I am breaking my blogging silence for words that really haven’t been said (see title of my blog site), but they have been simmering under my breath for quite some time now. The following is to all you mums, young and old, who come across the path of me and my little ones during our days together. It’s a little harsh but frankly, so are you!
When I am standing in your shop, at your till, buying whatever essential item your shop sells that my family needs to go on with its week and my son begins to cry because he hates shopping and can’t stand being stationary, strapped into his pushchair….please don’t stop what you’re doing to tell me he’s crying, to tell him he looks tired and suggest he perhaps needs to go to sleep. Instead carry on with your job, sell me the item, take my money and you will see, the moment I get to push him out of your shop the crying will stop, he will be quiet, peace will resume without the need for any of your prescribed sleep.
If my child crawls two metres away from me when I am using both my hands to pack up our things to make an exit out of the cafe we are in, please don’t pick up my perfectly happy baby, freak him out because he has no idea who you are, and hand me my now upset child with a look that says you think me the worst mother in the world for giving my son such dangerous freedoms. I have not taken my eyes off my child, I know where he is, I can see the obstacles before him and I have calculated that I have enough time to pack my bag, get my coat on and pick him up before any danger comes his way. Let my son crawl!
Please don’t expect my toddler to have the maturity of a ten year old. She is not yet three, so when she slams a door, sometimes in the face of another, please believe this wasn’t some evil plot to hurt someone, in fact it was all about the door. Right now my daughter’s very favourite thing is changing the status of a door from open to shut and how it makes a really loud noise the harder she pushes it. I am not enjoying this phase and I am trying very hard to teach her the complex lesson of when is the right time to shut a door and with exactly how much force. In the meantime she gets it wrong, but like all toddlers she is discovering doors for the first time (yes that’s right there weren’t any in my womb or her moses basket), so let my child be two and three quarters and stop rolling your eyes at her!
If my child coughs or has a runny nose when you see us in the park, please don’t tell me my child has a cough or a runny nose like you’re some sage pediatrician and I am some Cruella de Vil dragging out my child from its death bed to endure 20 minutes of play in the fresh air on a sunny day. Do you not think that out of all the people in the park it will be the child’s mother, who is standing right next to them, has been with them all day since they woke this morning, carried them for nine months in her womb, went through labour to bring them into the world, has given up hours of her sleep to nurse them, has changed 95% of their nappies, provides all their food and who loves them more than themselves, that this mother is acutely aware her child has a cough and runny nose and has decided that fresh air whilst wrapped up in a vest, t-shirt, jumper and coat is the best thing for them? If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
I could go on but that’s enough to lighten my chest. Seriously, you are mothers, if you aren’t still at my stage then you have been here at some point. I am not the perfect mother, I don’t always have it together and my children aren’t robots. But I am the mother of my children, I know them better than you, God gave me the job of bringing them up so let me do it, just as I let you mother your children your way and give your children the benefit of the doubt when they do something seemingly naughty.
Please do give me encouragement, thoughtful help, kind words and sometimes some privacy!
Claire, I love that you have taken the time to write this. It makes my blood boil that you have this stuff to get off your chest. I could join in but I won’t, no wait, just one thing: If you see me with the 4 year old who has ASD and the 2 year old and the baby in a pushchair, and the 2 year old is on a wrist strap so he doesn’t leg it down the street and run under the wheels of a car, and the four year old is walking between me and the pushchair so I can catch him when he freaks out at a passing lorry that is too noisy for his uber-sensitive hearing, please don’t ask me what I think I’m doing and tell me to release the 2 year old, ‘because its like having a dog on a lead’. I’m trying to save all of our lives.
Sounds like you are doing an amazing job, on the other side of the world!
There, I feel better now, thanks 🙂 love to you, from Rach x