Let me begin with a story of how I almost punched a guy today. (I can’t say I’ve ever started a conversation like that.)
It’s almost 12:30 and I’ve been outside with the baby for probably 3 hours. We are still about 30 minutes from home and I didn’t pre-cook any food for his lunch. He is getting antsy and hungry and tired. So I decide as we walk past a store to just go in, buy one jar of baby food and give him that. At this point he’s already taken his shoes and socks off and his sticking his sticking his cute tiny naked feet out of the stroller (he put them out like he would put them out the window in a car, if you can imagine). Yes, this is relevant, just imagine a cute baby and bear with me. 🙂 I give him our last baby biscuit in one hand and a pacifier in another to ensure the calmness for the shopping time and go in. He looks cute, trying to eat the biscuit and suck on the pacifier at the same time. So I stop in an empty aisle to take a photo of him and send it to the hubby. As I pull out the phone after hours I naturally have a few notifications so I’m just closing those and trying to turn on the camera, the kid is still happily eating and enjoying life. At this moment this older man walks to me from nowhere and starts telling me, that I shouldn’t have had a child if I don’t intend to take care of him and just play and text on my phone. He gave me this whole speech about how our generation is screwed up (I wonder who raised us; oh wait, it was his generation). As I’m listening to him, I want to punch him or at least tell him off, yell at him, something. The baby is happy, now playing with his toy, unable to decide between his snack and his pacifier. 🙂 But as the man finishes his rant and I’m about to tell him of, I decide not to. I just smile at him, open my camera, take the photo and send it to the hubby and turn around and walk away. 😀 His face nearly exploded. 😀 As I turn around I see a woman, probably another mom as I was standing in an aisle of baby food, who saw the whole thing and is literally cracking up and laughing. I say hello to her and go home, happy about not punching a man (and about myself).
I’m really sorry for that guy in the store, because I feel like I’m projecting on him all rage I have towards people who judge mothers. People who speed past me while I cross the road with the stroller, because I’m too slow. Today I waited at the crossroad and probably 20 cars went by before someone stopped and let us cross. People who look at me angrily when I sit down at the coffee shop. Don’t I deserve to drink a refreshing drink and enjoy this lovely spring weather? Why shouldn’t my child have his snack outside while I have a cup of coffee? Oh, my favorite. People, who walk towards me and can’t step for a second one behind the other, so that I have to drive the stroller on to the grass and let them pass. And an honorable mention. People who rage at me, like it’s my fault, that they can’t take their dog (no baby, just the dog) to the closed off playground where kids are playing and grabbing and licking and chewing on everything. I’ve actually heard a woman rage at an apartment owner about why isn’t she allowed to have a pet in her apartment if there babies in other apartments. Are you serious? I won’t even go there today…
Why would I want to treat my child as anything less than a tiny human? It sounds funny, but it isn’t. Look at the baby clothes for example. Most of them are not comfortable or useful, they are cute. I feel like moms are expected to make their kids look cute, be quiet and play with them every second of every day. And then when the kid goes to school we expect them to be independent. How exactly? I hate that about how his grandparents treat this baby. When we are alone, he is left alone if he wants to. Of course I play with him and talk to him and stuff like that. But if I see he’s playing fine on his own or just needs some alone time, why deny him that? Why would I need to jump at his every whim at the moments notice? Yes, if he’s in danger or hurt, I’m there before is happening. But if he’s angry because he can’t pull his sock off, I think I can finish my bite of lunch before I go save him. And yes, if he’s content in a stroller, safe and happy (and not even paying attention to me), I can check my phone and take a photo of him, if I want. 🙂 But when we are with other family members they don’t give him any space. I’m sure I’ll have much to share on this topic after this Easter weekend we’re spending with family. 🙂
Being a parent is tiring and scary. You screw this one up, you’re screwing up this little persons future. And it’s not just some person, it’s one of your favorite people on the whole wide world. Of course opinions of others worry you and hurt you. And add to that those crazy mom hormones and you get a good start of postpartum depression. You are never “just” a mom, even if you feel like it. I know I feel like that sometimes. I actually sometimes feel like we don’t really want moms alone with small kids outside much. 🙂 Need more explanation? Really? Have you ever been out and about with the stroller and had to go pee? 😀 Am I really expected to either leave my baby in the hallway alone or not pee? (I use the toilets for disabled in that case and if someone looks at me funny when I come out, I tell them all of this.). But it’s more that that. As a mom you should take care of a child and of the house, make everything pretty and perfect if someone comes to visit. You are a mom now, you shouldn’t read books or watch TV series or have any kind of hobbies. Your kids are your life. My kid and my husband are my life, no questions asked! But they both prefer an untidy apartment and a happy mom, who finally watched season 4 of Sherlock while the baby slept instead of cleaning. My boy will grow so fast and I want to share all my weird hobbies with him. Maybe he’ll like them and they’ll make him happy too. We are not just parents, we are not just moms. We are still the same people we were when we made those babies. And it wouldn’t be fair to them to become “empty” just to take care of them. I see that emptiness in some people in my family. Their children moved away and now they don’t know what to do with themselves. They look weird at me when I say I take time to work out. I’ve actually been laughed at because I was reading a book to the baby. I know he doesn’t understand it… But he loves listening to my voice and he loves looking at books and I wanted to read the book. Why couldn’t we do that together? Why do we need to listen to baby songs all the time if he actually prefers rock music?
This got way deeper than me wanting to punch a guy, didn’t it? 🙂 Moms out there, be amazing! Be happy! And if you are, your kids and your husbands will be happier too. Don’t waste time with things that aren’t important to you. Don’t do something just because someone “might see it”. Bake that cookies because you want them, don’t wait for someone to come to visit. Dress pretty, because you deserve it! Let your kids dirty and tear their clothes outside, because they deserve it. Don’t cook today. Order your kid’s favorite food and show them your favorite movie instead. Let your kids get to know real you, not just “mom” you. You are a superhero, show them that!