Back in January, I was sitting in my car in the car park of a major store, getting some bad news about my mother, when I physically cringed at a personalised number plate, reading “IM A MUM.”
It irritated me, off and on, for a day, but when I was calmer, I asked myself why someone would get a number plate like that? Of course, if they were one of those women/couples who think that because they have been able to conceive and give birth they should be congratulated, my rolling eyes were valid.
But then I thought further, and thought that maybe they had been trying to conceive for years, maybe they’d endured multiple losses, maybe this was the last IVF cycle they could afford or were eligible for, maybe this was the culmination of their dreams against all odds. Maybe they had been so overwhelmed that it actually had happened to them, that they bought the number plate, forgetting perhaps how it felt to be on the other side, or maybe their husband or their parents or in-laws bought them the number plate to celebrate the birth. Or, of course, maybe it is to celebrate an adoption, which gives another spin on this.
The thing is, I don’t know, and likely will never know, so I shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Accepting this makes me a lot less judgemental (in a whole range of situations), and actually helps take the pain away.