. If this resonated with you, I would appreciate your support in sharing this with those who you think could benefit.
Courage. Compassion. Connection.