Too often I find myself anxious about out of the house outings, worried about my children having an absolute meltdown in public. Fearing those glances people shoot my way, you know the ones that cut like knives while you’re trying to get through the grocery store checkout and tame an angry 1.5 year old! Watching people whisper about me as my 9 month old also starts to squirm. Things like “She should’ve kept her legs closed” or “She needs to shut those kids up.” What do I do? Sheepishly apologize, die of embarrassment and get out of the store as quickly as possible, usually forgetting half of the stuff I needed in the process. Then finding a way to get through the week without those things because I need time to recover, to put my brave face back on before I have to try again.
Now it’s coming from my own home. I’ve received a formal complaint that my children are nuisances. What am I supposed to do? Tie them up and ball gag them so they can’t make any noise or live freely in our home? Should I go apologize to the people complaining about them? No! I am DONE apologizing!
My babies are babies, sometimes the toddler runs in the house. I stop her, I remind her we don’t run in the house because it’s dangerous. Does this make her stop? No, so we repeat this a thousand times a week. Sometimes she gets mad because she wants to do/have something that she knows she can’t do/have, so she screams. Do I let her lay there and tantrum? No. I pick her up, tell her that we don’t scream when we don’t get our way, let her know why she can’t have/do whatever it is, tell her I love her and settle her down. My baby cries, sometimes I can’t make it stop. I am one mother with 2 babies under the age of 2 doing this gig 24/7 for 21 days a month solo. I’m doing my damn best.
Before you shoot your dirty looks at mothers in public who are frantically trying to tame their children, or mutter your rude comments just loud enough to hear, stop and think.
These children aren’t doing this to make your day unpleasant, children aren’t malicious. They’re doing it to express themselves and they’re learning how to express themselves. Don’t be an asshole, be a good person. Maybe offer to help this mother out to her car, or buy her flowers. You don’t know her circumstances or how close to the edge she is. Don’t push her off, pull her back in.