Are you one of those people who would turn their head when you hear a kid whining at the top of their voice in the street and think, ‘Oh no, are they are being tortured?’ Are you like, ‘how can a child scream for so long?’ ‘Are they in pain??’ ‘Surely that mother should be locked up?’
Well I’m that parent and sometimes it’s me doing the whining and sobbing.
But wait, don’t judge me yet. Don’t people who have no experience sometimes just like to judge and give advice when not asked for?
From the time my child was one week old, I’ve lost count of the amount of times people in the street people would smugly come up to me and give me advice on how I should give him his bottle, how he should be dressed, how he should be lying down in his buggy, and ask why isn’t he using a soother?
‘Oh look, he’s very big for his age’ and stare at you like you gave him a McDonalds for dinner. ‘Yes,’ I reply. ‘That’s because he is growing, it’s what children do. Should I starve the child until he’s the correct weight the book says?’
‘Oh, you are going back to work. And who will look after the child?’
‘Yes, I’m going back to work,’ I reply ‘because my growing child who eats too much McDonald’s needs to be fed. It’s OK though, as the child is nine months old I’m sure he’ll look after himself. I never thought of day care until you mentioned it, so thank you.’
You are giving your two year old a chip? Surely they can’t eat that at their age?
‘Yes its one chip and I don’t think it comes under the obesity laws of salad eating society.’
‘Oh, so your child can’t recite the whole alphabet at the age of 15 months?’
‘No, not yet, but thank you and don’t worry I’ll teach them a few choice words that they can recite to you the next time they see you in the street.’
‘Your child has two odd socks on, and your daughter is wearing boy trousers??’
‘Yes, because I have been up all night with the child and I can’t see in front of me. My aim is to keep them warm and also start a new fashion trend. Now what’s the excuse for that horrible dress you’re wearing?’
‘Oh my goodness, why are you giving out to the child?’
‘Because the little monkey has been moaning in my face since 6am about everything and if I hear one more time ‘I want, I want I want,’ I will lose my mind. ‘No, they are not getting that toy just because they threaten to scream and whine about it. Would you like to buy it for them though?’
‘Oh, your child is making a hungry face, hurry up and feed him.’
‘No, he’s not hungry, I just fed him. He’s making that face because you’re standing there judging his mother and being mean to her.’
You dare to stare at my shopping trolley and see what’s in it?
Yes I have a bottle of wine and a pizza for myself. It is allowed. Oddly enough before I had children I did the same thing and no one ever stared or judged me. My days are now longer since I’ve had kids, I’m on the go all day, haven’t had a decent shower, not a minute to myself. And yet you bypass apples and oranges and the healthy dinners and everything else in my trolley though??
‘ Oh, your house is so dirty.’
Yes, because children need 10 times the amount of stuff an adult does and I would have cleaned it if I knew you and your royal airs and graces were coming but I was spending time with my children, then I was getting dinner ready for the next few days, washing clothes for the week and I was working today and I’m exhausted. Will you clean it for me for now?
- But wait, have you once looked at me and the kids when they are laughing, and they have a glow and most times they are wearing the right clothes.?
- Have you seen me at 4am in the morning when my child is sick and it’s me who will come to them?
- Have you seen me when I am tucking my children to bed after reading stories and trying to tell them the dark is not so bad?
- Have you seen me when the kids jump and hug me and tell me every day they love me?
- Have you seen me and the kids in the playgrounds and having picnics and enjoying life?
I bet you haven’t as you are too busy judging all the faults of parenting, and how I am not doing it the way the text book is written by a 15 year old psychology student.
So please, the next time you see a parent in the street giving out to their child, think twice before you judge people. Now I am going off to have that bottle of wine (maybe two) and not feel one bit guilty about it. I’ll be judged on something anyway. 🙂
Children’s Books by Denise McCabe are available by clicking here or pop across to My Books section to have a further look